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Balkans In Crisis

Our correspondent in Sofia gives a picture from the ground in the latest anti-gov protest

Money-grabbing is an art-form and politics are a cutting-edge, avant garde performance. These are the heavy feathers breaking the back of Bulgaria. While these tricks might skilfully conceal the government’s retrogressive nature to an outsider, they are no longer tolerated by its citizens.

In spite of being in a long-term, so-called "transition" from oppressive Communism into a Democratic system, the government still manipulates the generally submissive nature of its people. On June 14, influential TV and press tycoon Delian Peevski was elected as a chairman of the State Agency for National Security. Implausibly, a figure tightly connected to the media was given access to the most confidential government information. People took to the streets within hours of the government's scandalous vote of approval.

We are just tired of being treated like a herd of flesh without moral values

20,000 people voiced their vast dissatisfaction with the controversially elected new cabinet’s government. They had underestimated their electorate. Despite being citizens of the poorest country within the European Union, we do not resent how difficult it is to make ends meet, we are just tired of being treated like a herd of flesh without moral values. A herd, which could be manipulated and pushed to the edge of extinction due to its intense immigration for the last twenty-three years. No excuses are acceptable at this point.

Twenty-eight days later, the first "Resignation!" slogan was carried through the capital`s streets. Not a single stone was thrown, protestors and police did not clash. We took a civilised approach, rejecting coercion and showing our true nature to the ignorant politicians. Arterial roads were blocked and turned into an arena where all were free to speak – young and old united by this idealistic cause. We have demonstrated that we are ready for a revolution – a new begging, which is finally going to bring an end to this sedentary era of Bulgarian history.

More gatherings have occured since the protest – on the roads, during ball games and while playing music and celebrating our culture. We defy the politicians and their attempts to belittle our resilient protest in the media, claiming that we have become a national joke – on Sunday, 50,000 people went out on the streets.

Our polite, little society has deserted its tyrannical leaders. Soon the notorious corruption, the injustice and the incestuous bond between government and organised crime will be over.

Photography by Mihail Novakov