The media monitoring of the far-right discourse in Georgia was actively conducted by “Democracy Research Institute” in August. Research objects for August were fifteen (15) far-right groups and Facebook pages of their leaders. Moreover, “Democracy Research Institute” was monitoring nine (9) online-media outlets. The research identified all the main tendencies of the far-right rhetoric in Georgia. Additionally, the main target groups that regularly become an object of the far-right groups’ and their leaders’ aggression was also studied.
In August, like in the previous months, far-right groups were spreading the xenophobic and homophobic narratives. Anti-Western and anti-liberal rhetoric was going on and pro-Russian sentiments were raising. Far-right discourse was concentrated around two (2) main topics: 1) Celebrating “Didgoroba” in the wake of which Anti-Turkish campaign was increased; 2) August War of 2008 between Russia and Georgia. This topic has been discussed by the leaders of far-right groups with pro-Russian messages as a background.
Strongly homophobic discourse of far-right groups was very obvious in August too. Facebook pages such as “Anti-Liberal League”, “Kardhu” and “Nationality Georgian” were prominently homophobic. Those groups were actively describing the activism of LGBTQ+ people as propaganda of depravity. Levan Chachua, the head of a political movement “Georgian Idea” was actively involved in the fight against the “LGBT perversion” and he was taking a part in a campaign asking for an abolition of the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. In August, the tendency of cooperation between the representatives of an Orthodox-Church and far-right groups was maintained. Levan Chachua was in Stepantsminda, where the clergyman Jegudiel was helping him to conduct the campaign against the “LGBT perversion”.
Social media platforms, that DRI was observing had the distinguishable tendency of strongly anti-Western rhetoric in August. “Georgia and World’s” editorial policy had a growing trend of diminishing western values with an increasing quantity of pro-Russian messages as a background. The similar anti-Western direction was developed by the group of “Politikano”. Pro-Russian narratives were disseminated at the expense of the demonization of the western values. Liberalism, NATO and the European Union were presented as a threat to Georgia. Editorial group of “Politikano” was especially aggressive and cynical towards the United States of America.
The mobilization of supporters for the manifestation with the help of social media was distinguishable in August. Information about the August 12 manifestation/rally “Didgoroba” in Batumi was actively spread by far-right groups via Facebook pages and groups. Businessman Levan Vasadze attended this event, where he made a speech about the importance of “Didgoroba” becoming a state holiday.
The monitoring was possible with the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the framework of the project "Understanding and Combating Far-Right Extremism and Ultra-Nationalism in Georgia”.