Jock Palfreeman is FAB

Almost a month ago now (November 24), someone — presumably a member of the Bulgarian Anarchist Federation / Federation of Anarchists of Bulgaria (FAB) — saw fit to comment on my blog. This was in response to a post I made on the subject of Jock Palfreeman, the 23-year-old Australian sentenced in Bulgaria in early December to 20 years jail for the crime of murder.

This is what they wrote:

Every year Federation of Anarchists of Bulgaria (FAB) delimit from this case.

Our official position is that independently from the circumstance Jock killed a man and is guilty. This is intolerable crime.

The dead boy Andrey Monov had friends who were and are anarchists and our position is that he was innocent.

We don’t have our statement in English, but please find the following link in Bulgarian:

The nazis in Bulgaria use this case for their propaganda. So every kind of solidarity with one killer is shame with every principle of freedom!

A few days later (November 26), the following story was published on Athens indymedia (corrected for spelling):

Position of Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria (FAB) regarding Jock Pafreeman
Federation of Anarchists in Bulgaria (FAB)
03:00pm, Thursday November 26 2009

Position of FAB regarding the information published in internet about actions of solidarity with the murderer Jock Palfreeman.

Every year Federation of Anarchists of Bulgaria (FAB) delimit from the case with the murderer of Andrey Monov by the Australian military [sic] Jock Palfreeman.

Our official position is that independently from the circumstance Jock killed a man and badly injured another and he is guilty. This is intolerable crime.

The dead boy Andrey Monov had friends who were and are anarchists and our position is that he was innocent.

We don’t have our statement in English, but please find the following link in Bulgarian:

The nazis in Bulgaria use this case for their propaganda – “anarchist from abroad came in Bulgaria and kill brutally”.

So our position is that every kind of solidarity with one killer is shame with every principle of freedom! We call everyone to hold back and don’t support this provocative action for solidarity in Athens which we understand is preparing.


The FAB (re-)emerged in Bulgaria in 1990. Eighteen years later, it was admitted to the International of Anarchist Federations (IAF/IFA), itself founded in 1968. The UK member of the IAF/IFA is the Anarchist Federation. The AF has not taken any position on Jock’s case. The Summer 2008 issue of its zine (No.70), however, contains an analysis of the far right in Bulgaria titled ‘Unfashionable’ Balkan Nationalism? The rise of ultranationalist politics in Bulgaria. After providing a very brief survey of Balkan history, and noting the recent rapid rise of the National Union Attack (Ataka) party — which now holds two of Bulgaria’s 17 seats in the European Parliament — the anonymous author writes:

Privately, things are worse. The author himself has seen the graffiti – “all gypsies into soap” – and a visit to the forums of Ataka’s newspaper would reveal what its members really want. Complete social regression is the norm of the day, the ideals of Christianity imposed on all society; scapegoating of the traditional suspects – Romas and ethnic Turks which goes hand-in-hand with anti-Semitism (which [Ataka party leader Volen] Siderov himself is guilty of in his various books)…

Bulgaria is not faced with the same problems that Serbia is – sectarian troubles – but it has a very sizable and growing Roma population while the nominally Bulgarian population is facing a demographic collapse, a Roma population that, it has to be noted, was not forced to revert to crime when they had housing, educational and job prospects in the years of Communism (not to excuse that state of affairs, of course). But rational debate is thin on the ground in Bulgaria. The popular media is distinctly patriotic, as in the popular history show of Bozhidar Dimitrov that champions any Bulgarian achievement with little academic justification, plus Ataka with its own channel. People find it easier to blame others rather than take action themselves…


Given that I do not understand Bulgarian and — one assumes — the grasp that the FAB has on English is not, as the above statements suggest, necessarily all that firm, it’s likely that a number of things have been or are being lost in translation. That said, what little may be deduced from the above is worth commenting on. Thus:

• The FAB completely ignores the context in which Andrey Monov was killed.

• Andrey Monov is not on trial — Jock Palfreeman is. The question of Monov’s ‘innocence’ is a red herring.

• The FAB, in the same manner as it ignores the context of the murder, ignores the fact that precisely what is at stake is not the ‘question’ — there is none — of whether or not a man, Andrey Monov, was killed, but whether or not Jock’s responsibility in killing him may be justified, under Bulgarian law, as an act of self-defence. To consider this a possibility requires some acknowledgment of the circumstances in which the killing took place — a possibility which the FAB does not even consider.

• There is no requirement for the FAB to adopt any position at all on the case. But if it does — and it has — it would seem incumbent upon the FAB to provide some accounting for its views. It does not.

• The FAB claims that Andrey Monov had friends who are or were anarchists. It fails to explain how or why this should be relevant, either to its official position, or to the case itself.

• If the FAB considers the ideological orientation of Andrey’s friends relevant, it should also consider that of his other “friends”, in particular the Levski Hools, and the Bulgarian ultra-nationalist movement.

