A delegation of activists has left from Cairo to Port Said Saturday in solidarity with the coastal city's residents who have been rioting in response to claimed marginalisation for the past week.
Port Said residents have been protesting since a court verdict handed down death sentences to 21 city residents in connection to the football disaster of 1 February 2012 when more than 70 Ahly fans lost their lives in violence following a match with Al-Masry Club based in the city.
Residents who took to the streets in riot complain they were being scapegoated. The verdict saw days of clashes leaving at least 40 dead in addition to two policemen killed. No security officials accused in connection to the football disaster were included in the 21 sentenced to death.
The delegation visiting Port Said in solidarity and against its marginalisation included Kifaya founder George Isaac, Constitution Party member and former Minister of Manpower Ahmed El-Borai, activist Karima El-Hefnawy and actor Hamdy El-Wazir.
The delegation was met by board member of Al-Masry Club Yasser Yehia as well as several Port Said based activists. It marched from in front of Mariam Mosque through the city's streets chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohamed Morsi hails.
President Morsi declared a state of emergency and curfew on Suez Canal cities as violence was escalating. His decision, however, was openly defied by city residents who held mass demonstrations daily at 9pm, the hour the curfew starts.
The Cairo delegation demanded the president issue an apology for what the city has suffered in recent days, cancel the state of emergency and curfew, and declare those killed in Port Said as martyrs.