Bulgarian Capital Sofia Braces for Fresh Mass Rallies

Domestic | January 10, 2014, Friday // 09:18|  views

The protests against the Socialist-endorsed government in Bulgaria have been going on for over six months. Photo BGNES

Bulgarians in the capital Sofia say they are going to stage a very large anti-government protest on Friday, January 10.

The date is chosen to commemorate January 10, 1997, when citizens stormed the building of the Parliament and toppled the government of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and of Prime Minister, Zhan Videnov.

The event starts Friday at 10 am on the square in front of the Parliament, according to the organizers from their Facebook group. Initially, it was called "Solemn End of Peaceful Protests," but was later renamed to "We Now Also Do It for Our Basic Freedoms."

The organizers urge people to join and say the protest must get radical now, but without violence and injuries.

Due to expectations of radicalization of the rally, there is increased police presence and upped security measures in downtown Sofia.

There will be two more demonstrations in the Bulgarian capital on Friday.

One is organized by the National Citizens' Initiative against Corruption, for Fair Justice and Rule of Law and is entitled "Let's speak the truth about justice in Bulgaria." At 9:00 am, the demonstrators will go to the headquarters of the public Bulgarian National Television (BNT), and at 11 pm – to the Ministry of Justice.

Bulgaria's nationalist party Ataka will also stage a protest. It will be held outside the US Embassy in Sofia to honor the victims of the Allied bombing raid which occurred on January 10, 1944.

The protests seeking the resignation of the Socialist-endorsed Cabinet of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski started on June 14 in response to the scandalous appointment of media mogul Delyan Peevski as Chair of the State Agency for National Security (DANS).

The rallies continue, despite the fact that the number of protesters has decreased substantially.

In early October, students in a number of cities across Bulgaria started staging sit-ins at universities. The protesting students staged partial or full blockades at university buildings, demanding the resignation of the socialist-led coalition government, the dissolution of Parliament and early elections.

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Tags: Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, antigovernment, protests, rallies, Socialist-endorsed government, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Delyan Peevski, State Agency for National Security, DANS


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