Jock Palfreeman & Fascism in Bulgaria

Nine months ago, in Sofia, Bulgaria, a 21 year-old Australian named Jock Palfreeman was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder, following an altercation between Jock and a small group of Bulgarians on the streets of the capital. Jock maintains that he is innocent, and that the death of 20-year-old student Andrei (Andrey) Monov, and injury to Antoan Zahariev (19) — both of whom Jock admits he stabbed — were the result of acts of self-defence. According to Jock, on the night of December 28, upon leaving a bar, on Stambolijski Boulevard he witnessed a group of Bulgarian men beating a Gypsy (Roma), and intervened in order to end the assault. Subsequently, the group turned on him, and he drew his knife. In the ensuing melee, Jock stabbed the two men, one of whom later died.

Jock’s court case commenced in May, and is continuing. The prosecution case appears to rest on the testimony of the dead man’s friends, as video footage of the confrontation has been lost. According to the prosecution, Jock attacked the group of young men without provocation — “police say… an unprovoked frenzied attack on a public street” — and probably while drunk or under the influence of (other) drugs. His defence, at this point, rests upon the testimony of other witnesses, who confirm the broad outlines of Jock’s account, and the existence of a Romany (which Andrei’s friends deny outright).

Jock’s case is complicated by the existence of ultra-nationalist currents in Bulgaria, and the fact that the dead man, Andrei Monov, was acknowledged by his father, in court, as being a right-wing nationalist and as believing in ‘Bulgaria for the Bulgarians’. Secondly, and intimately tied to Bulgarian ultra-nationalism, is the existence of a strong current of anti-Roma feeling: according to this view, Roma are not Bulgarian, and do not belong in the country. Finally, Jock claims to have been assaulted by ‘nationalists’ in Bulgaria on a number of prior occasions, and that this was the reason for his carrying a knife.

Please note that, contrary to Marnie O’Neill’s claim (The Daily Telegraph, January 20, 2008), this blog is not “run by Palfreeman’s close friends”. In fact, this blog is “run” by one person; I have never met Jock; and I knew nothing of his existence until I read of his arrest in December, 2007. My interest in his case, therefore, derives from my more general interest in monitoring the activities of the far right, particularly, but not exclusively, within Australia.

Recently, Organise has published a survey of emerging ultra-nationalist and fascist currents in Bulgaria, and reading it provides some further background to Jock’s case, as well as demonstrates, I think, that his account of previous harassment, and being witness to an apparent assault upon a Roma, if not proven, is still not improbable. See also this video, titled ‘Special treatment for bulgarian anarchist’, dated December 6, 2007, and apparently showing footage of a gang of Bulgarian fascists harassing an elderly Bulgarian anarchist:

In June 2007, boneheads attacked fans at the Tangra Mega rock concert, injuring several (among the headline acts on June 20, 2007 @ Universiada Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria was the English punk band The Exploited).

Bulgaria and “Bulgarisation”

The example of Bulgaria is illustrative of the continuing problems in the peninsula. Bulgaria is a country of nearly eight million people, with a history of toleration of minorities and with a substantial Roma and ethnic Turk population. For years, even under the Ottoman rule that was endured for nearly five centuries, ethnic Bulgarians and ethnic Turks could live [as neighbours]. The program of the Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee, the 1870s organisation for the liberation of the country, forbade Bulgarians from attacking ordinary Turkish citizens in the struggle for independence. This stability continued into the 1980s until Todor Zhivkov, the infamous ruler for the majority of the People’s Republic’s life, started a campaign for “Bulgarisation” of the Turks in Bulgaria, forcing them to change their names, resulting in almost 300,000 leaving the country. The mid-to-late 1980s climate of terrorism by ethnic Turks, police actions against whole villages in their drive to “Bulgarise” them, and then the sudden collapse of the monolithic state threw things wide into the open. Rampant privatisation and ineffectual government in the nineties left a legacy of division that simply did not exist before. Many Roma families, left without the jobs provided for them under communism, fell into poverty and crime. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) monopolised the Turkish vote and has been an element of every coalition government since its inception. Unemployment rose generally.

Latent nationalism lifts its head

It was, in short, a good climate for latent nationalism to come to the fore – one that was present since the 1980s. The National Union Ataka is the natural outgrowth of this. This is a party that was created only two months before the 2005 legislative elections, a coalition of insignificant right-wing and ex-communist splinters. It managed to win 9% of the popular vote in June of that year, bagging 21 seats out of 240 in parliament. Little, you might say, but considering it was running against parties with decades long histories such as the Socialist Party (BSP) or ones that had already had a stint in office such as the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII), it is no mean feat. What’s more, its leader – Volen Siderov – managed to poll 25% at the presidential elections of 2006. He was the only candidate apart from the winner, Georgi Parvanov, who made it to the second round, brought about by low voter turnout. For a party that is based around a strong Fuhrerprinzip (leader principle akin to that in Nazi Germany), that is significant.

This use of evocative language by the author is of course, deliberate. The party has been called fascist by many, and its members do appropriate the jackbooted style of many ultranationalist groupings. A closer examination of its stances, set out in the “20 Points of Ataka”, reveals a nationalist, populist party. What are its main currents? At the heart of Ataka’s political program lies a statement that Bulgaria is a monolithic, one-nation state, indivisible along ethnic or religious lines. The party also attacks the MRF and the national channel’s news in Turkish indirectly by stating that the national language is Bulgarian only, and that any ethnic parties should be prohibited. The party also supports an ill-defined criminalisation of verbal attacks on national “holies”. On economic issues, it supports a protectionist policy and state provision of health, social security and “spiritual and material prosperity” for all citizens. The party aims for isolationist foreign policies, including a withdrawal from NATO, operations in the Middle East and the expulsion of US bases from national soil. Quite apart from that, unofficially but widely supported, is the inclusion of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in political decisions – a de-facto merging of state and church.

