Thousands Orthodox anti-gay activists broke through police cordon and pursued gay rights protesters in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, injuring at least 17 people in the process. The violent brawl marred the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia.
The first sanctioned anti-homophobic rally in Georgia organized by Identity NGO activists had to be moved to a public garden on Tbilisi’s Freedom Square after a 10,000-strong Orthodox crowd gathered at the initial rally spot on Friday.
But heavy police cordons failed to contain furious anti-gay activists led by priests, who rushed to the new gay parade location. Upon breaking into the public garden, the agitated crowd engaged in a violent pursuit, beating and throwing stones at all the people who were thought to be representing and advocating for the minorities.
At least 28 people were injured in clashes, and 14 of them hospitalized, Georgian Minister of Health David Sergeenko said. A journalist suffering blunt force trauma to the head and a passer-by who had his leg broken were among the injured.
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