Several thousand people turned out on February 12 2012 in capital city Sofia and 15 other major Bulgarian cities and towns to join in protests across Europe against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
The protests, watched over by large police contingents, were conducted peacefully.
Public opinion in Eastern Europe has been strongly opposed to ACTA, which equates digital copyrights infringement to the counterfeiting of physical goods and, online freedom groups say, opens the door to strict policing of online content.
"Our demand is for the Bulgarian Parliament to say ‘no’ to ACTA and revoke its signature under this agreement, not only for concrete paragraphs of the document but for the entire agreement, because ACTA does not affect only the rights of internet users but also the medicines, the seeds and every single human act," Milen Kirilov, one of the organisers of the protest, said in Varna, local news agency Focus said.
Bulgarian-language media said that a Bulgarian page on Facebook against ACTA had more than 100 000 supporters.
Television station bTV reported that about 5000 people took part in the protest in Sofia, marching from the National Palace of Culture to Parliament. Other reports estimated the number at between 6000 and 7000.
Participants in the Sofia march carried posters saying, "No to ACTA", "Basta to ACTA", "F… ACTA" and "Stop ACTA or we will stop it".
Many participants wore masks based on that worn by the emblematic Guy character in the film V for Vendetta.
According to bTV, the turnout in the Black Sea city of Varna was about 500, in Bourgas several dozen and in Veliko Turnovo about 100. In Plovdiv, local media estimated the turnout at 300.
The BBC said that activism website stoppacta-protest.info listed more than 100 protests scheduled across Europe on February 12 2012, including events in London, Munich and Paris.