Today is a day to remember. What started as a peaceful demonstration, ended in violence at 30 Millbank (as expected. Amongst us, were some who couldn’t keep their sticks for the signs. Although these students and activist were a minority the police was outnumbered. They couldn’t fight back those who fought for their rights and every persons right for education. The message was clear. You say cut back, we say fight back.
(for queries on the photographs contact me)
Early breakfast and out to photograph. I headed out and found a protest in progress accross the street from the hostel. It was some kind of road construction workers sindicate protesting at the door of the transport ministry (these are all asumptions from what I observed). At the door, guarded with smiling police men, a man in a suit with no tie held a microphone and answerd to the crowds yelling. I sensed sarcasm in his tone of voice, and it wasn’t recieved very well by the crowd.
I walked to a tram stop and took number 9 to the train station. My idea was to get to the powerplant on the other side of the station. When I got there I crossed the underground passages to the last track and there contemplated the station on one side, and the nuclear powerplant on the other. I couldn’t help thinking of Chernobyl.
Between me and Chernobyl there was a wall with some holes and after a plain of construction debree and garbage. All I had to do was get in there and walk through it. Being new in this country and not wanting to get into trouble I asked some people who waited for their train if that was ok. Pointless. So I just jumped into the tracks and headed for Chernobyl.
A hundred meters in and I stood on an earth mount to have a better view of the places around me. Did some photos and some more. Walked to the adjacent earthmount and then to the next. Just as I was about to press the release on my 1956 120 Zeiss Ikon, my eye got a glimpse of a bad looking gipsy coming out of some bushes 50 meters left of me. Time to go! I started towards the station, and so did he. A train was now arriving in the track so it blocked me from the nearest platform. I looked at him and he reached for something in his waist. It was all very fast, and I cought the reflecton of the sun from his hands; I don’t think it was a mirror. I didn’t want to look like I was in panic, although I was. Middle of nowhere, gipsy, shiny object, wall between me and the station, train just arrived.
I quickly spotted a hole in the wall and slided through it. I was now at the tracks and saw some engeneer separating the wagons. I felt safe now. I got on a wagon and crossed through it to the platform. I was more relaxed now. I looked through the windows to see if I could spot the gipsy but there were no signs of him.
Back where I started my morning. The demonstration is still going on but the crowd is in scilence. From a megaphone in the crowd blasts “Let It Be” by The Beatles.
I think this afternoon I will go to the cinema. There is a bulgarian film festival going on. I just have to figure out the program.