My rule is to post every other day, but with the current political events happening in this country I’m breaking the rule. The Dance for Our Freedom youth protest continued today on the Freedom Square in front of the Parliament building, click here for yesterday’s report. Even though we kept it very peaceful, we still received some backlash.
The protest started at 15:00 (GMT+4) on Sunday, May 12th, with only a handful of people. I myself arrived there around 17:00 and climbed to the top of the stairs, since the crowd was still not big at the time. As the night progressed people started arriving, and soon enough we had hundreds of people of all ages protesting for freedom. We kept calm, we made speeches, we stood there together as one.
Everything was fine, and luckily we had the police on our side. I am more than grateful to them for keeping us all safe. Because even though were were standing there promoting peace, a group of right-wing extremists who are known for their homophobia and fascist tendencies came to oppose us.
First they tried to sneak into our protest and start fights there. The police didn’t break the line. Instead these people kept cursing us out, holding their middle fingers in the air. See the video of one of the provocateurs below.
It didn’t end there. A bunch of them came together to protest. They were all on the other side of the street being blocked by the police. But we could all see their middle fingers in the air, hear them cursing us out, telling us to leave, calling us perverts. But we raised our hands in the air showing them peace signs. We were all screaming “peace” (Geo: მშვიდობა), whistling and screaming to drown out their homophobic and hateful declamations.
The police kicked them off the premises very soon, and created a huge barricade around us. They were standing in lines of three at every possible entrance to the street, not letting anyone inside. Unfortunately a lot of our supporters couldn’t get in either. We thought everything was going great until all of these right-wing supporters came running back. With my own two eyes I saw up to a hundred people running at full speed at the police, who didn’t even budge. And there they were, fighting their way through, still cursing and screaming, holding their middle fingers up in the air. We didn’t fall for the provocation. We were standing there laughing. So to protest their hateful lifestyle, we turned on the music.
It was a rave-olution. We were achieving freedom with the freest form of expression: dance. This group of extremists wouldn’t leave. But it didn’t break our spirit, quite the opposite. Now we were more fired up than ever to stop this discrimination. We just want freedom and peace for us all.
I stayed there all day, and even though these people kept trying to break in, we stayed together as a team. Towards the end of the night, police even brought water cannons to keep the angry crowd away from us, luckily they weren’t used. We were demanding answers from the government, and only recently we got them. I’m writing this around 1 am, and the director of Ministry of Internal Affairs spoke live in front of the crowd about an hour ago. He apologized for what happened at the nightclubs, he said that they will do everything to keep peace, to keep fighting drugs, and to make everyone comfortable in this city, regardless of their sexual orientation, religious views, or anything else. He only asked us to put the protest on hiatus for the coming week, to go to work, and to stay away from aggression. We agreed to these terms, and told them if our demands aren’t truly met, we will continue the protest next Saturday. Hopefully it won’t come to that.
I want to thank everyone that was there, I want to thank everyone that kept fighting for our basic human rights. The people won, the government won, and hopefully we can put an end to this hateful lifestyle that the other side is promoting.