Georgian Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava has raised the European Union flag in front of the Georgian parliament building in the capital city of Tbilisi this morning after violent right-wing groups burnt EU and LGBT flags last night.
The groups shut down a ‘silent’ demonstration held outside the Parliament of Georgia yesterday which was meant to protest the violent events of July 5.
Kuchava posted photos of him raising the EU flag on his Facebook page, saying that ‘destruction of the EU flag is unacceptable'.
Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures is a historic choice of the Georgian people and we will definitely move forward on this path…! We must remember that we all have one homeland whose history, traditions and religion have nothing to do with violence", Kuchava wrote on Facebook.
Kuchava also posted on Twitter:
Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani posted on Facebook that the EU flag has returned to its 'rightful place' as a symbol of the 'historic and unalterable' choice of Georgian people.
Georgian culture has always stood on European values and at the same time, after gaining independence, our country has done a lot to get closer to Europe politically and economically... The violent acts that have been taking place in our capital for the last two days are completely unacceptable, and I condemn the attack on the media representatives and civilians", wrote Zalkaliani.
Georgian Dream MP Aluda Gudushauri said that 'we, the Georgian Dream party, have written in the constitution the unwavering will expressed by the Georgian people, that is the European Union and NATO [integration]'. He said that the attempt to 'move the arrows' towards the Georgian Dream is 'a weak attempt'.
We condemn all forms of violence, such shameful behaviour is unacceptable", he said.
A large 'silent' demonstration was held last night at Rustaveli Avenue to protest the violence against journalists and storming of Pride organisers' offices the day before. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
A large demonstration involving political party figures, Tbilisi Pride organisers and independent citizens started at 8 p.m. local time outside the Parliament of Georgia on July 6, to protest the violence against journalists and storming of Pride organisers' offices the day before.
With participants of the solidarity rally having left the space outside the parliament venue, and journalists having been moved by officers away from the site, the aggressive groups of the counter-demonstration again took over the location.
They removed the EU flag raised by the solidarity rally for the second time in two days, with footage and reports indicating it having been burnt on the site. A brief footage of a piece of fabric burning on the steps leading to the parliament venue also showed a protester cheering and wishing the same fate to queer individuals.
Today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that police detained 100 activists of violent right-wing groups from last night's counter-demonstration.