An anti-governmnet demonstration, Sofia, Bulgaria, January 1997
The recent unrest in the Middle East has made me think back to Bulgaria. The first year I was there, the economy started collapsing. By January 1997 the country was faced with triple-digit inflation and food shortages; Bulgarians reached their breaking point. Mass demonstrations broke out and the people called for early elections. Though there was some minor violence when the demonstrations first stared, for the most part it was peaceful. The unrest went on about a month before the socialist government finally caved in.
It was an interesting time to live in Sofia. Watching people peacefully take their country back was something I'll never forget and a reminder that a government can only exist so long as the majority of people are willing to recognize its authority.