Extremists rushed into a vegan restaurant in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Sunday and threw meat at customers.
Witnesses said the ultranationalists angrily entered the Kiwi Café, which does not serve meat or fish, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. They were described as wearing sausages around their necks and carrying slabs of meat on sticks.
The clash spilled onto the street outside, and neighbors joined in the fight. It was not clear who was fighting who, RFE/RL.com reported. Minor injuries were reported.
On the café Facebook page, staff described the attackers as neo-Nazis. Employees were quoted as linking the attackers to the skinhead group called Georgian Power.
That organization denied it was involved on Monday.
The Facebook post said the assailants asked neighbors about the restaurant weeks before the attack. They asked if the restaurant was a place for foreigners or if customers were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
One witness wrote that the attackers ate grilled meat in front of customers. The post said the attackers also threw meat, sausages and fish. A fight between customers and attackers started after the food was thrown.
Some in Europe have linked the restaurant incident to a new round of culture wars. On one side are young people seeking to draw closer to Western Europe and its lifestyles.
On the other side are neo-Nazis or skinheads, who resist influence from Western culture in the former Soviet bloc country.
I’m Bruce Alpert.
Words in This Story
vegan – n. a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals
ultranationalists – n. a group who is very loyal to their country and would commit terrible acts to the country’s citizens
sausages -- n. meats that are ground up and stuffed into a case that looks like a balloon
neo-Nazis – n. a group that believes in the ideas and policies of Hitler's Nazis and sometimes commits violent acts
gay – adj. sexually attracted to someone who is the same sex
lesbian – n. a woman who is sexually attracted to other women
bisexual – adj. sexually attracted to both men and women
transgender – adj. have a sexual identity that is not clearly male or clearly female
skinhead – n. a young white person who belongs to a gang whose members shave their heads and have racist beliefs