Mahalla trains resumed service on Sunday after protesters blocked the city’s railways for almost an hour, in an attempt to implement civil disobedience in the city.
A group of protesters blocked Mahalla’s railways on Sunday morning, preventing a train carrying textile workers from heading to their work at Egypt Textile Factory in Mahalla.
Workers left the train and walked to the factory on foot, while protesters moved to the factory and tried to convince workers to join them in civil disobedience. Workers refused the protesters’ calls and went to their work, according to Mahmoud Haroun, activist and resident of Mahalla.
“Protesters clashed with workers who refused to join the civil disobedience. Eventually, protesters left and workers proceeded to their work,” he said.
Haroun said protesters tried to block the railway again, this time with burning tyres blocking the train’s path near Shoan Square. He added that security forces intervened and reopened the railway.
The call to civil disobedience in Mahalla came after violent clashes on Saturday night. The clashes started when some protesters threw rocks at security forces located at Mahalla Second Police Station, before Central Security Forces (CSF) attacked the protesters in nearby -Shoan Square, in an attempt to disperse them.
Haroun claimed that CSF dragged a 14-year-old protester for 30 metres on the ground before arresting him alongside other protesters. He said those whom arrested protesters were undercover security officers wearing plain clothes.
“What happened with the 14-year-old boy provoked anger among the protesters, who started attacking CSF with rocks. CSF responded by firing large amount of teargas bombs and birdshots.”
Haroun said seven protesters were arrested during the clashes, adding that the 28 protesters who were arrested during Friday’s clashes are still in custody facing charges of attempting to damage public property and attacking security forces personnel.
The activist also said that police officers, who were on strike following the injury of two of their colleagues allegedly attacked by protesters, ended their strike after top security officials from Tanta held a meeting with them on Saturday night. He claimed that security officials agreed to meet one of the police officers’ demands by providing them with firearms.