ALEXANDRIA (Middle East Eye) – Dozens have been arrested in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria after hundreds took to the streets in the working-class Nadi Al-Seed area to protest the planned forced evacuations of their houses.
The residents of the poor neighborhood protested after Friday prayers when they found themselves face to face with hundreds of riot police who accompanied several demolition crews. The demolitions have been halted due to the protests, but the residents who spoke to Middle East Eye remain on edge and accuse the government of not having a clear compensation plan.
One protester, a school teacher in his 40s, told MEE that the government wants to kick them out like they previously did with working-class areas in Maspero Triangle in Downtown Cairo, the Warraq Island in Giza and the Fustat area in old Cairo. All these places were demolished and the land was sold to local and foreign investors to build skyscrapers, shopping centers and entertainment complexes.
Protesters chanted “we will not leave” and called on others to join their demonstration and to show solidarity. The protests were met by tear gas and rubber bullets from the police who later chased demonstrators in smaller streets.
MEE has witnessed the arrest of at least 10 young people who were snatched by police officers and soldiers in plain-clothed uniforms from the demonstrations and escorted to a police van.
According to Mahmoud Azmy, a lawyer who followed up on the case and attended the interrogations, 13 of the residents were sent to the prosecution on accusations of “endangering societal peace, protesting and resisting the police”. He said that there are an unknown number of other detainees who are still yet to be interrogated.