Sofia University Students Pledge to Continue Anti-Govt Blockade

Domestic | October 28, 2013, Monday // 19:13|  views

Hundreds of anti-graft protesters gathered in front of the university Monday afternoon to express their support for the student occupation. Photo by Protestna Mrezha's Facebook page

The students who occupied Bulgaria’s largest university as part of a protest against the country’s embattled government have declared that the blockade will continue.

“We will continue the occupation. This form has been successful so far, and we will not give up on it until we succeed,” the protesting Sofia University students said in a declaration on Monday.

The declaration was spread immediately after university administrators held an emergency meeting to discuss how to handle the blockade and the cancellation of classes it has triggered.

The university’s Academic Council called for an end to the occupation – even though it declared it “understands and backs the motives of the students.”

Several hundred students blocked access to Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" last week, demanding the dissolution of Parliament and calling for new elections.

Students from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, the private New Bulgarian University and the university in Veliko Tarnovo have now joined the protest. It has been also reported that students from the "Paysiy Hilendarski" University in the second largest city of Plovdiv, from the Musical Academy, from the Visual Arts Academy, and from the University of Local and World Economy, all in Sofia, are getting ready to launch blockades.

The protests were triggered by the Constitutional Court’s controversial decision to confirm the status of notorious media mogul Delyan Peevski as Member of Parliament earlier in October.

On June 14, Peevski was elected and swore in as chair of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security, a move that prompted massive anti-corruption protests in EU’s poorest member state.

The appointment was canceled, but protesters proceeded to demand the government’s resignation over its suspected ties with oligarchs. The demonstrations were later fueled by a number of other controversial appointments and by wider concerns about corruption.

Monday marks the 136th consecutive day of anti-government rallies in Sofia.

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Tags: protests, blockade, occupation, lecture hall, Sofia University, protesters, Plamen Oresharski, Constitutional Court, Delyan Peevski, corruption, students, Occupy


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