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A Bunch Of Skinheads Threw Meat Inside A Vegan Café

Patrons of the Kiwi Café in the country of Georgia were reportedly bombarded with grilled meat, sausages, and fish during a screening of Rick and Morty.

Last updated on June 1, 2016, at 10:40 a.m. ET

Posted on May 31, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. ET

People gathered at a small vegan café in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Sunday hoping to enjoy a screening of the cartoon series Rick and Morty in peace. Instead, they found themselves facing down nationalists who objected strongly to their vibe.

The Kiwi Café, which opened in 2015, is an odd sight in its Tbilisi neighborhood — veganism is rare in the country.
Facebook: kiwi.vegan.cafe

The Kiwi Café, which opened in 2015, is an odd sight in its Tbilisi neighborhood — veganism is rare in the country.

The café, which relayed the full story on Monday in a lengthy Facebook post, claimed that several men disrupted the viewing — pulling out all the stops, including meat and cigarettes.

Facebook: kiwi.vegan.cafe

"It all started when they came into the cafe speaking and laughing loudly and didn't care when we asked them to be quiet and not to disturb the people who came to watch the film," the post reads. "Continuing to act loudly and disturbingly, they pulled out some grilled meat, sausages, fish and started eating them and throwing them at us, and finally they started to smoke. Knowing that all of the above is forbidden here, they were just trying to provoke our friends and disrespect us."

A scuffle soon broke out, the post continued, as employees began trying to push the intruders out the door. The fight continued into the street, where, the post read, one of the attackers brandished a knife. Soroush Negahdari, a de-facto manager at the Kiwi Café, told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that no patrons were hurt though several employees had minor injuries. He also provided these exclusive screenshots from a video of the incident:

Kiwi Cafe
Kiwi Cafe

Negahdari told BuzzFeed News in a Skype call that the whole thing happened so quickly that nobody present thought to take photographs. He said a friend had, however, shot a short video and sent him screenshots showing patrons confronting the disruptors. He also said that a neighbor of the café had security cameras that should have caught the altercation, but told police that footage had been erased.

Though initial reports had employees blaming Georgian nationalist group Georgian Power for the confrontation, the group denied any involvement in a statement posted to Facebook.

facebook.com

“Forcing meat upon vegetarians is not our priority," the group said, according to a translation posted on Eurasianet, even going so far as to say that several members are devout vegetarians themselves.

Negahdari said he agreed that no official members of Georgian Power were present that night. He told BuzzFeed News he believed they were instead members of another nationalist group called the "Bergmann Group."

"We know that leader of these guys who was there that night are related and are close friends with Georgian Power," Negahdari said, speaking English. "That's why we associated them and thought it was something planned, but they came and said they were not involved and we try, we want to believe that they didn't have any role in it. But they share lots of similar ideas about nationalism."One of the videos they've posted on YouTube shows members of the Georgian Ultras beating on "Blacks, Turks, and Arabs," as the group describes them in the caption. The Bergmann Group has also "declared war" on the Nigerian students attending a local medical university.
Bergmann Group Facebook

"We know that leader of these guys who was there that night are related and are close friends with Georgian Power," Negahdari said, speaking English. "That's why we associated them and thought it was something planned, but they came and said they were not involved and we try, we want to believe that they didn't have any role in it. But they share lots of similar ideas about nationalism."

One of the videos they've posted on YouTube shows members of the Georgian Ultras beating on "Blacks, Turks, and Arabs," as the group describes them in the caption. The Bergmann Group has also "declared war" on the Nigerian students attending a local medical university.

The Tbilisi police are investigating the incident, according to local media reports, but the café managers seem less than impressed with the officers' conduct during their initial visit on Sunday.

"The police finally showed up, one of policemen was very aggressive, pushed us, yelled with anger, said that we are guilty of what had happened," the café's Facebook post read, adding several of their workers were detained for questioning.More troubling, Negahdari said, is "the feeling that our people and some of the guests didn't feel safe, and were left wondering 'is it OK to go to the café?' and the neighbors complaining about safety."
Vano Shlamov / AFP / Getty Images

"The police finally showed up, one of policemen was very aggressive, pushed us, yelled with anger, said that we are guilty of what had happened," the café's Facebook post read, adding several of their workers were detained for questioning.

More troubling, Negahdari said, is "the feeling that our people and some of the guests didn't feel safe, and were left wondering 'is it OK to go to the café?' and the neighbors complaining about safety."

Kiwi Café, which operates as a co-op with no real owner per se, posted a fundraising request for help during "these trying times."

Negahdari said that any money raised from the PayPal account — which he estimated at a few hundred dollars — would go towards charity, getting the café security cameras of its own, or possibly organizing some form of demonstration on the streets of Tbilisi with other NGOs and groups "against violence which is against people of different sex, gender, skin color.""This is something we are trying to have in Tblisi to tell people it's not fair to be violent to other people just because they are different," he said.
Kiwi Cafe

Negahdari said that any money raised from the PayPal account — which he estimated at a few hundred dollars — would go towards charity, getting the café security cameras of its own, or possibly organizing some form of demonstration on the streets of Tbilisi with other NGOs and groups "against violence which is against people of different sex, gender, skin color."

"This is something we are trying to have in Tblisi to tell people it's not fair to be violent to other people just because they are different," he said.

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