Mass protests continue in Egypt’s Port Said for the second day on Monday causing a stoppage in schools and the closing down of the Public Free Zone, which holds at least 29 factories.
‘Green Eagles’ fans of Al-Masry club and families of those killed in last month's clashes with the police have called for protests pushing for seven demands, including the dismissal of the Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the termination of the night-time curfew imposed on the three canal cities last month.
According to Ibrahim El-Masry, a former Masry club player and spokesman of the families of Port Said’s residents sentenced to death, the demands include the appointment of an independent judge to oversee the ongoing investigations of the ‘Port Said massacre,' holding those responsible for the recent killing of Port Said residents accountable, and demanding that the state pays for the medical treatment of all those injured in the bloody confrontation that took place last February.
Furthermore, protesters are demanding a construction of a memorial statue to commemorate the recent deaths of Port Said residents and to include their names on the list ‘martyrs of Egypt’s revolution’ so their families would receive honours and compensations.
The protests in the canal city have caused estimated losses worth at least $18 million on Sunday after around 37,500 workers failed to reach their factories, according to Magdi Kamel, general director of the Businessmen Association.
"Protesters have blocked the entrance to the free zone since the early morning and haven't allowed workers from nearby governorates to reach their factories," Mohamed Shawki, deputy CEO of Klac garments in Port Said told Ahram Online.
Meanwhile, several workers of the ships arsenal in the nearby town of Port Fouad have joined the protesters and abstained from work.
The situation in the coastal city has been heated since the Port Said criminal court slammed 21 of the city's residents with death sentences on 26 January, accusing them of being involved in the February 2012's Port Said tragedy that left at least 70 Ahly fans killed.
Anger sparked riots in different areas in Port Said, including Port Said's general prison, resulting in the death of more than 40 people, two of them police officers.
Shortly after, a curfew was imposed on Port Said and the two other canal cities of Suez and Ismailia by President Mohamed Morsi. The curfew was later minimised to 3-4 hours at night.