Last summer, in July 2020, Bulgaria saw a mass civil uprising like it hadn't seen in years and a movement against the government that went on for months. What sparked it this time was the illegal privatisation of a beach along the Black Sea coast by the leader of the Turkish ethnic party DPS Ahmed Dogan. He had the strip of seashore surrounding his summer villa in the town of Rosenets protected by members of the National Service for Security and when tourists signalled that they had been denied access to the beach the co-chairman of the opposing coalition called Democratic Bulgaria Hristo Ivanov went to investigate for himself alongside a few other people, both civilians and two members of his party. How they decided to approach the beach was by boat, as land access had been cut off by an illegal fence. They were met with a violent blockade from Dogan's guard, pushed back into the water and told they were not allowed to use the beach as it was claimed as part of the villa's lot and was therefore private. Videos and audio recording of the clash almost immediately started circulating and dominating both social media and broadcast tv, resulting in a an angry response from many Bulgarians for whom the incident was the tipping point that corrupt politics and people in power had been pushing them towards for years. It was quickly proven that a lot of the land around DPS's leader was in fact greatly misused and illegally built on, and that it had been registered for agricultural use instead of as a beach. By mid-August it surfaced that there had indeed been many misconducts committed on behalf of Dogan and that some of the building works had never been legally permitted. 
On July 6th, the first mass protest took place in Sofia and quickly spread around the country and in many towns and cities across the globe where members of the Bulgarian diasporas wanted to show solidarity and support for their compatriots. The protestors' demands were loud and clear, and more or less mirrored the ones from the last such uprising which took place in 2013 - the resignation of the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, of the Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev and of the owner of most major media outlets Delyan Peevski, as well as true action against the corrupt policies that go on behind the curtains in the government.

A woman throwing empty beer cans at armed police forces in front of the National Assembly Building in Sofia, Bulgaria. 02/09/2021

Thousands of people gathered on Independence Square, around the buildings of the Bulgarian National Assembly (Town Hall), The Presidency and the Council of Ministers to protest against the deeply rooted and systemic corruption within the political circles of the Bulgarian government. 02/09/2021

People perched up on the Serdika Metro Station entrance in front of the building of the National Assembly during one of the mass anti-corruption protests that took place in the summer of 2020 across Bulgaria. 02/09/2020

Later in the evening on 02/09 during the mass anti-government protest in Sofia things escalated as hoards of armed police forces were deployed to push against the crowds surrounding the government and presidential buildings on Independence Square. The event started as a peaceful protest, as it had been happening during the many consecutive days prior, until a handful insurgents began provoking the gendarmerie by throwing objects such as full beer cans, road signs, stones, smoke bombs and small fireworks at them. The police responded by using force, shoving and pushing people further away from the buildings in organised marches in order to secure and expand the primer.

A massive fabric sign painted in the colours of the Bulgarian National Flag saying "Resignation" is stretched in front of the Bulgarian National Bank entrance.

Hired insurgents and other protesters throwing fireworks at the gendarmerie stood in front of the National Assembly's main entrance. 02/09/2020

A fraction of the people that gathered on the night of 02/09/2020 in protest of the elected Bulgarian government and their corrupt policies, standing on the stair of the National Bank in Sofia. 

An elderly man waving the Bulgarian flag during on of the anti-government protests in Sofia. 10/09/2020

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