Port Said Riot Leads to Demonstrations Outside Interior Ministry

February 2, 2012 . By

Thousands of ultras (hardcore soccer fans) and others gathered for a march in Cairo the wake of the violence in Port Said yesterday that left 79 dead. The march, which began in Tahrir Square and led  to Mohamed Mahmoud Street near the Ministry of the Interior, turned into a violent confrontation between demonstrators and the police guarding the Ministry. Rubber bullets and tear gas were fired on the ultras and other protesters as they called on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to step down and hand power over to a civilian government.

Video footage captured the exchanges between security forces and protesters, the latter angered by the “failure of the Ministry of the Interior to secure the [Port Said football game] even though clashes between fans were expected.” Ultras had supported protesters during the January 25 revolution, and they played a crucial role in “protecting protesters during the Battle of the Camel,” a fact that some appeared to believe explained the government’s lack of adequate action during the riot.