Alert: Message for U.S. Citizens: Labor Union Demonstration, Road Blockades

Events:  On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, there will be a labor union demonstration and procession beginning between Oborishte street and the Council of Ministers in downtown Sofia by 12:00.  This is an unfolding event; all times and routes are approximate.

Bulgarian authorities report organizers expect five thousand (5,000) participants. The demonstration may employ the use of up to 100 buses.

Additionally, demonstrators plan to use 600 tractors to block Botevgradsko Shose, exiting Sofia towards Varna, also known as the Hemus highway or A2.  United States citizens should expect similar blockades throughout the country as protests continue.

All U.S. citizens are advised to avoid areas impacted by demonstrations.

Please anticipate road closures and an increased police presence in these areas.  Expect delays, roadblocks, and in a general increase in normal weekday traffic throughout downtown Sofia, and areas surrounding blockades and protests. Please note that the demonstration times and road closures are subject to change.

 Actions to Take:

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent.
  • Avoid areas of demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution if unexpectedly found in the vicinity of large gatherings or demonstrations.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • U.S. Citizens are advised to call the police (#112), seek a safe location, and wait for assistance from the police


 U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria

+359-2-937-5100 (business hours)

+359-2-937-5101 (after hours—emergencies only—arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens)

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Bulgaria Country Information

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