Soccer Fans in Port Said Protest Police Brutality

Thousands of soccer fans blocked Port Said government buildings as part of a general strike taking place in the city next to the Suez Canal. Anger is mounting over security forces and police brutality that are responsible for over 800 protests being killed since huge demonstrations started inside Egypt over two years ago that toppled the rein of Hosni Mubarak.

By closing the Port Authority, but not attempting to shut down the Suez Canal, the fans have signalled they are able to strike where it hurts the country the most: the economy in Egypt has been declining since Mubarak was overthrown and has become an Achilles heel for new president Mohammad Morsi.

In what is seen as a victory for protesters, Morsi did not enforce the curfew of 30 days in Port Said that had been declared during January.

Last month security forces intervened and brutally killed over 40 people to stop the protests against the death sentences of 21 members of the soccer fan club Green Eagles, which support Al Masri SC of Port Said. President Morsi and officials in Port Said responded to the protests by declaring an emergency ruling in the city, as well as in two other Red Sea Suez Canal cities, Suez and Ismailia.

As the verdict of the remaining 52 defendants nears, it is scheduled for March 8, the tension will likely increase even further in the city of Port Said. Those people remaining to hear their verdicts include mid-level and club security officials.

So no further protests take place, Morsi must meet some of the demands set out by the militants and take steps that convince them reform of the security and police forces is taking place. Those two institutions are despised the most by Egyptians because of being executors of repression for the Mubarak regime.

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