Thousands of Al-Ahly Ultras marched from Cairo University to the Giza security directorate on Wednesday ahead of the Port Said massacre trial verdict session scheduled for 9 March.
The Ultras, zealous sports clubs fans, demanded the Ministry of Interior officials, being tried for their role in the massacre that left 74 dead last year, face the death penalty.
“The [Port Said massacre] trial is three stages: Port Said’s thugs got what they deserve but now it’s time for the Ministry of Interior dogs. Then we will go for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” said one Ultras member, refusing to disclose his name because of the Ultras’ “anti-media” doctrine.
Chants were solely focused against the Ministry of Interior and the police. Former Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, who led the ministry at the time of the massacre, as well as the current minister, also called Mohamed Ibrahim, bore the brunt of most chants.
Ultras members hung stickers stating that “the Ministry of Interior is next in line for revenge” on the security directorate gates and also sprayed graffiti on its walls with words making similar suggestions.
The angry crowd also launched several fireworks, two of them over the police building’s wall, and eventually smashed and set fire to an empty police truck parked outside.
Capos, the Ultras’ leaders or captains, attempted to avoid clashes with police by moving protesters away from the truck and security directorate, ending the march abruptly.
Over 70 Ultras Al-Ahly members were killed in Port Said Stadium following an Al-Ahly/Al-Masry football match on 1 February 2012.
Al-Masry fans allegedly stormed the pitch after the game, attacking Al-Ahly players and supporters as Central Security Forces conscripts and officers charged with securing the stadium stood by watching.
Initial reports revealed that several of the stadium gate locks were wielded shut, preventing anyone from escaping. Al-Ahly ultras hold the people of Port Said, the police, and SCAF (the country’s ruling authority at the time) responsible.
They claim the massacre was a conspiracy by the military and police to punish them for their pro-revolution stance.
The resulting trial led to 21 civilians receiving the death penalty on 26 January 2013. Police officers involved in the case will receive their sentences on 9 March.
The death sentence started a massive wave of protests and civil disobedience in Port Said leaving almost 50 people dead, including 42 on 26 January.
Port Said residents have been calling for the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and called for the military to take over, collecting signatures delegating authority to Minister of Defence and commander of the Armed Forces General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, as a response to what they say is their city being sacrificed to subdue unrest in Cairo.