A document of the parliamentary group of left-wing “Coalition for Bulgaria” leaked yesterday through the platform for anonymous uploading of confidential documents Balkanleaks. The document complements earlier leaks of information, known as “talking points,” from office and personal email addresses of BSP activists.
The draft declaration, “decorated” in the typical style of the “advanced socialist stagnation,” draws a parallel between painting the monument, the protests and neo-Nazism. It recalls the “predatory shadow of oligarchs from “Global Bulgaria” Ivo Prokopiev and Tsvetelina Borislavova.” Its authors are outraged by the “law on de-communization, adopted by the Parliament”; they express sympathy to the “hundreds of thousands of citizens of Sofia, working, visiting restaurants and museums and grumbling that several dozen youngsters prevent them from returning to their homes.”
Curiously, “owners of most televisions” are linked to the “predatory shadow.” It is not clear whether the authors had in mind the “Time Warner” corporation and the former Communist State Security agent Krasimir Gergov – owners of the most watched bTV or the Swedish owner of the second most watched TV channel, Nova TV.
The email with the draft declaration is addressed to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Vanya Dobreva. It was sent at 7:16 am on November 14, a week after a group of young people painted pink the monument “Partisans” in front of the BSP headquarters in Sofia (The memorial portrays Bulgarian communist, antifascist and pro-Soviet guerillas, who in the period during World War II, when the country was an ally of Germany, led clandestine and armed battles against the official government – editor’s note).
A few minutes earlier, at 7:12 am, the document was printed, but before that it was edited for 17 minutes, metadata from the file show. They also reveal that this was the sixth consecutive editing of the draft.
Approached for comment, Vanya Dobreva remembered the draft declaration and explained that it was prepared jointly by a work group of “Coalition for Bulgaria,” in which she was involved. “I formulated my theses … Fascism and Stalinism start with such events … demolishing artwork, this should not be done,” categorically stated Dobreva. The Member of the Parliament from “Coalition for Bulgaria” grounded her statement on positive and negative examples from history: “In the aftermath of September 9, 1944, (the date when the Communist regime came to power in Bulgaria – editor’s note) prominent Bulgarian writer Pencho Slaveykov was renounced as well …” “Rome is named the Eternal City because it had not removed one single monument.” When asked why the declaration was not read from parliamentary tribune, Vanya Dobreva replied: “obviously this was the judgment of the work group.”
“I regret that this declaration was not adopted and read from the rostrum of the Parliament, because it contains important issues for an open discussion and attempts to assess the historical past, the Communist regime and its repressive bodies,” commented for Bivol Asen Genov, the blogger named in the declaration in person. He was arrested following the action with the painting of the monument. According to the authors of the draft, Genov belongs to “the elite circles of the right wing, who publicly profess the values of Western democracy,” but “make a political turn in the direction of civil arbitrariness, violence and hatred.”
“The statement contains a recognition that the act of painting the Monument of the Soviet Army and the sculpture in front of the headquarters of BSP, the heir of the Communist Party, is a political act; a protest against hypocrisy and misrepresentation; against the replacement of objective truth and the disrespect demonstrated by the political establishment,” Genov said. He also believes that the current rule of the country creates an environment of “nostalgia for the criminal dictatorship before 1989,” which in turn provokes anti-European sentiments.
“I want to thank BSP, Vanya Dobreva and the other authors of the text for the role, the power and the importance they attach to my humble persona…,” said Asen Genov in addressing the authors of the text.
Bivol is publishing the full text of the draft declaration without editing and proofreading. The file with the text (in Bulgarian) can be downloaded from the attachments section below.
On November 6 this year, the sculptural composition “Partisans” by famous Bulgarian sculptor Lyubomir Dalchev, a representative work of the achievements of our national art, was desecrated. This composition is located in front of the Bulgarian Socialist Party headquarters on 20 “Positano” street. Decades ago, it was donated by Dalchev to the Bulgarian Antifascist Union, which was then located in this building.
