Ongoing protests in Bulgaria

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[via ROAR magazin]

Things are heating up in Bulgaria once again. After more than 160 days of consecutive protests demanding the resignation of the government, the resistance movement has been revitalized not only by last months occupation of Sofia University’s main building, but also by the Labour Unions who joined the demonstrators in their thousands on Wednesday. Students who were carrying cardboard “arms” to symbolically attack the police, were met with tear gas and police violence. All solidarity for our Bulgarian comrades who remain defiant and refuse to give up before their demands are met. #ДАНСwithme #occupysu

One thought on “Ongoing protests in Bulgaria

  1. The student protests in Bulgaria and university occupations have one principal demand: the immediate resignation of the socialist-led government installed in June and snap elections.

    Notable in the current protests is no articulation of the need for ‘MOVING BEYOND CAPITALISM’ in its present forms. Go to any country in Western Europe: you will find protest against the system also reflects and expresses that desire. It is central to certain currents in the Occupy movement in North America and Blockupy (http://blockupy-frankfurt.org/en/ ) in Germany. But not in Bulgaria.

    It is obvious: snap parliamentary elections in BG will solve nothing in the present morass, given the existing electoral system. Most likely a center-right coalition will retake power. This is what GERB (the large neolib party formerly in autocratic power 2009-2013) and the newly formed rightwing Reformist Bloc are counting on.

    The students subjectively may want some vague ‘transformation’ to a ‘normal West European capitalist country’ where they will find employment and not have to emigrate — but objectively their protests are serving the parties of the center-right and its return to state power. That eventuality holds out even less hope for employment and better incomes in the unending post-socialist freefall and its immiseration. On & on.

    In socialist Bulgaria, there was full employment, however achieved. But this generation of Bulgarian students have been so inoculated against Marxist and social-anarchist ideas that they fail to recognize the need to raise anti-capitalist demands and broader programmatic visions.

    UNION PROTEST NOV. 20: The KNSB-organized union protests called for a more intensive social program by the present government, NOT its resignation. Foolish protesting students actually clashed directly with the protesting union members in central Sofia, criticizing their protest because it did not demand immediate new elections [!]. This the student myopia.

    The poorest of the poor in Bulgaria, the Roma, are notably absent from anti-government protest. The students raise no demandas about the situation of the impoverished here. Many pensioners who live on the very edge reject the present protests, as do the so-called ‘working poor’ in Bulgaria, with monthly incomes less than 170 Euros a month, the lowest in Europe. And students are not protesting on their behalf.

    Anti-socialist slogans (such as ‘red trash’, ‘red mafia’) are common in the protests by Sofia residents and students. Where among student protests elsewhere in Europe are anti-socialist slogans being raised? Where among protests are people afraid to carry red banners!? Only the KNSB union protest Nov. 20 had red banners.

    Students and other protesters have repeatedly caledl for an end to ‘corruption’ and political parties that serve different private and corporate interests and ‘oligarchies’ — that is understandable but remains an integral feature of neoliberal parties everywhere across the capitalist world.

    What is needed are concerted efforts to build new movements and party formations to the clear left of the neoliberal Bulgaria Socialist Party. That is not happening.

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