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(en) Bulgarian Anarchist Federation / IFA : Analysis of the situation by anarchist comrades from Bulgaria

Date Wed, 03 Apr 2013 11:34:26 +0300

[Comrades from abroad asked to send them our analysis of what is happening
in Bulgaria. Without going into details, we tried to compound our vision
for the development of the events and the determining factors. We tried
also to summarize our vision of the tasks that the anarchists are facing
today.] ---- Several months ago thousands of people started to demonstrate on the
streets of the towns, usually in Sunday, expressing their discontent. They
did not have ârepresentativesâ, âdemandsâ, they were simply dissatisfied
and they wanted a change for a better. The government resigned. The new
parliamentary elections are scheduled for 12th of May.

The whole process inevitably passed was influenced by several factors that
set the framework and determined its potential development.
Everything that happens (or could happen) in Bulgaria is heavily dependent
on "international" factors, in particular, of the planetary centers of
power. Our country seems to be of interest primarily to the governments of
the U.S., Russia and the countries dominating the EU. Indicative in this
aspect is that in the hours before he resigned, the Prime Minister visited
the U.S. Embassy and talk to Russian president by phone.

All kinds of power in Bulgaria (official - legislative, executive and
judicial, and informal - economic, media and crime) are exercised by the
people who come in one way or another from âthe Partyâ and its "bodies."
While not a "united front", various groups are interlinked and have many
common interests, including the preservation of the status quo, that
allows them to "live like normal people" entrusted to the back of their

Among the Bulgarian people the idea of ââan alternative to the
status quo is limited to a dictatorship similar to that one before 1989.
The authority (in its various forms) have successfully suppressed all
attempts to present social and political vision, that does not fall under
its control. Not only the anarchists are not in the "public space", it
misses the mere question of organizing society differently from well-known
representative democracy.
Of course, many other factors, that we will mention later, also influence
the process, like the more accessible Web environment and strengthened
"civil society" But at this stage their effect seems limited to the set of
the most essential factors listed above.

The protests began as another initiative group (or rather groups) of
people with aspirations to express popular discontent, but little hope for
support among the population. A number of such groups created under the
"wing" of the various types of NGOs, political or even overtly mafia
structures have been involved in various protests for populist causes -
environmental, trade and others. In Bulgaria, the so called "civil
society" is funded more or less openly by governments and corporations
from "the West" and, rarely, from "the East". The few âgrassrootsâ
initiatives are marginalized by simple financial filter. Few are those
groups who have no obvious links with governments, corporations and mafias
- those were the "Occupy Sofia" and protests against certain
privatizations. But it is not important exactly which groups stand behind
the first protests, which inspired a surprising number (even the
organizers) people to take to the streets. Soon afterwards, the role of
organized units was taken over by professionals.

Initially, the situation seemed almost revolutionary - lowlands not want
anymore and tops can not offer change. Later it turned out that most
people from the "lowlands" are not desperate enough for anything more than
"do not want" and the top suggested change - leaving the flock without a
shepherd. Gradually the composition of the protesters changed - the
proportion of people with difficulties in paying bills retreated at the
expense of the share of dissatisfied with the political status quo.
Without pretending for statistically representative information, on our
observations protesters were mostly small strapped owners, employees
associated with the opposition parties, relatively well-paid workers in
the private sector, employees of the services that find way to work âfor
themselvesâ, pensioners, students. A large majority of these were not
proletarians of production or people from the lowest social level,
permanently unemployed. As the protests developt these people completely

Together with the composition of the protesters, their demands changed.
Initial requests, made by the organizers, was for government intervention
to reduce the price of electricity. The representatives of political
parties were declared undesirable. Gradually the intervention of various
"organizing" factors led to demands for "nationalization", "expulsion of
foreign capital", "civilian control", etc. There were declared several
parties and movements "of the protesters". Protests in the capital were
occupied by several nationalist parties and with the help of criminal
brutes, their "competitors" were physically removed. Soon after this, the
protests in the capital (and thus - in the other towns) practically ended,
the number of people coming out to protest, declined from several thousand
to tens of people.

The direct effect of the protests remained resignation of the government,
obviously serving the interests the opposition parties. The problem, that
led the people out on the streets, the more and more deteriorating social
situation, found no solution beyond the demonstrated "concern" of
politicians. So the protests were completely controlled by the defenders
of the status quo, although some shifts among them. After 23 years of
'democracy' Bulgarian voters did not want to learn anything new - like in
the first years of the âdemocracyâ, they again asked for "round table",
"Grand National Assembly" and "civilian control".

The most serious direct factor for the protests development were political
circles, standing in opposition to the government, but controlling a
significant part of the economy (including the repressive apparatus) in
the country. The primary means by which the rulers of the various groups
were trying to influence the masses of protesters were media. Even for
people attending the protests, the presentation of the media was crucial
in shaping their attitude towards what was happening. Crucial role in the
developments during the protests themselves played fascist gangs,
controlled by police and political groups, keeping the process in the
eligible frames. The ideological impotence of various "organizers" or
"frontmen" permanently ended the hopes of the people to achieve something
different than the next election circus.

Elections are on May 12, disaffected are already chosing the right party,
to "do" them. It seems that the nationalist parties will perform more
strongly than usual, but no major changes are expected. Despite the
increased election populist rhetoric, we can hardly expect a significant
improvement in the social situation of the people. But we can also hardly
expect and similar expressions of mass discontent at least until next
winter. If the new (probably older) governor take a "drastic" measures
such as the nationalization of businesses, increased social spending,
suppression (legally or illegally) of the various "alternative" groups.
they may be able to master the frustration even for a few years. But the
factors described in the beginning, restrict such actions, and we can
hardly expect them without serious cracks in the global status quo.

We have years of increasingly serious social problems ahead, hidden under
the veil of inertness and apathy. A good illustration of the despair and
inertness that king among the people are the self-immolations in recent

Given the meager forces available to us, we can neither arrange, nor
influence a new protest movement, that would threaten the status quo. Our
goal at the moment can only be creating a strong revolutionary
organization with the potential to affect a similar process in the distant
future and promote the idea of ââsocial revolution as the only
alternative to the status quo. And the only basis on which to establish
the organization and to make this propaganda, is clear program of how to
destroy the institutions of power in the coming decades and the
establishment of self-governing bodies to ensure the welfare of the
people. At this stage the construction of such a program is the hardest,
but most important task for the anarchist movement, not only in Bulgaria
but also in the world.

Received by e-mail on April, 1st. Bulgarian version :
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