What emerges is a party that cleverly combines populist policies designed to appeal to both business people and the common person on economic grounds, and taps into cultural chauvinism that is an expression of dissatisfaction on the part of many Bulgarians with the current state of affairs. It is easy to blame Romas for crimes and the West for poor conditions, and whipping up the historical Turkish threat is also popular. Calling to spirituality, which is on the upswing in this traditionally conservative country, is also a good source of support. The official program of Ataka is worrying enough – it would create a state based on ethnic supremacy where other ethnic groups would not be allowed to be heard in the political process.

Traditional scapegoats

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 Siderov himself is guilty of in his various books). Ataka is not a fascist party then – if it was it would by easy for people to dismiss it. It is an ultranationalist entity that has addressed real poverty, income disparity, crime and corruption at the highest levels of politics in radical ways – nationalisation, exclusion of foreign business in preference for domestic firms, for example. At the same time it has taken unofficial harsh actions against ethnic minorities and has branded the current government as one of Turks and not Bulgarians. Centred around a charismatic ‘strong’ and ‘intelligent’ leader figure with a sharp tongue, the party is rallying social conservatism and economic promises that hark back to an almost quasi-Communist state of the nostalgic yesteryear. Alongside Christianity and populist history that is directed against “those other Bulgarians – the Macedonians” the party has a strong base from which to build on.

The consequences would be disastrous, of course. 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. You might say that the election results show little, yet the voter turnout has always been extremely low – under 50% – and Ataka can only grow, with many of the voters who didn’t support the party in 2005 now turning towards it. The last polls in Bulgaria showed the party second in popularity only to the ruling Socialists. When the generation of the “red grandmas” – the elderly who vote Socialist out of nostalgia and promises of social security – leaves the political scene, and with some flocking to a party that is also promising pensions, who knows what might happen?

What we are facing is quite frankly a quiet nationalism rising up in a country that, for the Balkans, is stable and on the upsurge in economic terms. This nationalism threatens civil war between ethnic groups, even if a Kosovo scenario is unlikely because there are no real regions in the country that could secede or are likely to do so (even where ethnic Bulgarians are the minority). Time will tell. The next legislative elections will show whether the nationalist party have retained their appeal. But as long as it manages to play at its populist game while the establishment does nothing to address organised crime and corruption among its own ranks, the mentality of the population is unlikely to change. With the centre and centre-right of the political spectrum fractured in a way that we only think Communists can follow, there are few alternatives to the status quo in a political sense. Whilst everyone looks to Serbia or the Caucuses for the obvious signs of nationalism and ethnic trouble – as has been fashionable for a long time – a quiet, ‘unfashionable’ force is arising in a country that the EU would like to portray as a model for the Western Balkans…

~ ‘Unfashionable Balkan nationalism? The rise of ultranationalist politics in Bulgaria’, Organise, No.70, Summer 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 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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40 Responses to Jock Palfreeman & Fascism in Bulgaria

  1. Graham Ponting says:

    jock’s a hero. fascism should be smashed to pieces … we didn’t fight the nazis … for nothing.

  2. Bas says:

    There are so many mistakes in the paragraph following the heading: Bulgaria and “Bulgarisation”

    There were tensions between Bulgarians and ethnic Turks and during the Liberation, Bulgarians did take revenge on civilians for the oppression they experienced during Ottoman rule. Have a look on Wikipedia. Just by speaking to Bulgarians about the Ottoman past, you’ll see that they have not always lived at peace with other ethnic groups.

  3. Killers to prison says:

    This is ridiculous!! Bulgaria is the best place I have ever visited. And I never carried a knife.

    LAW is to be followed by everyone everywhere. Just think for a moment that if an Aussie gets killed by a Bulgarian backpacker here, what would be your reaction and what would be their reaction.

    Be logical. They may also say that Australia is a fascist country…

  4. @ndy says:

    If an Aussie was killed by a Bulgarian backpacker in Australia under the same circumstances as those which I believe occurred in Sofia inre Jock’s case, I would act in precisely the same manner.

  5. Philip says:

    Well i think Bulgarian court is the last place where this trial should take place, because if the end result is already pre-determined by the prosecutors, judges & other state lawyers in Bulgaria, what’s the use of having law and order in this modern age..more should be done by the Australian & British government to have Jock released from Bulgaria..

    My sympathies to Andrei (Andrey) Monov & family but if each party wants fairness then this trial should be taken out of Bulgarian court and should go to the EU or the international court.

    All the best to Jock Palfreeman, if you are innocent as you say then God will always protect his children.

  6. Stefan says:

    Hello,

    I’m from Bulgaria and I’d like to share my two cents on the story if you don’t mind.

    I’ll have to disagree with the idea to move the case to an independent court. Although the case involves a foreigner, the Bulgarian justice system does have the capacity to independently determine if he is guilty — if it was self defence or not. I do believe the judges are able to come out with a just decision, not giving in to the media pressure that pretty much states that one of ‘them’ killed one of ‘our own’.

    Let’s not forget that even if at the end Jock Palfreeman did pull out a knife in self-defence, he was the one who approached the group to begin with. As for if he was under the influence of alcohol or not, most likely all of those involved were anyway.

    What I’m basically trying to say is — let the judges do their work, and don’t be nationalist about it. Murder is murder no matter the good intention to save a Gypsy from a beating.

    Regarding your hinting that the Ataka party is the one that demands that any ethnic parties should be prohibited, although I’m far from being a sympathizer of theirs, I’d like to point out that ethnic-based political formations are already prohibited by the Constitution anyway. This is different from, let’s say, Serbia, which used to be the center of a multi-national federation and still has national minorities living within it. The Bulgarian Constitution views all citizens of the country as Bulgarian nationals who have the same rights and therefore all parties based on ethnicity, race or religion are prohibited.

  7. @ndy says:

    Phllip,

    I’m not sure, but I expect it may be possible that Jock’s case is eventually referred to an EU court. Any evidence of a less-than-fair trial could also, presumably, be brought to the attention of Australian authorities.

    Stefan,

    There appears to have been a number of irregularities in the conduct of the case thus far. Not being familiar with the Bulgarian judicial system, it may be that a higher authority would be in a position to review the court’s decision, whatever it may be (and whenever it’s finally delivered). From what I can gather, some of these irregularities involve the disappearance of evidence (video footage) which — again, as far as I can gather — would appear to be very important, precisely in terms of the court’s being able to determine whether or not Jock acted in self-defence.

