LGBT Groups Join Hydropower Protest, Ask Leaders to Condemn Homophobic Violence

Two key local LGBT rights groups, the Tbilisi Pride and the Equality Movement reiterated their support for the protest against Namakhvani Hydropower Plant, now held in the capital city Tbilisi, but called on the protest leaders to explicitly denounce “acts of violence” against LGBT persons by far-right individuals in attendance at the May 23-24 rallies. “We believe the demands of protest organizers are fair,” Tbilisi Pride said in a May 24 statement, highlighting that state contract on Namakhvani HPP is “exploitative” and allows the private investor to earn profits by utilizing land, water, and other natural resources, while the populace receives ecologic, social and economic damages. “It is extremely important for us to have the opportunity to express our solidarity and support to this cause,” said Tbilisi Pride, adding that movements fighting for fairness should “disavow these extremist, violent groups and explicitly denounce the violent acts committed by them during the rallies.”