The Government Should Not Allow Far-Right Violence Against The March of Dignity
In response to the March of Dignity to be held by the organizers of Tbilisi Pride on July 1-5 the far-right leader and founder of the movement, ERI Levan Vasadze issued an ultimatum to the Government demanding the "cancellation" of the Pride Week, calling it the, propaganda of depravity.

The homophobic discourse around Pride Week has also been intensified by the ultra-right media platform Alt Info. On June 12, Zura Makharadze, host of the show Alt-Analytics, announced the mobilization of civil groups against the March of Dignity. The homophobic statements of Alt Info leaders against Pride Week, its organizers, and supporters are actively shared on the Facebook group ,,Alternative for Georgia - Supporters". "The far-right Facebook page of the Society for the Protection of the Childrens’ rights spreads homophobic video messages by the clergy urging the government ,,not to allow the propaganda of modernized Sodomite sin in the form of LGBT community.’’

Homophobic messages are especially noticeable in statements of far-right leader Alexander Palavandishvili. In an interview with TV Pirveli,[1] which was recorded on June 24, he described LGBTQ activism as "pedophilia and depravity propaganda" and stressed that "if the March of Dignity is held, there will be „clashes and the riot police will have to injure people." Homophobic and violent calls were also spread by the Facebook group - Supporters of Levan Vasadze, where statements full of religious sentiments were posted. Holding the Pride Week is equated in this group’s posts to the degradation of Orthodoxy, so to prevent this "stain", it is justified to disrupt Pride, even by force.

At the briefing on June 24, the ultra-right groups and media platforms: ,,Society for the Protection of Children's Rights,’’ ,,ERI,’’ ,,Georgian Idea,’’ ,,Georgian Mission’’ ,,Alt-Info", etc. Announced mobilization and complete blockage of Rustaveli Avenue. ,,We are going to take the whole of Rustaveli, to control it, no propaganda of depravity will be carried out. We will do everything for that,’’ stated Alt Info representative Zura Makharadze at the briefing.

The Democracy Research Institute (DRI) is following with concern the statements made by far-right, extremist groups and their leaders, who plan to mobilize supporters and use force to disrupt the March of Dignity, an event to be organized by Tbilisi Pride.
DRI notes that ensuring freedom of speech and expression is a foundation, without which no peaceful, democratic, or egalitarian society can exist. It is also important to note that freedom of expression protects only the right to peaceful assembly, which excludes violence, incitement to violence, and threat of violence.
In view of all the above, DRI urges the State Security Service and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to:
  • Study the activities of radical extremist groups;
  • Properly prepare and mobilize an adequate number of police forces to avoid a real threat of potential violence;
  • Ensure that criminal investigations into criminal acts committed by the leaders and/or supporters of the above groups are conducted on time, to prevent these individuals from mobilizing large numbers of forces and committing new illegal acts.