    Regarding alcohol: according to court documents, having been tested, there was no evidence of Jock having any traces of illicit drugs in his system, and he was recorded as having a blood alcohol reading of 0.1. Andrei, on the other hand, had a BAC of 0.29, and Anton a BAC reading of 0.19. In other words, of three individuals — Jock, Andrei and Anton — Jock was the most sober, and the only individual among a group of 20 arrested — this despite the fact that the mob attacked police when they attended the scene.

    Re Ataka (National Union Attack), I don’t believe that I’m hinting at anything, rather I’m quoting from a recent essay on Bulgarian politics. Further, the Bulgarian Constitution is one thing; Bulgarian politics, the ideology of Ataka, and political reality, another. ‘The Times’ describes Ataka’s perspective as follows: “Wants to outlaw the use of other languages in Bulgaria, opposes privatisation and foreign ownership. Volan Siderov, its leader, has campaigned against Turkish membership of the EU, saying: “If we sit and don’t work like Bulgarian patriots, one day they will conquer us indeed. They will annex whole regions.” Motto: “Let’s bring Bulgaria back to Bulgarians”.” In other words, Ataka is one of many ‘ultra-nationalist’ parties in Europe.

  8. Alek says:

    Some Australians are just up themselves backwards.

    “we will decide who comes to this country and the nature in which they come.”

    no – this isn’t ultra nationalistic – it’s patriotic. there is, apparently, a difference. So blinded are you by hypocrisy that you cant respect anyone but your own “kind”.

    crap on about fighting against fascism – so did bulgarians you ignoramus. Might I make you aware that not 1 Bulgarian jew or gypsy died as a result of racist conflict in WW2.

    Bulgarians, generally, don’t have the same shitful attitude toward other ethnicities as you.

    pig ignorant arsehole.

  9. @ndy says:
      Some Australians are just up themselves backwards.

    Yes.

      “we will decide who comes to this country and the nature in which they come.”

      no – this isn’t ultra nationalistic – it’s patriotic. there is, apparently, a difference. So blinded are you by hypocrisy that you can’t respect anyone but your own “kind”.

    Actually, those remarks weren’t made by me, but by the former Australian Prime Minister, John HoWARd, in October 2001. I’m not his scriptwriter, so I see no good reason why I should take responsibility for his stoopid.

      crap on about fighting against fascism – so did bulgarians you ignoramus. Might I make you aware that not 1 Bulgarian jew or gypsy died as a result of racist conflict in WW2.

    By the same token, I might make you aware that not one Australian Jew or Gypsy (Roma) died as a result of racist conflict in WW2. I might, but it’s irrelevant, just as your remark is. Neither Australia nor Bulgaria are the same countries they were in WWII, and it’s demonstrable fact that anti-Roma feeling is high in Bulgaria.

      Bulgarians, generally, don’t have the same shitful attitude toward other ethnicities as you.

      pig ignorant arsehole.

    Maybe — I dunno. Whether true or not, I would’ve thought that, if we agree that these attitudes are indeed shitful, the point would be to fight against them, surely?

  10. Alek says:

    “Jock’s case is complicated by the existence of ultra-nationalist currents in Bulgaria”.

    to state the bleeding obvious, Jock’s case is complicated more by the fact he was carrying a blade, and he used it on 2 bulgarians, one who died. what the deceased was is irrelevant – you are the one that is making race and politics an issue. you are the one that pissed all over a people you have no idea about.

    you have no historical perspective, cultural perspective, or political perspective.

    in the context that you established, bulgarian respect for jewish and roma life is absolutely relevant. 500 years under ottoman rule is relevant. being ruled by austrian aristocracy is relevant. backlash against communism is relevant. post communist assault by western corporations is relevant.

    ultra nationalist currents that exist in bulgaria are a damn sight milder than those inspired by hanson and delivered by howard with the blessing of the australian population. so before you cast pious aspersions deal with your own shit.

    bulgarians are a decent people that have a sense of community australians can only envy.

  11. @ndy says:

    Alek,

    As I wrote:

    Jock’s case is complicated by the existence of ultra-nationalist currents in Bulgaria, and the fact that the dead man, Andrei Monov, was acknowledged by his father, in court, as being a right-wing nationalist and as believing in ‘Bulgaria for the Bulgarians’. Secondly, and intimately tied to Bulgarian ultra-nationalism, is the existence of a strong current of anti-Roma feeling: according to this view, Roma are not Bulgarian, and do not belong in the country. Finally, Jock claims to have been assaulted by ‘nationalists’ in Bulgaria on a number of prior occasions, and that this was the reason for his carrying a knife.

    Jock’s case is not ‘complicated’ by the facts of the case, which is that he had in his possession a knife, which he used, his use of which resulted in the death of Andrei and injury to another. What does ‘complicate’ the case are other facts — some of which are in dispute — and the context in which the altercation between Jock and the group of Bulgarian hooligans took place. That is, Jock came to the assistance of a man, a Roma, who was being assaulted by this group. Why were they assaulting this individual? Because he was a Roma, and because they believed Roma are unwelcome in Bulgaria. The obvious question that arises at this point is: was this an isolated incident? It appears not. This is what I mean when I refer to further, complicating factors.

    There are others.

    Among these are the apparent ‘loss’ of vital video footage of the incident. As detailed elsewhere:

    One witness, who works in the building where the CCTV footage went missing (which is still missing, along with the computer on to which it was recorded — see : Jock Palfreeman : May 2009 Update) gave evidence at the hearing. He was asked if police spoke to him. He said ‘No’, but added that some individuals came to his workplace on the day following the original incident to look at the video. He did not specify whether they were police.

    For further background infos, please see: Extreme-Right politics in Bulgaria, Institute of Race Relations (IRR), 1994–2004 and Roma riots in Bulgaria, http://www.romea.cz, 2007.

    I have not “pissed all over” a people (Bulgarians) I have no idea about, nor do I lack an historical, or cultural, or political perspective: these are mere assertions on your part, clearly contradicted by the contents of my writings. Further, while a history of Ottoman or Austrian or Communist or Western corporate rule are obviously of concern to you, you have failed to demonstrate in what way they relate to the facts of Jock’s case.

