A raging mob in Tbilisi chased away a downtown rally designed to commemorate the May 17 International Day against Homophobia. “Kill them! Tear them to pieces!” yelled the agitated crowd as police struggled to evacuate a handful of gay-rights supporters from the Georgian capital's central Freedom Square.
It was a scene of medieval mob violence, as thousands of Georgians -- mostly young men, but also robed priests and women in headscarves -- stormed through a police cordon and went pursuing the activists. “Where are they? Don’t let them leave alive!” screamed frenzied men, as they took over the square, outnumbering and overpowering police troops.
Police barely managed to herd some of the LGBT activists into municipal buses, before angry protesters surrounded the vehicles. The crowd hit, threw stones and followed the buses as they pushed their way out of the square.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi.