Priests lead Orthodox anti-gays in violent Tbilisi clashes with rights activists, police

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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.

Written By: RT News
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  1. I watched a documentary about gay pride and protests in various countries around the world. By far the worst was Russia. (It did not show Africa). Nikolay Alexeyev, the leader of the Moscow group is the liberationist’s liberationist. We in Canada had trouble with threats and violence from bigots. They have trouble with police beating them senseless and the law banning any sort of demonstration. Alexeyev is clever outwitting the police and incredibly brave.

    Here in Canada I always blamed the Christians as the source of the hate. I don’t know where it comes from in Russia. They had a long period of official atheism.

    I pass this one piece of advice to gay liberationists everywhere. Oddly, bigots cannot stand being called bigots. They see themselves as holy avengers.

    • In reply to #1 by Roedy:

      Here in Canada I always blamed the Christians as the source of the hate. I don’t know where it comes from in Russia. They had a long period of official atheism.

      lack of belief isn’t something the state can enforce, even demanding people change their beliefs about wine and crackers required extreme bloodshed during the rreformation but the soviet union is gone now, all that’s left is the people who survived it, such as Putin who has embraced the orthodox church in much the same way as (godwins law alert…) Hitler embraced the catholic church. very useful to have some wizards on side for dealing with dissidents (e.g. Pussy Riot).

      From memory of the cold war days, I saw documentaries on religion going on in secret in russia, no idea what would have happened if they got caught (my guess is nothing unless they posed any threat to the party). they seemed like nice humble rural people unwilling to let their faith go but just as in all instances where secularism is enforced by a dictator, the faithful will support people who share their faith no matter how bloodthirsty they are (remember Iriaq?)

      in truth though, the period of official atheism wasn’t very long. people who saw the revolution witnessed the end of the union. religion doesn’t die that quick

    • Roedy,
      Evil very rarely thinks it is doing evil.

      In reply to #1 by Roedy:

      I watched a documentary about gay pride and protests in various countries around the world. By far the worst was Russia. (It did not show Africa). Nikolay Alexeyev, the leader of the Moscow group is the liberationist’s liberationist. We in Canada had trouble with threats and violence from bigots….

  2. Roedy, It appears the atheistic phase of the USSR did not do much good, for as soon as Communism faded, religious fervor sprang back. It is not particularly Christianity that hates gays, it is the conservative religious mindset in all three Abrahamitic religions. It seems religious fervor taps into, among other things, a deep-seated fear of the ‘other’ and of being ‘tainted’ by it. Thus the emphasis on purity/chastity/abstinence/ritual baths/circumcision, etc. Those believers who tolerate homosexuals are, almost by definition, on the liberal periphery of religion.
    In any case, lest we in the west believe homosexuals are now accepted, it is not only the Georgia demonstrations, and the ones in Paris, but also the recent murder in Greenwich Village, New York, which puts the lie to that belief .

    • In reply to #2 by justinesaracen:

      Roedy, It appears the atheistic phase of the USSR did not do much good, for as soon as Communism faded, religious fervor sprang back. It is not particularly Christianity that hates gays, it is the conservative religious mindset in all three Abrahamitic religions. It seems religious fervor taps into,…

      Homosexuality was illegal throughout the decades of the USSR’s existence as being “western decadence”.

      Western atheists generally hold their ‘beliefs’ because we recognise there is no evidence to support the existence of gods and because we recognise religious claims are incompatible with human dignity. The USSR’s communists by contrast were atheists because they didn’t want to acknowledge any power higher than themselves.

  3. Too many in the post WWII generation in the developed world, some of those kids born during the Long Peace years (1945 to the present), have been lulled into a superficial sense of security, peace and progress. Buttressed by robust rule of law, increasing international trade, technological advance, yoga and mango-passion-frappuccinos, life for them entails relatively undisturbed happiness under clear, summer skies — including the prospect or reality of a decent career, loving relationships, a nice home or two and, maybe, 2.5 kids.

    The troubles that ravaged the lives of their grandparents (mass poverty, war, nationalism, racism, religious pogroms and ethnic cleansing), are largely forgotten and may as well be the stuff of legend, if not dusty history books. If they do encounter any of these problems, they do so vicariously via the news channel reporting on distant places in Africa, SE Asian, South America and the Middle East, or, if brave enough, by volunteering overseas.

    Which is not to say that many of these modern kids don’t have their own problems; they do. They have a tonne of so-called 1st World Problems: whether to switch from Facebook to Google+; how to achieve “work/life” balance that “works” for them; how they wish next week was “here already” — a three week holiday in the quieter parts of South America awaits.

    What the anti-gay attacks in Tiblisi, and elsewhere around the world, or the rise of far-right parties (who are often homophobic, too) in parts of Europe, for that matter, remind us of is this: mass poverty, war, nationalism, racism, religious pogroms and ethnic cleansing is still very much part of the human mix — including 1st World humans.

    65 odd years after the terror of WWII is a blink of the eye in Evolutionary timescales. The Long Peace is a pico-second in terms of the history of human cruelty. What we see happening in Tiblisi could be happening anywhere in the world.

    Which is all to say: in the time that it takes to update your FB status or book a flight to Tibet, what is happening to gays in one part of the world, or to women and children in another, or non-believers or heretics or political or ethnic minorities in a third, could happen to you. Those who forget history are doomed to be reminded of it, eventually.

  4. Slightly off-topic, but have you noticed how as soon as that “1st World Prosperity” seems threathened, the bigotry comes rushing out? Just look at Greece. How many times have we all heard during an economic crisis that “the government shouldn’t waste time with social issues since there are bigger problems”? That is as fallacious an argument as you can conjure, and yet, we keeping hearing it.

    • In reply to #7 by thebaldgit:

      So once again we see religion at the head of a campaign of homophobia despite its apologists insisting that it is not in any way homophobic.

      To be fair, homosexuality was outlawed under the Soviet system. While the irrationality and fervor of Stalinism can be compared to religion, stupidity is not exclusive to a particular set of myths.

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