A vegan cafe in the centre of Tbilisi was shocked to find itself the subject of far-right ire after a group arrived and threw meat on patrons’ plates, leading to a public brawl.
Customers said a group entered the cafe wearing sausages around their necks and carrying slabs of meat on skewers, before attacking customers and staff.
Witnesses described the attackers as “far-right extremists”, and said the clash spilled onto the street outside after the attackers were asked to leave. Minor injuries were reported but the perpetrators fled before police arrived.
A statement issued on Facebook by the Kiwi Cafe on Monday described the incident as “an anti-vegan provocative action” accusing the attackers of being “neo-Nazis” who support “fascist ideas”.
According to the statement, the attackers “pulled out grilled meat, sausages, and fish and started eating them and throwing them at us... they were just trying to provoke our friends and disrespect us.”
The statement also alleged that memberes of group had come to the neighbourhood a month earlier and asked a nearby shopkeeper whether foreigners or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community frequented the cafe.
Launched a year ago, the cafe has become a popular meeting place for foreigners and had been showing English-language episodes of the animated sci-fi sitcom Rick And Morty when the violence broke out.