    Are ultra-nationalist currents in Bulgaria more or less widespread than are those in Australia? I don’t know: it’s an interesting question, but I’ve obviously not embarked on a comparative analysis. Regarding Hanson and HoWARd, you appear to believe that you are addressing someone who supports one or both of these individuals, or their policies: I do not, as is made abundantly clear elsewhere on my blog.

    Finally, I’m not at all interested in engaging in a ridiculous pissing contest with you over whether or not ‘Australians’ or ‘Bulgarians’ are ‘better’ or ‘worse’. If you wish to behave in this manner, I suggest you find the blog of an Australian nationalist, and challenge them to a duel.

  12. Alek says:

    Slackbastard,

    If you think this is a pissing contest then you’re bound to get wet.

    Ottoman or Austrian or Communist or Western corporate rule don’t relate to Jock Palfreeman’s case. They relate to fascism. You merged the the 2 issues.

    There is considerable supposition presented as fact on your part starting with the inference contained that is your heading. “Jock Palfreeman & Fascism in Bulgaria”.

    If you want to address Jock Palfreeman, then address Jock Palfreeman. If you want to address ultra right wing movements, then address ultra right wing movements.

    What you have done by merging the two issues, is to suggest that Bulgarians are incapable of addressing the stabbing death of one of their own by a foreigner because the fascist movement is so influential. Justice for the righteous, Australians automatically included of course, is denied.

    Further, you as an Australian, are promoting the rights of an Australian who stands accused of murder, masking it as an attack on fascism. The Israeli govt is very good at employing this kind of strategy and it’s downright hypocritical.

    At best your context if as fucked up as you can get, at worst you have the same nationalistic tendency that you profess to abhor…

    As with any nation Bulgarians don’t always get it right, but if someone was getting attacked in the street they wouldn’t look away. If you think that illustrating the Bulgarian sense of community by measuring them against something you might have an understanding of is a pissing contest, then your loss.

    Here is another comparison. You’re quick to illuminate ultra right wing groups and declare this is Bulgaria. Bulgaria also has a considerable left wing, that is mainstream and as credible as major parties in Bulgaria get. Compare that to your trot list.

    Here is another comparison. You can engage in a political debate with any 9 year old in Bulgaria and they will happily tell you what they think, rationalise it, and articulate who the major players in politics are and what they stand for.

    If Jock Palfreeman is a killer, he will get what he deserves and no amount of obfuscation on your part can change that.

    Bulgarians are a good people.

  13. @ndy says:

    Alek,

      If you think this is a pissing contest then you’re bound to get wet.

    Correction: I don’t think that Jock’s case is a pissing contest; I do think that you’re trying to turn it into one, one in which the contestants are ‘Australia’ and ‘Bulgaria’. Thus your first comment refers to John HoWARd’s remark of October 21, 2001, and portrays it as though it expressed the sentiments of all Australians, including this one.

    This is incorrect.

    Thus, while I’m happy to agree with you that “[s]ome Australians are just up themselves backwards” (including HoWARd), I do not agree that this applies to all Australians.

    Or, it should be noted, Afghanis, Albanians, Algerians, Americans, American Samoans, Andorrans, Angolans, Antiguans, Argentinians, Armenians, Austrians or Azerbaijanis.

    To reiterate: I do not agree with HoWARd, and never have. I am also happy for him to be described as an ‘ultra-nationalist’, rather than a mere ‘patriot’ (a distinction which I find problematic in any case). Or, following Ghassan Hage, as a ‘fundamentalist’. For Hage, HoWARd is a fundamentalist in that he maintains that Australians are essentially Good (in a similar manner to which you claim Bulgarians are essentially Good). In fact, this is a standard trope of nationalist rhetoric, and leads quite easily into the refrain ‘Australia for Australians’ or ‘Bulgaria for Bulgarians’ — the latter slogan Andrei’s father stated in court Andrei endorsed.

    Finally, you ended your first comment by asserting that I was a “pig ignorant arsehole” — presumably for having the temerity to suggest that not all Bulgarians are, in fact, Good, and that some of their actions — such as engaging in a group assault upon a Roma — may in fact be termed ‘Bad’.

    Just as the same action would be if engaged in by a group of Australians (or Afghanis, Albanians, Algerians, Americans, American Samoans, Andorrans, Angolans, Antiguans, Argentinians, Armenians, Austrians or Azerbaijanis).

    Whether or not you ever come to understand this remarkably simple point I don’t know — it would certainly require you to remove your ideological blinkers.

      Ottoman or Austrian or Communist or Western corporate rule don’t relate to Jock Palfreeman’s case. They relate to fascism. You merged the the 2 issues.

    No, I have not.

    Clearly.

    For the third and final time:

    Jock’s case is complicated by the existence of ultra-nationalist currents in Bulgaria, and the fact that the dead man, Andrei Monov, was acknowledged by his father, in court, as being a right-wing nationalist and as believing in ‘Bulgaria for the Bulgarians’. Secondly, and intimately tied to Bulgarian ultra-nationalism, is the existence of a strong current of anti-Roma feeling: according to this view, Roma are not Bulgarian, and do not belong in the country. Finally, Jock claims to have been assaulted by ‘nationalists’ in Bulgaria on a number of prior occasions, and that this was the reason for his carrying a knife.

    Feel free to address what I wrote, rather than cast me as a HoWARd supporter, an “ignoramus”, or a “pig ignorant arsehole”.

      If you want to address Jock Palfreeman, then address Jock Palfreeman. If you want to address ultra right wing movements, then address ultra right wing movements.

    I’ve done both, on numerous occasions. Thus on Palfreeman:

    Regarding the ‘ultra-right’, I’ve been blogging about this subject for several years. As of this date, there are 714 posts on my blog categorised under the heading ‘Anti-Fascism’.

      What you have done by merging the two issues, is to suggest that Bulgarians are incapable of addressing the stabbing death of one of their own by a foreigner because the fascist movement is so influential. Justice for the righteous, Australians automatically included of course, is denied.

