INTERNATIONAL COMRADES. Nationalists from across Europe gathered in Bulgaria to honour General Hristo Lukov last month. As in previous years, the Nordic Resistance Movement also had a delegation in attendance.
Activists from the Nordic Resistance Movement have paid recurring visits to the capital Sofia over the years to participate in the Lukov March, which takes place every February and honours the fallen leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions. 2023 marked the first time the traditional march to remember General Hristo Lukov was banned by the state.
There was a huge police presence throughout the weekend. The whole scene gave the impression that the Bulgarian authorities were putting on a display to show vocal Jewish lobby groups and higher-ups from the EU apparatus that their cries of pain had been heard.
A member of the BNU – the Bulgarian National Union – thought the police presence had never been so big: “This is all the police in Bulgaria,” he said. The situation was actually on account of a legal technicality. The denial of a permit for the demonstration had been appealed, which meant the ruling would not be made until after the date of the event, Saturday 25 February.
In practice, the march was prohibited, even though in retrospect it might turn out that a demonstration permit should have been issued. In anticipation of the situation, and to entertain the many foreign guests who had come to the country, various activities had been organised over the course of the weekend.
The day before the march, an unannounced flash demonstration took place, with a crowd of people walking through the central boulevard, shouting slogans and cheering for General Hristo Lukov. The march employed pyrotechnics and a large banner of Lukov.
On Saturday, the day of the prohibited march, an alternative authorised national demonstration was conducted. The participants carried the Bulgarian flag, as all organisational symbols were forbidden under the conditions of the demonstration permit.
The participants gathered at the National Palace of Culture and walked towards the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – both famous landmarks in the capital. The demonstration was also a protest against the absurd banning of the Lukov March. The police were not aggressive or provocative, despite their large numbers. The alternative march was successful and garnered numerous interested looks along the streets.
On Sunday morning, the BNU negotiated with local police for the right to pay tribute to General Lukov and lay flowers outside his former residence, on the spot where he was murdered by communists in 1943. Small groups took it in turns to approach the house, with several of them representing various different nationalist movements from around Europe.