What is this particular case about? It’s about a group of young people, led by blogger Asen Genov, who painted in the midnight hours of November the figures of partisans in purple and pink, and wrote vicious anti-communist words on the pedestal. With it, the authors of this intellectual assault acknowledged that their action was a clear political sign – a profanation of the memory of Bulgarian antifascists; a signal that modern Bulgarian democracy should be developed as an antidote to antifascism and the antifascist idea! The provocateurs created a proclamation designed to boost even more brazen confidence in the forces that are now destroying the democratic foundations of the State; are promoting violence and leniency towards everything; are implementing aggressive intolerance towards opponents, and are asserting full-force their Nazi-like nature.
It is alarming that the leader of the group of political provocateurs is popular blogger Asen Genov, owner of a respected internet site. Genov, whose website established itself as a kind of ideological and operational center of the protests of the past few months, belongs to the elite circles of the right wing, who publicly profess the values of Western democracy, but otherwise, as it now becomes clear, pursue a political turn in the direction of civil arbitrariness, violence and hatred.
It is even more disturbing that this anti-intellectual assault happens on the backdrop of ever-increasing political extremism of the Bulgarian right, and mostly of the GERB party, of xenophobic riots and political racism. It is done at a time when university professors divide Bulgarians and our youth to “high-quality” and “low-quality” individuals, mythologizing the rights of the privileged minority at the expense of sharply restricting the rights of the majority of the people.
The anti-intellectual assault is in sync with the revanchist ambitions of the formerly-ruling GERB party that rejects the results of the last parliamentary elections, recognized as legitimate by the Constitutional Court and by influential experts and institutions in the EU and worldwide. The actions of the provocateurs, led by Asen Genov, give motivation to the protest organizers to not comply with the laws and rules of public order; to transform peaceful protests into violent ones; to engage in their marches and in their chaos both young people and students professing right-wing ideology and elements of criminal structures and football fan groups to bloody the rallies and consciously provoke confrontations with police.
Therefore, we deem these protests false and contracted. Therefore, behind the request for new morality, we discover the predatory shadow of oligarchs from “Global Bulgaria”; of the owners of most watched televisions; of nouveau-riche like Ivo Prokopiev and Tsvetelina Borislavova. Therefore, the development of these protests, according to us, is inseparable from the backstage role of people close to Boyko Borisov – Ivan (Rumen) Nikolov the “Pasha” and Mitko the “Karate Kid.” Therefore, the values of liberalism sink into passionate fascist outbursts that will yet embitter Bulgaria’s fate.
The truth obliges us to conclude that the action of blogger Asen Zlatev (the name is Genov –editor’s note) against the monument of partisans could not be separated from the mass annual Lukov march in Sofia, which is attended by thousands and thousands of young fans of General Lukov, leader of the Bulgarian “Legion,” and the most infatuated promulgator of German Nazism in Bulgaria (before 1944 – editor’s note). It could not be separated from the behavior of thousands of football fans celebrating with ritual inspiration the birthday of Adolf Hitler and marching on the streets of the capital, shouting “Sieg Heil.” It could not be separated by the recent request to legally register the creation of a Bulgarian neo-fascist party, similar to the Greek “Golden Dawn.”
