Police used tear gas for protest actions in Sofia

The protesters tried to overturn gendarmerie cars and threw chicken eggs, stones and small money at the police.

Police used tear gas for a mass protest called the “Great People’s Uprising” held on Wednesday in the Bulgarian capital on the first day of the People’s Assembly (Parliament) of Bulgaria after the summer vacations. According to a TASS correspondent, the protesters tried to overturn gendarmerie cars, threw chicken eggs, stones and petty cash at the police, attempted to break the police blockade, after which the police began using tear gas and making arrests. Several policemen and journalists were injured in the action.

“Among the protesters were provocateurs who used tear gas against police. Our actions were a response. We repeatedly called on the protesters to protest peacefully, but the aggression against the police increased, 20 of them were injured and poisoned with tear gas. If the situation worsens, we will be forced to use physical force. I call for calm and civil peace, at the moment the police act as passively as possible”, –  Director of the Moscow Police Georgi Khadzhiev said at an urgent briefing. According to NovaTV channel, the police have arrested eight protesters.

As early as at night, a police blockade was put up around the new parliament building, a former party house where MPs were gathering for the first time after a lengthy repair, in order to protect people’s elected representatives from popular protests. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who will speak at the opening session of the parliament, and Vice-President Iliana Iotova did not need the guards; they walked freely through the ranks of the protesters and were greeted with applause and welcoming shouts.

Anti-government mass protests in Bulgaria continue on day 56. Rallies and processions are held daily in Sofia and other cities in the country, with hundreds to several thousand participants. Anti-government protesters insist on the resignation of the government and the country’s chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev. Key intersections remain blocked in the Bulgarian capital, including near Independence Square, near the University of Sofia and on the Orlov Bridge on Tsaregrad Highway, where tent camps are located. Protests are also held on Wednesday in other Bulgarian cities, where traffic has been blocked in some places.

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