In Sofia, protesters demanded the removal of the Monument to the Soviet Army from the Prince’s Garden. With Bulgarian flags and posters with anti-communist slogans, the organisers demonstrated their attitude towards the monument.
Recordings were played over a sound system in which the topic of Soviet occupation was talked about, and two Soviet flags were burned. The event was guarded by the police.
On the other side, there were several people from the tent camp in support of preserving the monument.
“This monument belongs to the occupiers, the Russian occupiers who declared war, occupied Bulgaria, installed their puppets and exterminated all the intelligentsia,” said one of the first protesters who gathered to demand the removal of the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia.
“As you know, the communist regime has been declared illegal and this thing should not be here. As a person from a family that suffered from communist crimes, I come today to express my position,” said Petar, who also supports the idea of May 24 being the Bulgarian national day a holiday, not March 3.
“Our goal was to state that a large part of the Bulgarian people does not want communist totems to continue to desecrate our public space. We gathered on September 9 because it is one of the blackest dates in Bulgarian history, certainly the darkest one in our recent history,” added Plamen Dimitrov, representative of the Bulgarian National Union, who together with the BOEC movement are the organizers of the event. The old Bulgarian anthem “Shumi Maritsa” was sounded, stories about the atrocities of the regime after September 9, 1944 were played as well.
Two flags of the Soviet Union were also burned. Often insulting remarks crossed the supporters of the removal of the monument and the people of the tent camp, who insisted that the monument be preserved.
Among them was the leader of the “Levitsata” Maya Manolova:
“From the intention of moving it, they have now declared it dangerous. The chief architect issued an order, which we are appealing – that it is collapsing, that it must be surveyed.”
A large number of policemen were gathered in the Prince’s Garden to prevent tension between the two groups.