Meat the Fokkers
June 1, 2016 – A cafe that would be considered commonplace in hipster neighborhoods across the United States is feeling maliciously targeted in Tbilisi, Georgia. Kiwi-Cafe, located on a traditional street in the capital which opposes Western values and influences, was attacked Sunday evening when men came inside throwing grilled meats, sausages and fish.
The incident escalated from that point and became physical. The brawl bled out onto the street and neighbors came to the scene. Kiwi-Cafe claims that the neighbors were of no help and took the side of the opposing group; one account shared said a knife-wielding neighbor took a friend of the cafes by the hair and pushed her face into the ground.
“At these painful moments, when we were the most vulnerable, they decided to attack. None of them knew what exactly happened, what was the point of the conflict and who provoked it – they were not interested to know, and they are still not interested now,” the cafe wrote of the neighbors. “Finally, they had a chance to could find a reason to express their baseless hatred toward us – and they started to blame us, although we were the victims of an absurd and unintelligent provocation by fascists.”
Police were called but according the cafe they too acted with aggression and placed no blame on the meat throwers.
While the episode could be seen as a prank, both the Kiwi-Cafe and human rights expert Giorgi Gogia note there is still a large resistance to Western influence in Georgia and the cafe embodies that impact.
“A majority of the country are pro-E.U. and pro-NATO. But Georgia remains a conservative country, the Georgian Orthodox church is very influential, and there is pushback against foreign influence.” Gogia said. “The Kiwi Café attracts hipsters, gays, people who are different, and they symbolize liberal Western values.”
The cafe is calling for support and continued patronage and are getting a mixed bag of responses online.