Anti-Govt 'Beach Revolution' Starts in Bulgaria on Day 48

Domestic | July 31, 2013, Wednesday // 09:32|  views

The coffee-drinking anti-government rally in front of the Parliament building in downtown Sofia turned into a beach revolution Wednesday. Photo by journalist Nayo Titzin, Facebook

Bulgarians are protesting once again Wednesday by staging the now-traditional coffee-drinking anti-government rally in front of the Parliament building in downtown Sofia.

Around 50 people have gathered, but more and more are joining in, streaming form adjacent streets, some holding the Bulgarian national flag.

"Tsar Liberator" boulevard is open for traffic for the time being.

Representatives of the recently-launched, predominantly right-wing Reformist Block are organizing an open-air discussion on the government's decision to revise State budget 2013. The Block has voiced open support for the protesters.

Following the earlier announcement that the protest will be turning into a "beach revolution" over the intentions of the Members of the Parliament to go on summer break next Monday, a number of people arrived in bathing suits, carrying beach towels. There are even inflatable pools filled with water.

For the second time in a row demonstrators have gathered Wednesday morning near the headquarters of the opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB. The rally is organized by the civic union "Sila" (Strength) which is mainly known as the engine of the rallies against high fuel prices two years ago.

About 50 people are there as well. They reiterated for the media GERB were the only real opposition and because of that they wanted them to do a better job in the Parliament, but have repeatedly stressed they are against all parliamentary represented parties and against GERB being in power again.

The demonstrators staged again a mock football match with the "Bistritsa Tigers" amateur team, which is the team of GERB leader and former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

Rapper Misho Shamara (Big Sha), the self-proclaimed leader of the pro-government protests is at the rally. He told the bTV reporter that Borisov must go to jail.

The morning protest is to merge with the traditional evening rally, the 48th in a row, starting in front of the Council of Ministers building.

A rally was held Monday evening.

The rally was once again peaceful and no incidents have been reported.

The only violent clashes with riot police occurred last Tuesday night when lawmakers and ministers, working late on the budget revision, were blockaded by protesters inside the Parliament for 8 hours.

The protest traditionally started on Independence square in front of the Council of Ministers building. The gathering hour has been moved recently from 6:30 pm to 8 pm over the scorching heat.

According to the official data of the Interior Ministry, 800 have attended, but media report attendance of up to 4 000.

Many have brought once again their families, children, and dogs.

Independence square and "Dondukov" and "Tsar Liberator" boulevards were closed for traffic.

The rally took its traditional route and moved in the direction of the Parliament and later to Eagles' Bridge.

Many were waiving the national and EU flags and holding various anti-government banners. People were blowing whistles, hissing, and shouting "resignation."

There was very large riot police presence.

The rally dispersed around 10 pm, but small groups of people remained in the vicinity of the Parliament and on Eagles' Bridge.

There is a table near the "Tsar Liberator" monument on the square in front of the Parliament where signatures for the resignation of the Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, are collected. There is also a box for donations for the families of the miners who died in a coal mine collapse in southwestern Bulgaria.

Smaller protests were held in the cities of Plovdiv, Burgas, and Smolyan, among others.

The series of the record-breaking relentless anti-government protests in Bulgaria was triggered by the scandalous appointment of a murky politician and businessman to lead the State Agency for National Security (DANS).

Although the appointment was revoked, the people went on to demand that the Cabinet resign collectively over ties with oligarchs.

Protesters are also calling for Election Code amendments which will guarantee greater representation of the people in Parliament.

The government, however, is firm it will not resign as it has important tasks to accomplish.

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Tags: DANS, State Agency for National Security, Socialist, Plamen Oresharski, Bulgarian government, protests, parliament, rally, anti-government, coffee-drinking, sofia, GERB, Boyko Borisov, bathing suits, beach, revolution, towels, Evsinograd, summer residence, Reformist Block


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