Egypt: Port Said call for civil disobedience

Thousands of Egyptians rally on February 17, 2013, closing down government offices and factories in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, as they demand justice for dozens of people killed in clashes with police in late January after a court sentenced 21 soccer fans from the city to death over a deadly football riot last year.  AFP PHOTO/STR

Marches swept Port Said early on Sunday morning responding to a call for civil disobedience in the governorate

Ultras Green Eagles, fans of Al-Masry football club in Port Said, called for civil disobedience along with other groups over the “injustices” experienced by residents in the governorate.

Marches started at 8am in front of the governorate building, continued past one of the busiest customs gates at the Port Said Port Authority, and marched inside the industrial free zone.

Women and girls blocked the main streets as protesters marched towards the Suez Canal Authority and the Investment Authority.

The railways connecting Port Said with other cities were stopped for an hour and a half in the morning. Port Said Railway Station Observer Abdo Ali said the protesters stopped the trains at 10:30 am for 90 minutes before trains began to run again.

Local means of transportation including microbuses, the main method of transportation in the city, have been halted and factories are expected to close down as part of the civil disobedience.

“Employees are joining the protests in Port Said; we are walking to one institution after the other. We chant and people join us,” the Green Eagles stated on their Facebook page. “The majority of school students have also joined in their uniforms.”

The protesters called for justice for protesters killed during 26 January clashes, and demanded that Port Said ‘martyrs’ should be treated similarly to those who died in the Revolution.

Protesters also chanted against President Mohamed Morsi and his policies, blaming him for politicising events in Port Said.

They also demanded renewed investigations into violent clashes that followed a football match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry football clubs and led to the deaths of 74 people in February 2012.

Violence previously erupted when Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 21 people to death on 26 January. Port Said residents claim they are being used as scapegoats by the government instead of holding the interior ministry and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces responsible.

More than 30 people died in the clashes that followed the verdict; the rest of the defendants will be tried on 9 March.

“The marches are all by the people with no participation from political parties or movements,” said Mahmoud Qandil, an accountant and one of the protesters.

He added that the Revolutionary Socialists were the only political movement present, and were there because a member of the movement, Ahmed Samy, was killed during the 26 January clashes.

“There are no clashes with the army and the police are nowhere to be seen around the governorate,” Qandil said.

Calls by political groups for protests in Cairo and Alexandria as well as other governorates in solidarity with the Port Said civil disobedience movement were circulating online at the time of print.


Wrap: Port Said call for civil disobedience – Daily News Egypt.

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