    No, I have not. Rather, I have provided links to reportage and analysis which documents the extent to which the Bulgarian legal system is subject to corrupt influence. This is a problem in all cases, not just Jock’s. I have also pointed to apparent failures in the police investigation (the ‘loss’ of evidence), and the contradictory nature of some testimony.

    By doing so, it does not follow that I am claiming that all other systems are not corrupt — they are, to varying degrees, and according to various criteria.

    This much should be obvious — but, obviously, isn’t.

    Beyond this, Jock is a foreigner, who killed a Bulgarian citizen. He has been lambasted in the Bulgarian media, and is a hated figure.

    This is perfectly understandable, and quite predictable. In similar but reverse circumstances — that is, if a Bulgarian were on trial for killing an Australian, in Australia — I would expect important segments of the Australian media to respond in a very similar manner; I would also expect popular opinion to demand the swift and severe punishment of the imaginary Bulgarian in question.

    What first brought my attention to Jock’s case was the nature of his defence, and the circumstances surrounding the killing.

      Further, you as an Australian, are promoting the rights of an Australian who stands accused of murder, masking it as an attack on fascism. The Israeli govt is very good at employing this kind of strategy and it’s downright hypocritical.

    I disagree.

    To begin with, yes I am an Australian, and so is Jock.

    So far, so good.

    Jock is accused of murder — again, yes.

    Am I masking the alleged murder “as an attack on fascism”? No, I don’t think so. Rather, I am drawing attention to the circumstances surrounding the killing, which I won’t reiterate here as this information is available elsewhere on my blog (but best presented, perhaps, in Foreign Correspondent).

    I’m not entirely sure why you raise the subject of the Israeli Government, or what it does: on this subject, you would need to elaborate. Presumably, however, and based on the preceding sentence, you maintain that the Israeli government presents itself as being engaged in the struggle against fascism, and that because it (purportedly) engages in this struggle, this justifies its crimes. In any case, I’ve written about Israel, and Israeli state policy, elsewhere on my blog, and if you wish to pursue this subject there, you’re free to do so.

      At best your context if as fucked up as you can get, at worst you have the same nationalistic tendency that you profess to abhor…

    Non-sense.

    Literally.

      As with any nation Bulgarians don’t always get it right, but if someone was getting attacked in the street they wouldn’t look away. If you think that illustrating the Bulgarian sense of community by measuring them against something you might have an understanding of is a pissing contest, then your loss.

    What Bulgarians do is what Bulgarians do — same as Australians. Blanket assertions such as “if someone was getting attacked in the street [Bulgarians] wouldn’t look away” are unhelpful. Moreover, they do not address the putative subject of this post. It obviously astounds you, but Bulgarians, like Australians — and like Bahamans, Bangladeshis, Bahrainis, Barbadians, Belorussians, Belgians, Belizeans, Beninians, Bhutanans, Bolivians, Bosnians, Botswanans, Brazilians, Bruneins, Burkina-Fasoans, Burmans and Burundians — are all capable of acts both ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’.

    Deal with it.

      Here is another comparison. You’re quick to illuminate ultra right wing groups and declare this is Bulgaria. Bulgaria also has a considerable left wing, that is mainstream and as credible as major parties in Bulgaria get. Compare that to your trot list.

    This is simply false; in fact, an outright lie. I have never stated that ‘Bulgaria is ultra right’. Rather, I have pointed to the existence of ultra-right groups in Bulgaria, and argued, on the basis of documented evidence, that one of their motivations is anti-Roma feeling.

    Again: deal with it.

    For further clarification, I suggest that you actually read, rather than ignore, ‘Unfashionable Balkan nationalism? The rise of ultranationalist politics in Bulgaria’, Organise, No.70, Summer 2008.

      If Jock Palfreeman is a killer, he will get what he deserves and no amount of obfuscation on your part can change that.

    I agree: Jock is a killer. His actions resulted in the death of a man, Andrei Monov. What is at stake is whether or not his action may be justified in terms of self-defence. This is currently the subject of a legal process. Its outcome — and that of subsequent appeals — will determine how long Jock is imprisoned for his crime.

    Finally:

    I have written about numerous cases to do with racism and fascism, including violent crime, not only in Bulgaria, but in Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, the United States and many other countries. Typically, by doing so, nationalists accuse me of a particular prejudice towards the citizens of that country. Their logic is spurious, as is yours in reference to Bulgaria.

    Some Bulgarians are ‘good’ people; other Bulgarians are ‘bad’ people.

    It’s an elementary point of logic that any 9 year old, of Bulgarian origin or not, can understand.

  14. Alek says:

    Goodness – you have Noam Chomsky personally speaking on your behalf. I’m impressed.

  15. A guy says:

    Screw you bastards.You should all get locked up like your idol Jock.He killed a man,and he deserves to burn in hell,just like all of you fagots.

  16. @ndy says:

    G’day A guy,

    It’s spelled ‘faggot’.

    Two ‘g’s.

  17. John says:

    I happen to know for FACT that Jock is a Psychopath who did EXACTLY what the police described him as doing in Sofia … on more the one occasion in Sydney … it is a miracle that no one died as a result of his attacks in Australia. He narrowly escaped being caught. He should never be allowed back on the street and his family are lying and covering for him.

  18. @ndy says:

    Gosh John. Have you thought of contacting NSW police with this extraordinary breakthrough in your investigation?

  19. JAMES CAILLARD says:

    i went to school with jok!
    he was a good bloke.
    these things happen.
    free the man!!!

    FREE JOK!!

  20. Gbenga T. Okunlola says:

    http://www.thevoicenewsmagazine.com/newsdetails.asp?id=18&cat_id=1

    check this and see no one said anything to this no newspaper or tv said anything about it he was stabbed with knife 7 time allover. God on his side he didnt die, see what comments some people are saying i am not surprised Bulgaria is a lawless country the EU have to do something to this and it like this everyday skin heads, drunk group see black people on the street all they think of is to stab them and kill them am sorry Jock wish i could help the Lord will be your witness and your strength

  21. Kamelia says:

    I hope Jock will be free SOONER!

