The January 10 2014 anti-government protest, the 211th day of the continuing campaign, saw the number of police deployed around Parliament far outnumber the protesters.
About 2000 police were deployed in central Sofia, with large-scale checks by police in the area around Sofia University, including all entrances to the Sofia Metro underpass.
Police not only stopped protesters for checks, but also anyone with bulky baggage or whose faces were partly concealed (on the latest day on which thick fog blanketed the capital city).
Organisers of the protests, which want the resignation of the Bulgarian Socialist Party government and fresh elections, also wanted to commemorate the iconic January 10 1997 day of protest against the BSP government of the day that had led the country to financial and economic catastrophe.
But a thick cordon of police and gendarmerie vehicles were placed outside the building of the National Assembly, also preventing the vastly outnumbered protesters from blocking traffic passing in front of the building. However, protesters did manage to briefly block the street in front of the university before being pushed back by police.
The Parliament building was largely empty, with the winter holiday recess continuing until January 15.
Protest organiser Yavor Nikiforov told local media that there were major plans for January 15, when protesters wanted to meet face-to-face with lawmakers to ask them to “account for what they have allowed themselves, all these unscrupulous loans and foolish appointments”.
Responding to the strongly stepped-up security outside Parliament, protesters raised signs making a joke of it: “Welcome to the national protest of police”.
Nikiforov said that the protesters were not seeking confrontation with the police.
“They are normal Bulgarian citizens who have been ordered to do something with which most of them do not agree.”
(Photos: Noresharski.com via Facebook)