Protests in Bulgaria, day 76: Grand National Uprising 3

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On day 76 (September 22), the protest was under the banner “Grand National Uprising” 3, as the organisers from the Poisonous Trio announced earlier. The demands remain unchanged: resignation of the government and the Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev; introduction of machine voting at elections; changes to the judicial system.

Shortly before 23:00, on the sixth hour after the start of the protest, there were clashed between the demonstrators and the police. In front of the old building of the Parliament, protesters four or five times tried to go through the police cordon of gendarmerie officers equipped with shields and helmets. There were four clashes. Protesters were throwing glass bottles, two firework bombs, eggs, one of them threw a cobble stone. The last clash was about 23:20. An injured woman was taken by an ambulance. For the time being, it is not known whether she was a police officer or a protester. Shortly after that, a thick cordon of police officers surrounded the whole perimeter around the “Tsar Osvoboditel” monument and called the protesters to disperse. The crowd responded and fewer people remained in the square.

Around 23:30, the situation at the protest was clam. The gendarmerie officers set aside their shields. Around 21:30, there was tension when Tihomir Vassilev from “Izoravi se BG” (Stand up BG) together with one of the protest organisers, Arman Babykian and protesters tried to go through the police cordon in order to visit, according to them, one of the most significant Christian monument Alexander Nevski Cathedral. After 21:00, protesters marched to the old building of the Parliament.

As at 20:00, there was no tension or incidents. Traffic in the region was blocked.

One of the organisers of the protest, lawyer Nikolai Hadzhigenov, called for a master plan for building New Bulgaria. “The main task is to stop political theft and corruption driven by the government and companies close to it; remove the Prosecutor’s office from the judiciary and direct civil control over it, and judicial control over prosecutorial decisions,” Hadzhigenov said.

“Quality education and culture,” another protest organiser Prof. Velislav Minekov said. “The state should start supporting science. Let’s save nature. We need a normal administration. I will insist on e-government. It is up to us. Let’s not allow people without education and morality govern us,” he added.

Arman Babikyan called on all those who have proposals for New Bulgaria to send them by e-mail, which they project on the facade of the Parliament. Photo credit: BNT/BGNES

In the Triangle of Power, the protesters spread out a banner with the colours of the Bulgarian flag, on which is written in black letters “resignation”. At the start of the protest, around 17:00, there was enhanced police presence in the area of the Triangle of Power. Access check points were in place. Protests were allowed to the area after check of their luggage. The police counducted checks for dangerous objects in the perimeter of the protest. Shortly before the start of the protests, the police also did checks in the tent camps of the protesting mothers from the “System Kills Us” initiative.

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