What the protests in Bulgaria look like through the eyes of Greek student? The Student at the New Bulgarian University Maria Apostolidou compares the Bulgarian student protests with the demonstrations in Greece in 1973 and those in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
Here is the story of Maria Apostolidou:
Democracy originates from the people, exercised by the people, and serves the interests of the people. In any case that the people are not satisfied by the state of their representation, they have the right to demand the change of the current status quo.
November is a month that it is known for its revolutionary atmosphere.
Greece, Athens 14 November 1973. The students of the University Polytechnio, refused to have their lectures, locked their selves in the University and called their action an occupation. They were the modern ‘’free besieged’’. Additionally a ‘’pirate’’ radio station was conducted within the first hours of the occupation, and it was broadcasting the positions of the occupants, fact which rallied the whole nation. The protesters were joined by students all over the country as well as by hundreds of citizens, who expressed their solidarity by active participation in their struggle. The students protest started as an occupation, escalated as a mass antifascist opposition and finished as a blood shed in the streets of Athens, the home of Democracy. On the 17th of November 1973 military tanks smashed the entrance and the special forces of the Greek army entered the University and lead the students out. However as soon as they left the building, they have been gunshot and hundreds of students were killed in the nearby streets by the police and the army. The 17th of November can be characterized as the resignation omen of the fascist regime in Greece.
Chechoslovakia, Prague 17 November 1989. Students were protesting against the communist regime in the country, when the riot police shut down their demonstration. The suppression of the demonstration led to a flowering of similar acts all over the country. This was the spark of the Velvet revolution, which peacefully overthrew the current regime.
Bulgaria, Sofia 5 November 2013. The students of the Sofiski University, have occupied a part of the university and are expressing this way their opposition to the government. In addition different universities in the country are also expressing their solidarity and together they unite their voices and organize in the centre of Sofia, music concerts, lectures and creative flash mobs.
Me, as a Greek, I have in my blood the feeling of revolution. I have experienced modern massive demonstrations in Greece, in the Universities, and the streets and I have sensed the war cloud. However here in Sofia I have witnessed a different type of revolution. One which promotes the students demands in an artistic, peaceful and intellectual way. I have seen with my own eyes the evolution of the student’s voice into something new, grater, where violence and hatred have no place among them. The free expression and expansion of different opinions and knowledge, and the integration of all into one powerful fist.
They are protesting with their own special way. There is no right or wrong way for them. They are producing art out of situations of social and personal oppression – oh! and what a beautiful opportunity to create- and they inspire more and more people to join their cause. ‘’Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before’’Gloria Steinem.
After all they are – we are - all together in this fight. The spirit of unity can empower the effort of keeping the bond of peace. We can not afford to lose not even one soul. Even individual incidents of violence are unacceptable in this fight! Because the pain of the loss of a loved one is captured in the universe for ever, and even if you do not expect to feel it again it makes the appearance in the worst moment. In the moment where everyone is one. And if one is all you have, and you lose it, you have nothing.
Never regret. Never recoil.
Student of the New Bulgarian University