LGBT+ campaigners in Georgia called off plans to stage a pride march on Monday after violent groups opposed to the event stormed and ransacked their office in the capital Tbilisi and targeted activists and journalists.
Activists launched five days of LGBT+ Pride celebrations last Thursday and had planned a "March for Dignity" on Monday in central Tbilisi, shrugging off criticism from the church and conservatives who said the event had no place in Georgia.
The march plan was disrupted on Monday by counter protesters before it could begin. Video footage posted by LGBT+ activists showed their opponents scaling their building to reach their balcony where they tore down rainbow flags and were seen entering the office of Tbilisi Pride.
Other footage showed a journalist with a bloodied mouth and nose and a man on a scooter driving at journalists in the street.
Campaigners said some of their equipment had been broken in the attack and that they had been forced to cancel.
"No words can explain my emotions and thoughts right now. This is my working space, my home, my family today. Left alone in the face of gross violence," Tamaz Sozashvili, one LGBT activist, tweeted.
The interior ministry urged activists to abandon their march for security reasons. It said in a statement that various groups were gathering and protesting on Monday and that journalists had been targeted with violence.