Ten Alexandria police stations join Egypt-wide strike

Ahram Online, Saturday 9 Mar 2013

Police in Egypt's second-largest city join countrywide labour strike, demanding not to be used as a political tool and that the interior minister be sacked

Ten police stations in Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria declare they are joining the nationwide labour strike Saturday to demand the minister of interior be dismissed and to stop their forced involvement in political and partisan struggles.

The police in the coastal city follow the lead of several officers that announced they were going on strike in several governorates to demand that they be armed to be able to defend themselves against what they described as "armed thugs."

They are also resisting what they perceive as the "Brothehroodisation" of the interior ministry and the dismissal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ibrahim was appointed on 5 January by President Mohamed Morsi, after a rash of Brotherhood-friendly cabinet appointments.

Earlier on Friday Central Security Forces in Alexandria went on strike, echoing the same demands and championing for a decree to clarify that they have the duty to keep security, but without getting involved in political disputes.

The police demands were first voiced Tuesday, when security forces refused in the canal city of Ismailia to comply with deployment orders to the city of Port Said, where clashes over the past week have left hundreds injured and at least five killed - both civilians and security officers.

Later on Wednesday around 8,000 police officers and conscripts across 34 CSF camps in Sinai and the Suez Canal joined the strike calls.

On Friday, a ministry official detailed to Ahram Online that at least 60 police stations have joined the ongoing strike in several governorates in Egypt.

The governorates witnessing labour strikes include: Cairo, Luxor, Gharbiya, Assiut, Menoufia, Damietta, Mansoura, Sinai and Mahalla Al-Kobra.

The biggest insurrection of CSF conscripts in Egypt's recent history occurred in 1986. Tens of thousands of officers went on a rampage when rumours circulated that their three-year mandatory national service would be prolonged by an additional year. Thousands died in the riots after the army was deployed and ordered to fire on the officers that rebelled.

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