Bulgarian Demonstration in London

The day is 23 June. A fairly nice Sunday for London – cloudy, but dry.

I’m heading to the Bulgarian Embassy to join the demonstration in support o the protests in Bulgaria. My people have finally woken up and I feel it’s my pride and duty to show my support. Walking towards the embassy I passed by a whole long fence with lions on top. I know it’s London, I know it’s a medieval decoration, but lions have been our Bulgarian symbol for so long – Balgarski Lev!

Thousands of people have been every day in the streets of Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv… Every single day after 18:30 there is a peaceful protest. The cause is clear – they want the government to resign. It will be the second resignation for this year, but Bulgarians want a fair voting system and no more corruption. This means new faces to come up on the political stage: all the current political parties are playing a theater in front of the nation and they only follow their own business interests. It’s so unfortunate when those chosen ones that are supposed to work in the name of their country, don’t want to listen to their voters’ voices; when the business oligarchy has reached the levels of the law. They become practically unstoppable.

We can’t do much here in London. It’s Sunday and no one’s answering from the embassy. All we want to do is it make a statement: showing to the world that something is happening and we stand up for it. We want to show our friends and families in Bulgaria that we support them. We want more people to hear and turn more eyes towards our beautiful country.

These kind of events are rarely shown on TV and if they are, usually they get seriously twisted. Look at the protests in Istanbul – the government closed down Internet providers, banned social networking websites, so the people can’t communicate, police started beating, bombing and gassing the peaceful citizens calling them extremists. Look at Brazil – people don’t want Olympic games, but want to be able to pay their bills and have a normal living standard; while what we see on TV is that some hooligans are looting and fighting on the streets. Most media channels are keeping complete silence regarding the events in Bulgaria since January this year. You can never really see these type of events broadcasted, because you’re not supposed to know. The only way you can keep yourself informed, is through your friends and the social networks.

Here is my share of pictures…

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At first there weren’t many people when I arrived 5 minutes after 2 pm. People were gathering in small groups of friends or couples, discussing the events in Bulgaria. Very soon the students came.

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The students are those young bold people that might be studying abroad, but know where they are coming from. They love their country and their friends and families back home and care about the current events. The future generation that is not concerned only about the X-Factor, the latest hit from the favourite band, but are also citizens with opinion and not afraid to show where they stand.

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It was impossible not to notice this amazing family of 4. The 2 little kids – running up and down, screaming “We Love Bulgaria” and “Resignation”; while the dad is explaining why he’s here on that day.

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As I read somewhere in the many Bulgarian blog posts in the latest 2 weeks – the children are watching you. It was windy, there were rain showers a few times, but the kids stood up. And not because their parents told them to, but because they care.

I went alone on the protest, so I had the opportunity to meet and talk to different people. I saw a 3-generation family and I heard their memories of the beginning of the democracy in Bulgaria. I saw parents with kids where the parent spoke in Bulgarian, while the kid replied back in English. I heard so many people that just wanted to share their experience, to say a story, why they left Bulgaria, what they want to change…

Some of them will never go back, because they’ve found a profession realization elsewhere, found love and so on; while others hope that their home land will have a better future and they will bring their children back there.

I’m proud that I’m Bulgarian. I’m glad I met all these other Bulgarians in front of the embassy on Sunday. I know that no matter where they live and what they do, they exist. These intelligent, bright, ambitious and well-informed people, which stand up for their rights, exist!