Your letter: Homophobic attack during a film fest in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

June 16, 2013 /LGBT News/ PLOVDIV, Bulgaria. On the 14th of June, at 19:30  at Mojito Bar, a group of about ten young men and two older men, accompanied by a young girl, disrupted the screening of a British film, “The Beauty” sponsored by the British Embassy and organized by LGBT Plovdiv in support of the election of Plovdiv for Cultural Capital of Europe in 2019. 

The hooligans initially took  their seats to watch the movie. Shortly afterwards, they started yelling anti-gay epithets such as, “is this the faggot film”. At that time  a conflict between the group and the rest of the audience erupts and escalates into threats. The group threatens that this will be “the first and last faggot festival in Plovdiv”, that they “will not allow  sick freaks -the homosexuals to brainwash people” and that they have come to put an end to the screening. On their way out they broke the projection equipment. No one was injured.

Despite previous arrangement with the organizers, the Mayor Ivan Totev and Deputy Mayors Alexander Dardzikov and Stefan Stoyanov, the promised security was not present to guard the event. One of the event organizers called the police but it took them twenty minutes to arrive. By that timethe attackers have already left.

Evelina, President of LGBT Plovdiv says: “The hooligans tried to bully us.  However, we will continue to defend the rights of all the citizens to unite together to watch a film. about love and respect. We demand the hooligans to be prosecuted by the authorities.”

Background

April 19th. The Association of football fans led by Elena Vatashka sends a letter to the municipal authorities of Sofia requesting a ban of the Sofia Pride parade and other LGBT events . The language used is vulgar and offensive to homosexual Bulgarian citizens. The letter also contains open threats.

May 17th. Hooligans tried to disrupt an exhibition at Plovdiv Mall opened by Deputy Chief of Mission, Bryan Dalton, for International Day Against Homophobia.

June 10th. First screening during the Gay Film Fest in Plovdiv. About 7 – 8 members of the “Botev” football team fan club attempt to provoke a cancellation of the event. The police are called and the group is escorted from the site.

June 11th. A letter requesting the prohibition of the Gay Film Fest in Plovdiv is sent to the mayor and deputy mayor for culture of Plovdiv by the “Botev” fan club.

June 14th. Assault at “Mojito” bar. Threats for “further actions” follow.


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