    I am a Bulgarian and I think I know how hell looks like, I imagine it similar to BUlgaria.
    I am not a nationalist (haha). Also I do not like any general statements against any nation, not because they are necessarily wrong, but just because of those small number of good people which you discriminate against then…
    So no judgements, otherwise I have to start talking against Americans, Russians and God knows who.

    There are good and intelligent people anywhere, maybe the distribution is slightly different 😉

    Dear @ndy, if there were more people like you in BG it would have been a better place, unfortunately the evolution here is up to guy Alek.

  22. Troll says:

    He shall never be free!
    He is a murderer and deserves to rot in jail,same goes for every single one of you bastards.I knew anarchists were fucked up in the head,but supporting murder…
    Too bad the nazis didn’t come after freaks like you!

  23. Al says:

    Hey Alek,

    Get a clue dick head this investigation and trial has been nothing but a joke. Guilty or innocent this is about a fair trial its got nothing to do with anything but that. The difference between that shit hole donkey village you live in and Australia is, you would get a fair trial here. So before you go shooting your pig ignorant mouth off ,why don’t you do some homework. Better still why don’t you come down to Australia for a holiday, you backward little euro donkey. We have a way of life that a donkey like you could only dream about. You would not know the first thing about this trial, and even less about Australia, Australians, or community, you would not have a clue!! I’m sure most Bulgarians are good people, but the best part of you went on the bed sheets !!

    Mate if you were a grain of rice you couldn’t pass yourself off as a fucking maggot !!!

  24. Eric says:

    Eeyore… eeyore… eeyore ways calls me donkey.

  25. kiwi says:

    Eric, ???

    and you say my comments are pointless!.

    in a similar way to religion and politics, there is and can only be one truth, BUT…

    everyone is right, every single person, including jock, is 100% convinced they are right.

    Even when people are wrong they seem to convince themselves they are right.

    I have seen people agree, but rarely be wrong.

    Jock’s situation is hardly a problem compared to this!.

    :-/

  26. Eric says:

    Sorry aussie. I just found Al’s “backward little euro donkey” comment funny and it reminded me of a childhood joke. I certainly didn’t mean to make light of Jock’s dreadful situation which is the real issue. Other than that, I have no idea what you are talking about.

  27. Aussie says:

    All good, I probably should have put a smiley face, because I also intended to be having a joke :).

    What else is there to know about Jock Andy? I read this and I just get this feeling your opinion has been swayed by information that is not relevant to the case. In saying that, it does seem like there may have been some injustices? Maybe.

    These are the questions i want to know.

    ~ Can self defence be justified when a person puts themself in harm’s way? Does this imply Jock is not a sensible person?

    ~ What sort of person is Jock, is he the sort of person who carries a knife because he was scared (and if so why was he alone)?

    ~ Has Jock tried to play hero before, in the way of: is he aware of his physical strength, or was he just overcome with emotion (if so what was that emotion). I’m not sure if it does, but if his painbody [?] overcame him, it should be taken into account in any court.

    These are hard decisions for any court to make, it sounds almost impossible to say he is innocent and impossible that he is not.

  28. Aussie says:

    Hm yeah, I still believe my questions are of concern, and should be dealt with seriously. Mostly because I wonder why someone worried enough about there [sic] safety was capable of taking on a group, and was carrying a knife.

    It also seems the only facts are known by the witnesses, it’s fair to say action was necessary, although it is also fair to say he got completely screwed! The value of Jock’s life has not been taken seriously. What would be a court’s motive to do such a thing?

  29. Aussie says:

    There is a very complicated description of a painbody, so i will simplify it.

    Painbody is the word Tolle uses to describe it, i am not sure what else it can be called.

    Painbody: an accumulation of energy that is inside a person that doesn’t flow anymore, created from your past, and capable of taking over your whole body. It makes you do things you don’t want to do. It can make you try hurt others, yourself or both. Eg. road rage, violent relationship arguments (very common), suicide, even crying babies.
    It could be best described as an emotion, except you feel it through your whole body.

    It is also treatable.

  30. antsy says:

    “I happen to know for FACT that Jock is a Psychopath who did EXACTLY what the police described him as doing in Sofia.”

    And how do you know this? Were you there? And if he’s a psychopath why did they have to rig the trial? Destroy evidence? Change witness statements? Wage a media campaign led by Monov’s father? And why did the nuns at Palfreeman’s former school who watched him grow up put out a statement saying that he had grown into a ‘fine young man’. He fooled the nuns too, I suppose? Well, I was taught by nuns and they are damn hard to fool!

    The charge against Palfreeman was that he was a sociopath who came to Bulgaria ‘to kill people’ because ‘he hated Bulgarians’. This is arrant nonsense with not one iota of evidence to back it up. Especially since his Bulgarian friends, of which he has many, came day after day to his trial to support him. Many of these same friends now visit him in prison.

    There is however plenty of evidence that he did see two Roma beating beaten and stomped on and that he went to their aid. There is plenty of evidence that the Nationalist/Fascist/football hooligans then went after him and tried to kill him for siding with the Roma and that he drew a knife in self defence. Palfreeman was with two English friends on a night out to farewell the girlfriend of his friend and they were eyewitnesses to the entire incident. But guess what? They were never CALLED TO TESTIFY. Why? Well, because they would have told the truth, of course.

    As far as I can see the situation in Bulgaria contains all the pre-conditions for ethnic cleansing and it’s not far fetched to say that essentially Jock Palfreeman is a political prisoner, locked up, lied about, demonized and vilified so that the truth about the crisis Bulgaria is in (sliding ever deeper into fascism) didn’t have to be faced. I don’t know what you call that, but only a psychopath could call it justice.

  31. Rebecca Olesen says:

    Fuck that murderous self righteous sack of SHIT and fuck you. What is FASCISM? Belief that your land that has been for your people for a thousand years could stay that way?

    Then why aren’t you more worried about Turkey or China? China is 97% Han Chinese and Turkey is so nationalist they even kill other Muslims who aren’t Turkified. No other race or continent on earth, besides European white Christian countries, are EXPECTED and DEMANDED to cover themselves up with 1,000 different ethnic groups and races from all over the world, WHY?

