Bulgarian NGOs have demanded that the Bulgarian capital Sofia's municipality ban the nationalistic rally scheduled at the same time and place as the upcoming "Sofia Pride" gay parade on June 18.
The Sofia Pride Foundation, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the AnarchoResistance group, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender's youth "Action" organization, People against Racism and the Bilitis Resource Center have sent a letter to Sofia's Mayor Yordanka Fandakova and the head of the Sofia Department of the Interior, pointing out that the nationalistic rally will be dangerous for the public order and should be banned. The NGOs have refuted a statement made earlier by Sofia's Deputy Mayor responsible for security, Ivan Sotirov, who claimed that the municipality cannot ban any parades but only advise about changing their routes.
The rally will be aggressive and threatening the peaceful citizens, the NGOs have pointed out. "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.