‘No Nazis on our streets’ event in Bulgaria’s capital on February 13

As has become customary in recent years, an event titled “No Nazis on our streets” will be held on February 13 at noon outside the Central Mineral Baths in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, in response to the Lukov March later the same day.

The Lukov March, an event in honour of a pro-Nazi general and which draws neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe, has been held in Sofia every February since 2003, with the exception of 2020, when it was successfully banned.

The Lukov March is the subject of a petition on change.org entitled “Stop fascist manifestations in the Bulgarian public space”.

The petition calls for a ban of the Lukov March, saying that it poses a threat to many community groups and is a danger to public safety in Bulgaria.

It also calls on Sofia municipality and Bulgaria’s state institutions to publicly condemn the Lukov March and to take a stance against the proliferation of acts and propaganda of fascism and Hitlerism in Bulgaria.

The petition calls for criminal investigations, similar to that in the case of the Bulgarian National Union, into all ultra-right, ultra-nationalist, fascist and neo-Nazi groups and organisations, whose ideology and activities propagate violence and hatred on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity and religion.

It calls for legal action against all acts and propagation of racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, and gender-based violence.

The Lukov March was the subject of a statement by Malina Edreva, chairperson of the GERB-United Democratic Front group in the Sofia city council, at the start of the council’s February 11 sitting.

Edreva said: “The Lukov March’s defenders do not have the courage to openly state and categorize their beliefs.

“Instead, they hide behind General Lukov’s achievements during his military career and his execution at the hands of communist assassins. But they do not come with torches in front of the monument to all the victims of this regime on February 1, nor do they gather to lay flowers in front of the monument to the other many worthy Bulgarian officers who dedicated their lives to the cause of Bulgaria, and this speaks more clearly than anything else about their motives and beliefs”.

Kaloyan Pargov, on behalf of the Bulgarian Socialist Party group, told the city council meeting that the Lukov March should be banned.

“Such marches, with the participation of supporters of a hated regime and an ideology that symbolises the darkest moments of European history in the 20th century, are a shame for a European capital,” Pargov said.

Bulgarian society must uphold the shared values of the European Union, including the condemnation of extremism, fascism, racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and all other forms of discrimination – something the BSP and in particular its Sofia organisation have long done, Pargov said.

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