TBILISI, GEORGIA – A vegan cafe in Georgia came under attack by ‘pro-meat protesters ‘ who threw sausages and fish at diners during a foreign-language film screening, provoking a fight which spilled into the street.
More than a dozen men entered the vegan Kiwi Cafe in the capital of Tbilisi ‘wearing sausages around their necks and carrying skewers of meat’ on Sunday night.
When the men refused to leave, they were forcibly removed by staff, which prompted a brawl in the street between vegans and pro-meat protesters – with neighbors joining in fighting both sides.
The cafe was set to show an English-language film on Sunday evening when a group of men entered, reportedly wearing sausages as necklaces and holding skewers of grilled meat and fish.
‘It all started when they came into the cafe speaking and laughing loudly and didn’t care when we asked them to be quiet and not to disturb the people who came to watch the film,’ the Kiwi Cafe said in a statement.
‘Continuing to act loudly and disturbingly, they pulled out some grilled meat, sausages, fish and started eating them and throwing them at us, and finally they started to smoke.
Staff at the cafe claim the men are known as ‘neo-Nazis and supporters of fascist ideas’, and say the group had come to the cafe to ‘provoke and disrespect us’.
The men were asked to leave the Kiwi Cafe, but reportedly refused and instead began to taunt staff and customers.
‘They didn’t leave and started yelling, laughing, and talking to us sarcastically. They said things like “why are you so aggressive? What about love?” showing their irrespective attitude to vegans and our ideas.
‘We started to push these people out of cafe, already by force, as the absurd of situation started to pass all boundaries.’
According to the Kiwi Cafe staff, the argument continued in the street and attracted a number of locals living nearby.
A brawl ensued involving both the vegans and pro-meat protesters, as well as neighbours, who are believed to have been fighting both sides simultaneously.
In their statement, the Kiwi Cafe staff claims that their neighbours already had a negative attitude towards them due to their veganism, and said they took the opportunity to attack.
They claim one members of staff was grabbed by a local man ‘by her hair and pushed her on the street, pushed her to the asphalt with her face toward the ground.’
By the time police arrived at the scene, the sausage-wielding protesters had already left and officers briefly detained cafe staff members for interviews, Radio Free Europe reports.
Minor injuries were reported, but it is not known if any further police action will be taken.