Tensions Heighten in Bulgaria's Garmen amid Protest over Roma Buildings

Society | June 2, 2015, Tuesday // 14:13|  views

Photo by BGNES

Tensions are mounting in the village of Garmen, southwestern Bulgaria, as a protest of locals against illegal Roma buildings is entering into its third hour.

Protesters, who started what they called a peaceful rally heading to a Roma neighborhood where most of the buildings are illegal, started pelting riot police with beer cans, with some demonstrators calling for an "invasion" into the neighborhood to stop "harassment" on Bulgarians by Roma people, Focus News Agency has reported.

In the firs hour (the event began at noon), over 500 people have gathered to take part in the protest, with rockers from across the country joining, according to Dnevnik.bg.

Protesters are calling for an end to "lawlessness", with many of them claiming they are often harassed and assaulted by members of the Roma community that lives in the Kremikovtsi neighborhood.

They also accuse local authorities of excessive tolerance and of turning a blind eye of actions of Roma people, who built their dwellings in Kremikovtsi without having purchased the land.

Tuesday's protest comes after the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum which Garmen residents imposed on authorities to demolish the buildings.

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Tags: Garmen, Roma, protest, demonstration, Bulgaria, Kremikovtsi


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