Browse Items: Demonstrations
As President George H. W. Bush took office in January 1989, factions within his administration disagreed concerning the approach to take with regard to US-Soviet relations. In December 1988, Gorbachev had delivered what he called a “watershed” address at the United Nations, announcing that he planned unilaterally to reduce Soviet military forces by 500,000, cut conventional armaments….
In Bulgaria, the Communist Party led the movement toward democratic change. Following the legalization of several other political parties, and the formation of the Union of Democratic Forces, the Bulgarian Communist Party Secretary, Petur Mladenov, announced a further set of reforms. The following is an official report from the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria about Mladenov's rally on 13 December….
The ethnic Turks living in Bulgaria had faced discrimination throughout Bulgaria's history. In response to a series of demonstrations in May 1989 for Turkish rights, the Communist government expelled more than 300,000 Bulgarian Turks over the course of the year. With such a large portion of the population affected, Turkish rights in Bulgaria became one of leading human rights issues facing the….
In this December 18 communique from the U.S. Department of State, spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler briefed the press about the recent events in Timisoara, Romania, where demonstrators protesting the forcible relocation of local minister Laszlo Tokes to another congregation had been assaulted by the government's security forces. Tutwiler's limited account of what happened reflected the efforts by….
By December 1989, the economic hardships, chronic shortages, and unwillingness to reform created the same pressures on the Yugoslav Communist Party as it had elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Popular protests had emerged throughout the country, only growing larger as word spread of similar problems in nearby Romania. This report by the Yugoslav Ambassador to Russia, Milan Veres, to the Soviet….
On November 10, 1989, the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, leading figures in the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) forced Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria’s leader for more than 35 years, to resign. A coalition of opposition groups formed the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) on December 7, to coordinate efforts to “speed up the processes of democratization,” the group asserted in a statement….
Since the 1950s, the Bulgarian government conducted campaigns to assimilate Macedonians, Pomaks (ethnic Bulgarian converts to Islam), Gypsies, and Turkish Muslims by requiring them to substitute Slavic names for their own. The government also prohibited the use of the Turkish language in public and forbid Muslims from practicing their religious and traditional cultural activities. In response….
As the government of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania began to collapse in a wave of strikes and riots, Moscow looked on with growing concern. Shortly before Christmas 1989, the Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the Yugoslav ambassador to the Soviet Union to discuss the situation. The ambassador described how an attempt by local police to evict the popular priest and regime critic….
In August 1980, a worker's strike began in Gdansk, Poland in reaction to the struggling economy and massive shortages. In a compromise, the Communist government legalized Solidarity, but this only increased tensions. Imports from the Soviet Union and the West failed to improve the economy, with more strikes becoming endemic throughout 1980 and 1981. Fearing a Soviet military invasion to restore….