300 Bulgarians Join Tomato Rally against Rulers

November 24, 2012, Saturday // 06:11
Bulgaria: 300 Bulgarians Join Tomato Rally against Rulers
Despite a heavy police presence, the rally has proceded peacefully. Photo by BGNES

Over 300 Bulgarians have gathered in front of the Parliament in downtown Sofia to protest against the widespread political corruption and the recent arrest of a dissident.

The protest is in support of Bulgarian dissident, poet and publicist, Nikolay Kolev Bosiya (The Barefooted), who was recently arrested by nearly 40 police officers for throwing a tomato at the Parliament as an act of protest against the rampant corruption in the country.

Despite a heavy police presence, the rally has proceded peacefully.

Some citizens have attempted to throw tomatoes at the Parliament's building. However, the line of police officers guarding the event is keeping the protesters too far from the building for a thrown tomato to hit it.

A small pile of tomatoes has been gathered around a poster that says "Wake up, we are ruled by mafia!"

No clashes have been reported.

Nikolay Kolev Bosiya recently sent a letter to the Parliament, the President, the Prime Minister, the Supreme Judicial Council, the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio, threatening to throw tomatoes at their buildings, as he deemed them responsible for the widespread corruption, crime and lack of media freedom in Bulgaria.

He also specified the date and the order of his "tomato assault," saying he would start from the Parliament at 10 am Tuesday.

"I can no longer remain a hostage to hope and good manners. Go to hell!" the letter ends.

Kolev's threat did not go unnoticed and he was anticipated by some 40 police officers as he approached his first target. He was arrested after he threw the first tomato.


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