It could not be separated from the image of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski painted as a skull; from the broken windows of 20 “Positano” street, left unpunished, from the bloodied head of the MP from Ataka (Bulgaria’s far-right extremist nationalist party – editor’s note); from the savage tearing of propaganda materials of political opponents; from the attacks on vehicles transporting Prime Minister Oresharski and the Chairman of BSP Sergey Stanishev; from the ripping off of pavement on the main street in front of the Parliament; from the pulled out road sign on “Oborishte” street; from the terrorist occupation of the Parliament, turning lawmakers hostages of a crowd that has imagined that anything is possible; from the haphazard piling up and damage of dumpsters; from the stones, which were thrown at MP cars and at police officers, etc., etc.? And all these disgraces and violations of basic norms of public order are done by protesters, whose number varies between twenty and several thousand, and who name themselves beautiful, smart, educated, spirited, embodiment of the qualitative evolution of our national gene, while political parties, which unscrupulously use them, amazingly call them “our children…”
But why do they believe that their rights as protesters should be superior and more privileged than the rights of hundreds of thousands of Sofia residents who walk the streets and boulevards, work, visit restaurants and museums, wait for the umpteenth time for delayed trams or trolleys, grumble that several dozen youths prevent them from returning to their homes because they have closed once again another crossroad? If any of these Sofia residents, who make with sweat the livelihood of their families, takes the liberty to instigate even the most timid public run-in with the police; if they pull, push, taunt or dramatically provoke policemen on the example of the protesters; if they refuse to comply with the orders of the authorities; if they announce they would do whatever pleases them , though contrary to laws and regulations, then this Sofia resident will not get stroked with a feather, nor the commotion and the refusal to obey legal norms will be tolerated for hours.
The act of people, who painted the partisans’ monument, could not be separated from attempts of TV hosts to rewrite the history of the twentieth century in line with the restoration of fascism and historical violence. It could not be separated from the systematic work of today’s historians to twist the annals of the twentieth century for the benefit of “the new winners.” It could not be separated from the efforts of tenured lecturers, who falsify complex literary processes and subject to spiritual torture the works of Hristo Botev, Geo Milev, Hristo Smirnenski and Nikola Vaptsarov (prominent Bulgarian revolutionary poets – editor’s note).
But Asen Genov’s provocation is on the same plane with de-communization law passed by the National Assembly. And with the decisions of our judicial system, which since 1989 had been posthumously rehabilitating persons, who bound our homeland with the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo axis, individuals who were on trial for crimes against humanity, and with the disgraceful attitude of the State towards the participants in the Bulgarian Resistance left to leave this world humiliated and forgotten.
The bold assault on the work of Lyubomir Dalchev could not be separated from the recently published blacklist on the official website of the protesters as well – a challenge to the core principles of democracy. The list includes names and slanders against prominent Bulgarian intellectuals who dared to express opinions different from those of the ringleaders of street confrontations. This list, from which GERB and the Reformist Bloc (newly-established right-wing partnership of several parties – editor’s note) have not differentiated, urges to remember the names of these dissidents to be then repressed. It is a mirror of the fascist radicalization of circles for whose ideological and professional training the West poured millions and millions of dollars. The fact is that currently many of the university lecturers, who lead the protests, are academically trained enough to resurrect in new conditions the political legacy of two other university professors from the first half of the twentieth century, Alexander Tsankov and Bogdan Filov.
The historical reference to equivalents from the past, made by great publicist Velislava Dareva, regarding this blacklist, is well-justified. She writes: “Geo Milev and Joseph Herbst were in such blacklists. Nikola Vaptsarov and Federico Garcia Lorca were in such blacklists. In such blacklists were Traicho Kostov and Nikola Petkov. In such blacklists were Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, Stanley Kramer, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein – all declared “red trash and nasty communists” during McCarthyism. Using such blacklists, the Nazis, the Stalinists, the Hóng Wèibīng, the Pol Pots killed millions.”
Let’s not forget that the desecrated partisans monument is only a link in a long list of historical shrines, vandalized in the last twenty-four years; that such demonstrations of new barbarism grow on the poisoned land of Semitism; the deepening global and national economic and financial crisis; the stricken idea of Statehood and State.
Therefore, we, the members of “Coalition for Bulgaria,” warn Bulgarian society of rising waves of hatred and intolerance, of historical adventurism and neo-Nazism! Therefore, we urge strong resistance to anyone who destroys civil peace and order; who spreads hatred and blood; who, under the appearance of leading a true revolution, exterminates ideas of freedom and justice, of morality and solidarity; who robs the future of their people and their descendants, opens the way for plundering, oppression and inhumanity!
Therefore, we expressly state: NO to another day of retreat before evil and of backstage deals. Therefore, we repeat the maxim of famous Czech antifascist Julius Fucik: “Mankind, we loved you — be vigilant!”
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