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(en) Demo in Sofia Demands Immediate Bulgarian Withdrawal

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 31 Jul 2004 14:08:40 +0200 (CEST)

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A demonstration of many hundreds gathered in Sofia 29 July 2004 to
protest the presence of 470 "allied" Bulgarian troops at Karbala in
Occupied Iraq and demand their immediate withdrawal. The protest,
called by various groups, included a number of activists from the
Bulgarian Anti-Authoritarian Group “Anarhosuprotiva” (Anarcho-Opposition).
This followed a similar smaller demonstration on July 16.
On July 22, Colin Powell conferred with Bulgarian Foreign Minister
Solomon Passy on the deepening Washington-Bulgarian military
"partnership," praising the neocon Bulgarian political leadership
for keeping its troops in Occupied Iraq. Even as the demonstrators
gathered, General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff of the US Army, was welcomed to Bulgaria, in Sofia to discuss
cooperation in security and defence (including three possible U.S.
military bases in Bulgaria) in the “context of the current strategic
Opinion surveys indicate that the vast majority of Bulgarian
citizens, many reduced to near poverty eking out a bare
minimum for daily survival in one of Europe’s most
depressed economies, are outraged over their government’s
participation in the occupation of Iraq. Repeated polls suggest
that electoral support for the current government has plummeted
to an estimated 7%.

Slogans at the demonstration included “Troops Out of
Iraq,” “Send All Our Parliamentarians to Karbala
Instead!” and “Bush Fascist, International Terrorist.”
In the past week, Maria Lazova, mother Georgi Lazov, of one of
the slain Bulgarian hostages in Iraq, openly blamed the US,
saying “the people responsible for the death of my son are far
away in the US … What are our boys still doing in

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