    Why do I have to live surrounded by Somalian gangs in FUCKING SWEDEN? There are no whites in Somalia, there are no Christians left (well they estimate a few hundred in hiding, but, if they are discovered it is instant execution on the spot). Japan, Korean, Malaysia – I see their countries with their own people.

    In Africa the blacks are so xenophobic they hate other Africans from countries bordering their own even, and attack and kill them for ‘no other reason’ than that they don’t belong there. South African Blacks murder Zim immigrants every single day. Nigeria and South Africa are having [saying?] “oh if you deport illegal Nigerians back home, then WE will deport South Africans and twice as many” (which they are doing). In tribal Africa people hate each other for being a different tribe, religion, city, country – race has nothing to do with it.

    That JOCK piece of shit??? THAT IS THE FASCIST. When you feel you have the right to MURDER people because you don’t like the fact that they are racist or nationalistic, then YOU ARE A FASCIST.

    Isn’t that what fascism IS? Forcing thoughts, belie[f]s, and attitudes onto people through means of violence and force; by harassment and murder?

    Bulgaria is not his country and I don’t give a shit if they were beating somebody up. JOCK had the knife. If you jump into ANY fight, even if it is just between two people, you KNOW you are taking a risk, a physical risk. If you don’t want a beating and you don’t want to kill somebody either, then you best stand around the edges and scream or something, you don’t jump on to a MOB of men beating someone and expect them to leave you alone.

    He didn’t know his life was in danger, and too much of a pussy to take a beat down? No rather pull out a knife and just start stabbing away.

    WHY DID HE HAVE THAT KNIFE ANYWAY? Isn’t that against the law?

    NOT HIS COUNTRY, NOT HIS FIGHT, NOT HIS FUCKING RIGHT.

    HE is no hero, for what? Jumping in to a gypsy beat down and murdering someone? Fuck that shit. Fucking anti-facist are pro-violent motherfuckers who attack people who are doing nothing oftimes than having a candlelight vigil for a countryman murdered by an immigrant. How is it fucking RACIST to feel anger or outrage when your neighbor is killed by a fucking Afghan asylum seeker who fucking HATES us, beats us, kills us, and gang rapes the women here like they are DOGS? FUCK THEM. If I went to Afghanistan I would not last A WEEK – they would fucking MURDER me for no other reason than being a smart lip woman, not in a burqa and especially for being Christian. They shoot nuns doing volunteer work with disabled kids in the fucking HEAD. I’m supposed to TOLERATE THEM?

    When does tolerance become inappropriate? They don’t tolerate us at ALL, zero percent in their own countries; then come here, fucking scream at us, demand we remove the small cross in the chapel in the hospital because they are OFFENDED, the teachers in the schools can’t even say fucking MERRY CHRISTMAS any more and what compromise have they given in return? FUCK ALL, that’s what, not a mother fucking thing. There have been 3 fires in 3 nights within a 2 to 5 minute walking distance from where I live. A car, a stolen scooter, and the side of the centrum [?] building. Of course it is fucking Arab teenagers, who roam the streets at 2am on school nights with mobs of their cousins and friends.

    THIS IS NOT THE WAY I WANT TO FUCKING LIVE… From being able to leave your door open all night for a breeze; your neighbors good people, quiet, obey the law, don’t bother anyone, grounds are clean… NOW? All I FUCKING hear is Somalian, Arabic screaming all day and all night, when do they fucking sleep? Trash is thrown out of the windows above me, right onto my fucking walkway – no motor vehicles are allowed within the residential areas here, but those piss ant cunts come screaming by with 10 scooters, as fast as they can go, while 2 year olds are playing EVERYwhere… When I go outside to say “hey, you know that’s against the rule, what are you guys doing?” IMMEDIATELY some fucking Afghan starts to scream and curse and spit at me “who the hell do you think you are” and another one saying “OK now GO AWAY” and making brushing motions, like I’m nothing.

    Well they fucked up with me, because I’m not originally from Sweden, I’m from Memphis, Tennessee USA 70% black highest violent crime rate in the U.S. or 2nd highest almost every single year. I grew up with SHIT and I’m not afraid of it. Swedes are so ‘gracious’ they’ll simply move rather than confront anything, and that is why the Afghans get arrested for rape, over and over again. 10 year old girls dragged into the fucking bushes in broad daylight by Somalians for RAPE.

    A woman was recently gang raped by 12 fucking Afghan asylum seekers, AT the facility, 3 men at a time for 7 fucking hours. She almost DIED because of the amount of semen that got into [her] LUNGS. Her mind is wrecked, her life is ruined and over.

    The man who set it up said she was a whore and she deserved it. She is a mother of 2, and a normal regular European woman; but to them THAT IS a whore. We’re all whores. They tell the people in their home countries that women here marry dogs and donkeys and the government allows it. They claim that over 50% of all children born in Denmark are ‘illegitimate’ and then say that doesn’t mean they aren’t married, that means they have NO IDEA who the babies father is ‘it could be the taxi driver, the door man, the cashier’. Another fucking lie. Their Imams speak on the radio and publicly state it is BETTER to rape a Swedish woman because she probably fucked before anyway. The Muslim women never get raped here.

    A TURKISH man just on trial, he beat the fuck out of his wife every day, he molested all 4 of her daughters for several years. He said because they showed too much skin, he was FORCED to lick their genitals and then masturbate on them in order to keep himself from raping them, because THEY inflamed his lusts. It was the 10 year old’s fault. Fucker only got 3 1/2 YEARS. They know Swedish prison is like a hotel, and they’ll get out in less than half the sentence, so it’s worth it to them to rape whatever they want and do whatever they want.

    TURKS are the scum of the earth. I guess maybe you forget, Turkey was once a Christian country, filled with Armenians, Assyrians and Greek Orthodox Hellenics. Where’d they all go? OH that’s right, they murdered them. Now there’s maybe 25,000 non Turks like that left in Turkey – the KURDS are steadily murdered & told no Kurdish names for children, you cannot teach children the Kurdish language, or sing your songs, or wear your native garb. ONLY TURKS and people who act like Turks can stay. SO FUCK the fucking Turks. They don’t belong in BULGARIA it is not their land, they moved their [sic] through INVASION.

