Abdeen residents demand removal of downtown street barricades

Dozens of Abdeen district residents on Monday organized a rally that headed to the People’s Assembly headquarters to demand the removal of the concrete barricades on streets leading to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI). The protesters say the barricades have affected businesses in the area.

The protestors carried banners which read, “Abdeen residents ask for the removal of the concrete barricade on Mohamed Mahmoud Street" and "MOI, MOI, we are with you MOI, so why the barricade?"

They also chanted slogans including, “What would you do if you were in my place and the barricade affected your business?”

The military placed a concrete barricade at the entrance of the vital Qasr al-Aini Street in downtown Cairo in the wake of December’s clashes between protesters and military forces in front of the cabinet building in which 17 people were killed and at least 1,000 were injured. Barricades were also placed on Mohamed Mahmoud and Sheikh Rihan Streets, which lead to the Interior Ministry.

In the wake of clashes that erupted this month between protestors and security forces in front of the Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, the armed forces built a number of additional concrete walls on streets near the ministry. Because of the barricades, most of the shops in the vicinity of the Interior Ministry were forced to close as customers were no longer able to access them.

Hosni Al-Hajj, a taxi driver from Abdeen, told Egypt Independent that, "Life here has come to a complete standstill; no sales, no purchases. It takes me half an hour to get out of Abdeen because of these barricades while in the past in only took a few minutes.”

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