• To produce an ‘official statement’ is one thing: to attempt to undermine an expression of solidarity with Jock is another. On what basis does the FAB do so? In addition to the above, it cites two reasons. The first is that neo-Nazis in Bulgaria have made use of the case in their propaganda. The second is that each and every attempt to defend a person accused — and in this case convicted and sentenced — of murder is morally and politically reprehensible, shameful, and antithetical to human freedom.

If the FAB is a pacifist organisation — as its 1990 Resolution suggests — such a position, while arguably mistaken, is at least consistent. If it is not a pacifist organisation, such advocacy brings into question — again — the facts of the case.

See also : The Anarchist-Communist Mass Line: Bulgarian Anarchism Armed, Michael Schmidt (ZACF, South Africa) with the assistance of veteran Bulgarian anarchist Jack Grancharoff, Anarkismo, August 24, 2008.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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11 Responses to Jock Palfreeman is FAB

  1. check says:

    You got to check that out. Ask someone to translate for you or use google translate.

    I don’t read Bulgarian that well, but it sorta says Sofia Gay Pride is useless demonstration of unconventional sexuality. And that authentic, traditional Bulgarian family values will not tolerate such things.

    Those guys should be kicked out of the International! They have nothing to do with anarchism.

  2. whitelawtowers says:

    Maybe they will kick you lot [out] because [you’re] all tools of the state. I have asked around, you guys are on your own. Your own people even hate you.

  3. Lumpen says:

    Jim’s sources are always impeccable, which is why he has such a high standing amongst white supremacists.

  4. @ndy says:


    Given that Jim has asked around, the matter is settled.

  5. Liam says:

    “Your own people even hate you.”

    Imagine that!

  6. ahhh says:

    The gay pride thing in Bulgaria is not supported by any other groups apart from a few antifa or anarchist… mostly from outside of Bulgaria.

    In Bulgaria it is still seen as a psychological disorder…

    People are really headstrong for their friends in the old USSR and Balkans area, but I find this an interesting thing that they just support their friends and don’t look into the situation.

    Sad reality.

  7. Pingback: notes on a saturday | slackbastard

  8. antsy says:

    Bulgaria seems to be sliding into fascism, as the graffiti on walls there reading ‘Gypsies into soap’ would indicate. From what I know of Palfreeman’s actions he saw two young Roma boys being beaten and after the gang had moved away went to see if they were all right. This armed neo Nazi gang (of course they almost certainly had knives too, which is completely legal in Bulgaria) then turned on Palfreeman and started throwing concrete blocks at him. I have no doubt he feared for his life as any sensible person would. It seems he only bought the knife because he had been attacked before by such gangs. In the melee that followed the throwing of concrete blocks Andrei Monov was stabbed, clearly as Palfreeman saw it, in self-defence. The fact that Monov’s father is ‘famous’ should have no bearing on the case at all but clearly, in Bulgaria, it does.

    The fact is, Palfreeman did what any normal, decent human being would do by approaching these young boys to see if they were all right but the reaction of the neo Nazis was unbridled rage, leading Palfreeman to defend himself with the only weapon he had. If he hadn’t had a knife he would probably be dead himself. Perhaps Monov should have spent more time with his son when he was growing up instead of becoming so ‘famous’. Maybe then his son wouldn’t have been roaming around in a gang looking for Gypsies to beat up.

    Bulgaria should be crossed off any Australian traveller’s list until Palfreeman gets something resembling justice, which so far he has not. I can see how it’s embarrassing that this case has revealed Bulgaria’s ugly underbelly but that’s not a reason to lock someone up for defending themselves from a gang. And has anyone from the gang been charged with anything? Assault? Affray? Hate crimes? If not, why not?

  9. antsy says:

    And then I read in an interview that Jock Palfreeman gave that the policeman who arrested him said, ‘Roma is monkey. White man should side with white man not monkey.’ I think here you have the entire situation encapsulated. It’s quite shocking that Andrei Monov was a law student since he seems to have had no respect for the law whatsoever but, of course, his father has no respect for the law either or he wouldn’t have done everything in his power to rig this case against Jock Palfreeman and run around calling him a ‘sociopath’ and demanding he be locked up for life without parole for defending himself when his life was threatened by a gang of racist thugs. There are not many people in the civilized world who would think that sixteen men attacking two Roma boys was lawful or acceptable and yet it seems that no charges have been laid against any member of this gang. Jock Palfreeman certainly didn’t find it acceptable and now Monov’s father has simply acted out of blind hatred and lust for revenge instead of respect for the law based on evidence and the facts. The whole thing is a truly sickening mix of xenophobia, racism and judicial corruption.

  10. Pingback: Anarchist Federation (UK) on Jock Palfreeman (kinda) | slackbastard

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