Georgia’s rave revolution – BBC News

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this is a story about police raid welcome to Tbilisi Georgia capital there is a booming music scene here built by the country’s pro-western you with clubs that are a safe space for LGBT 303 and we need to be free but they facing resistance versus so when 10,000 Raveis took to the streets dancing became a political act I wanted to find out what drove their protest and who is backing violent right-wing extremist who showed up in force illumination torn between Russia and Europe This is the story of Georgia’s Ray Revolution underneath the dunamis football stadium in the heart of PDC Georgia’s biggest electronic music Club Bastiani the maintenance for swimming pool can dance floor in a real place in Philly see where LGBT people are welcome he’s one of the club’s Founders we’re preparing for the biggest night since the race so we are now setting up the equipment and sound system this is the rate he was talking about inmate hundreds of police Stoned by siani and another lgbt-friendly club over three months of operation in a Crackdown on drugs the Special Forces waiting right here and can you imagine when you realized that’s in the in the darkness it’s 1 a.m. and there’s somebody was machine guns real machine guns so even screaming to you I don’t know how we feel preserving our mine it’s not a secret you still in the country all of them are imported so they should Target the borders not the people on the Dance Floor all over the owners of the club itself detained outside the club by a policeman I was asking them to let me down frames in the whole city within hours thousands of people have taken to the streets to stand up for their freedom to express themselves and soon the Protist stupid phone of a rave we found the power in front of the Ptolemy when I raise my head like in saw those like 20,000 people dancing I was almost crying according to the old mine movement was showing it but it was on his group’s who turned up in force this is Jorge cheerleader leader of the fascist group Georgian National Unity we wanted to find out what was motivating them and why they found the rate outside Parliament so expensive we arrange to meet by Metro station last time I’m at these guys one of them had an air pistol on him so I’m not quite sure what to expect from this meeting hello but they need a Jewish Eliza wasn’t there are you did you call me so okay they didn’t want to be interviewed so we had quite an interesting situation now I I met with the far-right group that leaders were detained we can see that the plain clothes police also in the area and to the far-right group they said that it’s not safe for them to talk to us so I can I can clearly identify like some of their policeman that here in this area in black T-shirt we called the police to find out what happened to George rain you know how this is really help Nike contact and said he was detained because the police didn’t want him to speak to the BBC to meet him the next day in his apartment Flex do realize that the symbols that you’re showing us some people might find it really offencive before it was National Socialist Associated no problem no problem no problem find so expensive about these protests why did you decide to turn up before the clear to your left is prophase they pass the only straight they wear demanding also LGBT propagandhi we showed them and everyone else said to agenda belongs to this country to nationality my associated with the Georgia Nation group is small and amateur they weren’t the only right-wing extremists that turned up at the protest why these far-right groups have been gaining confidence to stand against the Liberals and who is backing down this side of just recently created and established organization to counter them they would very aggressive anti-corruption organization Transparency International has been researching the rise of groups with Neo-Nazi ideology in Georgia Georgian Marsh we have lots of ngos and individual some of them gets the funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Georgie broke away from the USSR in 1991 but Russia has tried to maintain influence 20% of Georgia’s internationally-recognized territory is still under Russian control we still have very strong girl Russian propaganda in our country about two people feel that Russians are our enemy they are not our friend is using groups in March to counter pro-western views and to spread Ultra conservative values and its neighbor State patients of Russian funding with true this is one of your leaders I showed him Transparency International report it just shows clearly that where the funding comes from that is directly linked to the Russian foreign minister it is not a mistake this is you sitting with Lord keep on easy about them is nothing more Haitian surprised me the Arsenal women I saved you a little guy not the LGBT scene under pressure from the powerful Georgian Orthodox Church just three days after the ravers took to the streets thousands went on a March established to counter International Day against homophobia they call it family Purity Day and the anti-lgbt message is clear and look what happened in 2013 after a few LGBT people try to Stage a demonstration that’s the LGBT activists hiding inside the bus attack by X Orthodox please Orthodox Church is skin to distance itself from far-right groups but their attitude towards the LGBT community I’ll give it to you complainer state Georgia and drug policy targets users not dealers and he has straight to drug laws than in Western Europe if your phone was one pill of ecstasy you go to jail from five to eight years if it’s the active substance over 1 gram like a 16th of ecstasy for instance you go to jail from 8 to 20 years or lifetime LGBT rights activists things to ease drug Louis we don’t want people to abuse drugs we know other ways to help I don’t know what helps not the prison Sunday Special Forces sebastiani was justified so we’re targeting wherever they’re they’re sold it was that search to identify people in Western Europe might be horrified when they see how the police standoff and machine guns at night clubs do you think it’s the best approach that you can use that’s George a striving to become part of the EU I know what number in Berlin clubs in your Beats across and stuff like that when the police is searching for the drugs it’s Justified together we dance together we stand together world famous DJs have spoken in a video of solidarity with the ravers coast strong stand up if I could buy the biggest event since police don’t the club has started 24 hour party activists posting tool about Georges drug Lewis used by the government to control people’s freedom and to construction influence is never far away Westin with like sexual depravity and moral corruption have done dancing into a political act in Georgia Our Generation stuff makes me really proud we’re fighting it and we moved
In May this year, riot police raided the country’s most popular nightclubs prompting thousands of young Georgians to rave in the streets in protest.
But the events also revealed an undercurrent – a clash between liberal youth and conservative far-right groups.
Reporter: Rayhan Demytrie
Film maker: Ed Ram

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