Antifascist march in Sofia. (Photo: via Baricada.org)
On Saturday February 12, Bulgarian anti-fascist groups demonstrated in the capital Sofia under the banner “No Nazis in our streets” to counter the Lukovmarsh procession led by neo-Nazis in the city. The Lukovmarsh Torch Procession was held in honor of Bulgarian General Hristo Nikolov Lukov, who was a Nazi collaborator. In response, progressive and anti-fascist sections staged a counter-protest called anti-Lukovmarsh. This year, several organizations including Antifa Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Antifascist Union (BAS) took part. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), We Pursue Change (WCC) and the BSP Youth Union also opposed the Lukovmarsh demonstration in Sofia.
Lukovmarsh has been organized by the far-right Bulgarian National Union (BNS) in Sofia since 2003. Neo-Nazis from all over Europe take part in the procession in honor of General Hristo Nikolov Lukov who was the leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions (SBNL) and a close associate of the Nazi Third Reich. Even though the authorities have refused permission for the Lukovmarsh protests for several years, neither they nor law enforcement actively oppose its actual conduct and also continue to tolerate the activities of extremist organizations like the BNS.
In their appeal against the Lukovmarsh, Antifa Bulgaria said: “Today, the ideological successors of Nazi collaborator Hristo Lukov are appearing in more and more places across the country, organizing torchlight processions and other neo-Nazi events. obvious or concealed which become unifying. points for domestic and foreign neo-Nazi groups, attacks in the streets, as well as provocations and attacks on demonstrations and events that promote progressive ideas, such as pride marches and protest against violence in the regard to women.
“Under the apathetic gaze of power and the protection of the guardians of public order, they will again try to bring out the shameful chapters of the past to provoke hatred and sow discontent and divisions in society,” the group added.
The BAS also condemned the systematic attempts to rehabilitate the legacy of Hristo Lukov. The BAS said that “there is no reason for Lukov, a Nazi collaborator, to be declared a national hero just because he commanded troops in World War I!”
On February 11, BSP MP Aleksandar Simov told the Bulgarian National Assembly: “There is a need to create a democratic cordon around the forces in our society who are trying to resurrect the darkest ghosts of the past – who are trying, over time and again, every year, to make a procession with the torch of hatred that goes against all the principles of Bulgarian society. This society that once saved its Jews. This society, which Hannah Arendt herself has acknowledged, did indeed show tolerance in the Darkest Ages. And for this reason, on behalf of BSP, I strongly oppose Lukovmarsh’s conduct.