    Just like the Arabs in Iran, where they killed off the majority of Persians and forced Islam on them and now rule the Persians in their own country. Just like EGYPT once a Christian country, now only 9% Christian and the new government says their goal is to have no Christians left in 50 years. Their choice will be convert, leave, stay-but pay Jizya tax and take legal second class citizenship, or DIE. As it stands their daughters are kidnapped & disappear daily for forced marriage to Muslim men, OR for sex slavery. Christian women are raped & filmed being raped & told they have to convert or they’ll make the tape public.

    They do they same to Christians in Pakistan, Hindus & Sikhs.

    Pakistan, once part of India, stolen by Muslims, was 20% Hindu & 20% Christian after the majority of Hindus & Christians left before partition. NOW Christian population is 1.68% and the Hindu population is ZERO point 69%. There are no Sikhs left. The Muslims in Pakistan have taken ALL Hindu holy temples and sites and turned them into madrassas or use them to house GOATS.

    LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. I do NOT want that shit happening to my children or my grandchildren; and I am not a fascist or a racist because of that.

    One of the leading Egyptian Coptic Christian leaders asks this question of us: What makes you think you are any different from US? Why do you think they won’t do this to you, because this is what they’ve done in EVERY country they have populated.

    THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION. Look what happened to Serbia.

    Look to Thailand, Buddhist monks killed with machetes and set on fire, Buddhist teachers killed on their way to school, at home, in the school in front of students. Over 150 Buddhist schools have had to close and move – and 50 Buddhist monasteries.

    What the hell did a BUDDHIST ever do to anybody? NOTHING? They blow those monks up, they set them on fire, they are beheaded.

    DUDE, tell me one fucking majority Muslim, or even small minority Muslim country that isn’t TOTALLY FUCKED up with every other religion obliterated, and every other ethnic group also obliterated.

    FUCK TURKS fuck Arabs fuck Muslims all to hell and back. They offer NOTHING but ghettos, violence, rape, robbery, crime, drugs, arson and suck the welfare tit DRY.

    We pay 50% income tax (and more) and 25% purchase tax on everything we buy and they are telling us, the money is going dry, we have to close that medical center, there is no money for that school of mostly Swedish kids because we’re spending more on that school of mostly immigrant kids.

    A librarian here for 40 years retired with around 10,500 SEK a month (which is like maybe 1,500 USD a month, that is not that much, because shit in Sweden is outrageous expensive, housing is outrageous, food, everything) SO discovers this immigrant who came here AFTER age 65 and receives 11,000 a month ‘pension’ AND is receiving free dental care. She thinks there must be a mistake, so she contacts social services, and they tell HER no you don’t qualify for dental help. And barely qualifies for any housing help.

    BULL – SHIT, AND BULL FUCKING SHIT. The prime minister is talking about OH we should all start working until we are 75, we should raise the retirement age, 75 IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY in Sweden, THEY WANT US TO WORK UNTIL WE FUCKING DIE, while these motherfuckers next door to me chew Khat all day and scream at each other, free housing, free food, free medical, never learning Swedish, never leaving to look for a job – while OUR pension drops, and we can’t get help for dental work, or food, or housing.

    FUCK THEM, FUCK YOU AND FUCK THIS STABBING MURDEROUS CUNTBAG!

  32. @ndy says:

    Huh.

    I don’t remember asking a racist loon to come and dump a load of rubbish on my blog.

    That said, congratulations on making it into my ‘Top Ten Most Batshit Comments’ list.

  33. Athenry says:

    Holy shit, that was ridiculous. Nearly two thousand words of utter bile, and 90% of it was just completely made up. I love the ‘What did Buddhists ever do to anyone?’ line. There are 376 million Buddhists in the world, they’re not all ascended, spiritual, connected beings. Most of them are just ordinary people. For example, the military leaders of Burma are Buddhist and they oppress and slaughter thousands.

    So not only is she making unfair generalizations against certain groups of people, she’s also making them for groups of people.

    Also praising Malaysia for being a “[country] … with their own people” and then spending paragraph after paragraph badmouthing Muslims, that make up 60% of Malaysia’s population. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    And on that note; in response to “tell me one fucking majority Muslim, or even small minority Muslim country that isn’t TOTALLY FUCKED up with every other religion obliterated” my answer would be Malaysia. Their religion is 60% Islam, it’s the majority, but that still allows 40% for other religions, it is very diverse. Which is more than I can say for her nation of Sweden that is nearly 80% Lutheran. Who’re the ones ‘obliterating’ all other religions now? And Malaysia isn’t ‘totally fucked up’ either, they have their ghettos of course, as many nations do, especially a developing nation. But their people are wonderful and the cities are magnificent.

    Why insult certain individuals for abusing Sweden’s prison systems and other institutions and not blame the institutions themselves? That just seems silly. Of course people are going to abuse them if they are open to it.

    I didn’t read much of what she wrote, I couldn’t bear to. And the language, just despicable.

  34. Kiril says:

    Rebecca,

    it was pleasure reading your comment.

  35. Rightguy says:

    Stop spreading crap to cover up for the murderer jock. He carried a knife and attacked the bulgarian guys. He claims to defend a roma, a roma who noone found or could verify existed.
    When you see a street fight, you dont jump in with a knife and start stabbing. You call the cops or you jump in unarmed and get beaten up if you wanna be hero.
    Jock was not attacked and so its not self defence. He was the provocator and is the aggressor. Sofia is not Kabul, why carry a knife and go drinking? If its so unsafe, dont go out drinking, jock should have stayed home. But its clear that the guy was an aggressive, violent person looking for a fight as is proved by his violence in sydney too.
    Let him rot a few years more away from Australia, which pampered his butt way too much for his own good.

  36. @ndy says:

    Your account is at variance with the facts. I suggest you acquaint yourself with them.

    http://everyparentsnightmare.com/

  37. Rightguy says:

    Dont need to buy a book written by an Australian writer to know the facts of a murderer freely available on the net.
    I suggest you wake up and face reality.

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