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Mass public raves in Georgia after police club crackdown

Thousands of ravers took to the streets of Georgia to participate in mass public action against heavy-handed anti-drug raids. Protesters danced to booming drum 'n' bass and techno music outside some of the capital Tbilisi's central landmarks, bringing all traffic to a halt along the city's main thoroughfare, Rustaveli Avenue. "They simply danced," said 24-year-old Nika Oganezovi in a written statement after attending the protest. "I can say only for freedom." Over the weekend of May 13, police raided two of Georgia's most prominent clubs, Bassiani and Cafe Gallery, arresting several people using methods described as heavy-handed by critics. The crackdown occurred after drug-related deaths in the preceding weeks. The ravers faced off against ultranationalists from the Georgian March movement who denounced "sodomites" and "drug propagandists", reported local news site Tabula. The atmosphere between the two opposing groups was reportedly tense. "We were on the cusp of civil confrontation," President Giorgi Margvelashvili said at a press conference on Monday, reported EurasiaNet.
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