The Georgian Orthodox Church is planning to hold a march in Tbilisi on Friday, May 17, to celebrate the Day of Family Purity. Participants are expected to gather at Republic Square at 17:00 (local time) and then march towards Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral, where the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch will offer his blessing. Counterdemonstrations organized by LGBTQ activists are possible along the march route and near the chancellery building.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites. Clashes between rival protesters cannot be ruled out.
On May 17, 2013, several dozen LGBTQ rights activists staging a demonstration in Tbilisi were violently confronted by thousands of anti-LGBTQ protesters, led by priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church. At least 28 people were wounded in the clashes, with anti-LGBTQ protesters beating and throwing rocks at pro-LGBTQ activists.
Individuals in Tbilisi are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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