LGBTQ+ campaigners in the country of Georgia called off plans for a pride march on Monday, after violent groups opposed to the event stormed and ransacked their office and targeted activists and journalists with violence.
Activists launched five days of Pride celebrations last Thursday and had planned a "March for Dignity" on Monday in central Tbilisi, shrugging off criticism from the church and conservatives who said the event had no place in the country.
The march plan was disrupted on Monday by counter-protesters before it could begin. Video footage posted by LGBTQ+ activists showed their opponents scaling their building to reach their balcony where they tore down and ripped up rainbow flags.
The interior ministry urged activists to abandon their march for security reasons, warning that various groups were gathering and protesting.
In the run-up, Georgian media reported that the country's prime minister said he viewed the march as "not reasonable" and that it was not acceptable to most Georgians.
Rights campaigners accused him of emboldening hate groups and condemned the violence.