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Georgia: Attack on Vegan Café Opens New Front in Culture War

A movie screening on May 29 at Tbilisi’s vegetarian restaurant Kiwi Café, seen here on opening night on July 4, 2015, was disrupted by sausage-wielding assailants, who threw chunks of grilled meat into diners’ dishes and came to blows with staff. The café claims the more than one dozen assailants created “an anti-vegan provocative action.” (Photo: Kiwi Café)

Sausage is the new weapon of choice in a simmering culture war in Georgia.
 
On May 29, assailants brandishing sausage burst into the tiny vegan Kiwi Café, a countercultural outpost in Tbilisi’s Old Town, spraying diners and their dishes with chunks of meat and fish, and assaulting café staffers. The clash reportedly spilled out onto the street; the assailants fled before police could arrive.
 
Employees identified the attackers as members of Georgian Power, a nationalist group with perceived skinhead leanings. Giorgi Gegelashvili, a café employee, told Georgian Public Broadcasting that members of the radical group had a history of antagonizing staff and patrons, apparently due to strong opposition to the values that the café supports, which he identified as nihilism and pacifism. “Several days earlier, they attacked one of our friends and customers, cursed at him and spit into his face, and threatened to stage a pogrom at the café,” Gegelashvili said.
 

To read the full story

Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi. He is a frequent contributor to EurasiaNet.org's Tamada Tales blog.

Georgia: Attack on Vegan Café Opens New Front in Culture War

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