Medinet Nasr block traffic to protest encroachment by thugs

Medinet Nasr residents demonstrated near a police station on Friday, blocking traffic on the district's main road to demand security support in stopping a flood of informal settlements in their area.

According to protesters, three days ago a group of men known to reside in the neighboring areas of Tabba started constructing tents and wooden and brick structures in the residential areas of 14 Omara and Omarat al-Mothalath.

Residents and house owners repeatedly reached out for help, both to police and military emergency lines, to no avail, according to protesters.

The area of Tabba, from where the informal settlers come, is known for an informal set of houses called Ezbet al-Haggana that emerged para-legally several years ago. Residents of this settlement have been reported for several criminal acts, and for owning and frequently flaunting guns and other weapons, endangering nearby residential areas' security.

"We don't understand why we are left unprotected, who else protects civilians when the police and the army offer no help?" asked a residents who reported two thieves attempting to break into his building, who he said were two of the Ezbet al-Haggana men in the process of constructing a settlement.

"We are here because we are afraid that nobody will come to help us," said a young demonstrator carrying a sign with several photographs of the attack on the area, and of the informal constructions that the Ezbet al-Haggana men are building. 

"Some military officers came to the area, after our endless attempts to get their help and restore our security. The thugs chanted "the military and the people are one hand" once the army officers appeared, and the army officers who were there refused to help us, and left, saying that nothing illegal is taking place," explained the young man, wondering what would be considered an illegal act or a threat to security.

"The army forces have evacuated political sit-ins and demonstrations in Tahrir Square by force before. We don't understand why the army is not evacuating this area, or forcing the thugs out of illegal constructions they are building, when we reported their threats and attacks on us," said Ashraf Ibrahim, another protester.

Several army and police officers of different ranks stood by, watching the scene and making several calls, but not engaging with the crowd.

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