A group of far-right extremists attacked a vegan café in the centre of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi by throwing grilled meat, sausages and fish at customers and staff inside the venue. More than a dozen men launched the attack on staff and customers in the vegan Kiwi Café in the city centre before the disturbance spilled out onto the street.
The owners of the café said the group, who had "prepared an anti-vegan provocative action" entered the café and started to act violently as they were showing a film inside. The group, reportedly members of the ultra-nationalist Georgian Ultras and described as "neo-Nazis" who "support fascist ideas" by the café, began to hurl the meat at those inside.
The group were eventually forced out onto the street and neighbouring residents became involved before police were called. According to Georgia Today, eyewitnesses complained that officers did not take the claims seriously by the café owners and instead believed they were responsible for the violence because of their alternative appearance including "piercings and Mohawk hairstyles".
In a statement posted to Facebook, the owners of the Kiwi Café said: "Locals took the side of fascists just because in their view we are 'different'. They started to say that we are guilty not only of this conflict, but also because we broke their so-called peace – peace of watching TV and eating sunflower seeds. They said that we must leave 'their' street, leave the country, do not 'establish our procedure', because in Georgia it's not accepted to act like we do. They didn't want to hear anything – they yelled [and] threatened us."
They added: "The police finally showed up, one of policemen was very aggressive, pushed us, yelled with anger, said that we are guilty of what had happened. Some of café workers were brought to the police office for interrogation.
"In spite of the situation and everyday negative attitude to us and other people who visit us, [the] café is continuing to work and is ready to accept all custumers regardless of nationality, race, appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious views, etc. Equality is the most important thing for us."
No one is reported to have sustained any injuries during the incident.