'Neo-Nazi' supporters target Tbilisi vegan cafe

On Sunday over a dozen men stormed a cafe in Tbilisi, throwing grilled fish, meat and sausages on guests and workers before fighting spilled onto the streets.

Photo by: Courtesy
Photo by: Courtesy

The Kiwi Cafe in Tbilisi.

Updated Jun 3, 2016

A vegan cafe in the centre of the Georgian capital Tbilisi was attacked on Sunday by far-right extremists who threw grilled fish, meat and sausages on guests and workers.

According to witnesses, over a dozen men stormed the Kiwi Cafe during a movie streaming session and began insulting patrons before throwing them with meat.

A statement issued through the cafe’s Facebook page claims the attackers said they "were neo-Nazis, participants of Bergmann movement, who support fascist ideas."

Staff asked the group to leave, but they refused and the quarrel turned violent and spilled onto the street.

A statement from the cafe said, "We said that they must leave because this is a vegan cafe and because it is our place and we don't want them to provoke a conflict with their behavior. But they didn't leave and started yelling, laughing, and talking to us sarcastically."

The post also claimed that some neighbours joined the street fight to express their anger towards the eatery and its patrons.

"One of the neighbours showed a knife. He said, 'come out, we will figure everything out.' Our friend said that no one will go anywhere. Then one of the extremists took her by her hair and pushed her on the street, pushed her face towards the ground."

The eatery alleges that it had already been the target of attacks in the neighbourhood because of its supoort for the LGBT community, music preferences, political stance and anti-meat stance.

The cafe had recently become a meeting point for foreigners due to its English-speaking staff.

Police were called, but the assailants had left the scene by the time they arrived.

The cafe alleges that police claimed staff and guests were responsible for the violence.

Police apparently detained some staff for questioning.  

Cafe staff say they'll continue running the business and "accept all customers regardless of their nationality, race, appearance, age, gender, sexual orientation, or religious views."

TRTWorld and agencies