Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgian Opposition Demonstrators Confronted By Antigay, Pro-Russian Protesters

First LGBT Pride March Held In Georgia Despite Security Concerns
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:01:07 0:00

WATCH: LGBT activists staged Georgia's first pride parade amid heavy security in the capital, Tbilisi on July 8, after the event was halted earlier in the day due to security concerns.

TBILISI -- Demonstrators demanding the resignation of Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia have been confronted by antigay and pro-Russian activists on the 20th day of protests in Tbilisi.

The rival demonstrators spent the night on Tbilisi's Rustaveli Avenue on July 8-9.

Dozens of antigay activists gathered near the parliament to protest against an LGBT-pride parade that was held on July 8 in Tbilisi.

A small group of pro-Russian activists also joined the antigay demonstrators.

Some scuffles between the rival protest groups were reported overnight, with police deployed nearby to prevent an escalation of violence.

The anti-Gakharia protesters accuse police under the command of the interior minister of using excessive force to break up a June 20 protest against Russian influence in Georgia.

More than 240 people were injured when police fired rubber bullets and water cannons to turn back an angry crowd that was trying to storm parliament.

The protests were sparked by a Russian State Duma deputy who sat in the Georgian parliament speaker's chair while addressing a meeting of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries.

Many Georgians openly voice hostility toward Russia, 11 years after the Russo-Georgian War that resulted in the occupation by Russian military forces of two breakaway Georgian regions -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia.