“Cleanse Sofia from garbage” says a neo-nazi group named The National Resistance in Bulgaria. They have gone as far as to register their anti-gay event at the same time and location as the country’s pride parade. The National Resistance calls for its followers to bring “brooms and shovels.” While attacks are nothing new to Bulgaria’s LGBTQ+ community, this is the first time their hateful rhetoric has been so openly aggressive. The US embassy in Bulgaria has already pledged support to the pride parade and activists such as All Out and the European Pride Organizers Association are calling for Sofia’s mayor to show the same support. People all over the world have the power to help prevent hate from prevailing during what should be a time for celebration by signing this petition and urging Mayor Yordank Fandakova to condemn the actions of The National Resistance and commit to protecting marchers and participants of the pride parade.
This is not the first time the people of Bulgaria have been exposed to The National Resistance. The neo-nazi group is known for its anti-minority and anti-parliamentary democracy stance; they were even involved in anti-refugee demonstrations in the first of may.
Despite the violent threats, marchers have refused to step down and cower in fear, despite their lack of police protection in the past and previous encounters with violence.
The National Resistance is not the only group showing disdain towards the marchers, even major religious authorities have encouraged violence towards marches in previous years. If the mayor took a historic stance and committed to protecting LGBTQ+ marchers, she would be signifying a major shift in Bulgarian society’s tolerance towards those in the minority along with intolerance to those who commit and promote violent and hateful acts.