Rally today after ‘Cairo’ staff attack

The Cairo shop on Strand Road
The Cairo shop on Strand Road

A rally is due to take place this afternoon outside a city centre shop where a worker was assaulted earlier this week.

Two men have been arrested and released on police bail following the attack, which occurred outside the Cairo 24/7 store on Strand Road on Tuesday night.

Police have confirmed that they are still investigating the assault on a member of staff from the store.

People Before Profit are to stage a rally outside the shop this afternoon in response to what they have termed a “campaign of intimidation” against Cairo 24/7’s Egyptian owners and staff.

It is understood a number of people socialising in the city centre witnessed the attack on Tuesday night and contacted police.

A PSNI spokesman said: “Shortly after 9.30pm it was reported that a man aged in his 30s was assaulted by a number of males outside a shop in the area.

“Two men aged 20 and 41 were arrested.

“They were interviewed and subsequently released on police bail pending further enquiries.”

He added: “The police investigation is continuing.”

People Before Profit representatives in Derry said they utterly condemned the “sickening attacks and campaign of intimidation”.

A spokesman said that during this latest incident this week, the worker was racially abused and the man needed hospital treatment for his injuries.

“Staff on an almost weekly basis have been racially abused,” the spokesman said. “On 12 occasions the shop windows have been smashed. The shop shutters have been deliberately damaged as have the shop’s phone lines.

“Police have been called repeatedly to the shop and have advised the owners to fit a panic alarm, as the attacks are so frequent.”

He added: “The convenience store has been a popular fixture in Derry for a number of years and its owners are originally from Egypt.

“They are being forced to live in terror due to the actions of a few bullies and thugs.”

Speaking about today’s rally, he added: “ We call on the community to rally around the owners and staff of Cairo 24/7 and show that the people of Derry with a long proud history of fighting for civil rights will not tolerate these attacks any longer.

“We must stand up to hate. The bigots who attack migrants in the press or the boot boys that leave people terrified and cowering in fear can never go unchallenged. We cannot leave any member our community vulnerable to this.

“As a simple act of solidarity, People Before Profit Derry call on people to gather at the Cairo 24/7 shop on Friday at 4pm to rally against racism.”