Xenophobes Threaten to Mar Sofia Gay Parade Again
Xenophobes have declared they want to organize a parade at the same time and place this year's gay parade in the Bulgarian capital Sofia is scheduled, on June 18.
The Sofia municipality has received a declaration signed by Blagovest Asenov, an individual with a criminal record and a history of participating in xenophobic assaults, Sofia's Deputy Security Mayor, Ivan Sotirov explained on Thursday, the Dnevnik daily says.
The municipality has advised Asenov to change the route of his parade, but he has insisted on keeping it the same. The municipality does not have the authority to ban parades, it may only propose different route.
The only we can do is to tell the police to guard the event, Sotirov admitted.
"Sofia Pride", Bulgaria's first ever gay parade took place for the first time in 2008 and was marred by hooligans, with more than 60 people ending up arrested by the police for trying to attack and harass the participants, some of them throwing Molotov cocktails.
The 2009 gay parade, passing very quickly and under enhanced security measures, gathered around 300 people.
Bulgaria's 3rd annual gay parade went without violent incidents largely thanks to the decisive actions of the 300 riot police officers guarding the rally.
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