Bulgarian Parliament under 'Tomato Revolution' Threat

Society | November 21, 2012, Wednesday // 20:00
Bulgarian Parliament under 'Tomato Revolution' Threat: Bulgarian Parliament under 'Tomato Revolution' Threat The Bulgarian Parliament is under the threat of tons of tomatoes being thrown at its building Saturday in protest against failures of the government, corruption and police brutality. File photo

Disgruntled Bulgarians are organizing themselves on social networks to stage a "Tomato Revolution."

The demonstration is going to take place Saturday in support of Bulgarian dissident, poet and publicist, Nikolay Kolev Bosiya (The Barefooted), who may face up to two years behind bars for throwing a tomato at the Parliament as an act of protest against the rampant corruption in the country.

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 one tomato.

The "tomato" rally is called for 5 pm Saturday in front of the building of the Parliament.

The "Tomato Revolution" on Facebook is gathering the support of thousands amidst reports of Facebook users that the Interior Ministry has already established emergency headquarters to deal with the threat and 300-strong police force will be used against the demonstrators to prevent possible tons of tomatoes being thrown at the Parliament.

Meanwhile, Members of the Parliament from the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, clashed over Kolev's arrest.

The leader of BSP, of the party of European Socialists, PES, and former Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, read a declaration in Kolev's defense, blaming police for using too much force in sending 40 policemen to arrest him.

"I expect to be accused by GERB of supporting riots and of disparaging institutions. If you plan to arrest all who are outraged by your rule, you will run out of police precincts. You want to control everything – the judiciary, the football fans, everything," said he.

The Deputy Chair of GERB's parliamentary group, Dimitar Glavchev, accused the opposition of "usual exaggeration," denying reports 40 policemen arrested Bosiya.

"Socialists defending a dissident is like Nazi defending Jews," Glavchev mocked.

Nikolay Kolev, 61, was imprisoned several times during the communist regime in Bulgaria (1944-1989) for opposing the communist dictatorship.

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Tags: tomato, parliament, dissident, corruption, Bulgaria, Nikolay Kolev, BSP, GERB, tomato, revolution, Bosiya, Sergey Stanishev, Dimitar Glavchev

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