Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Egyptians angry at deaths of rebel fans

ANGER is growing in Egypt about the state's role in the deaths of almost 80 people at a football match.

Security forces clearly stood by and watched the murderous attack on fans known as Ultras who have been at the foreront of resistance to the SCAF military regime.

Football supporters and their families are planning to march on Thursday February 2 from the Al Ahly Club to the Ministry of Interior, reports Nagoul1 on Twitter. 

He adds: "The Port Said Incident will not pass lightly. Expect some serious development in the next couple of days."

Writes blogger Dimak Hatib: "Let me refresh your memory. It was on the 2 February 2011, one year ago. Tahrir Square was attacked by thugs on camels, horses and donkeys, which came all the way from the Pyramids, about 17 kilometers away. 

"These clashes that lasted for hours and hours, being watched live on TV all over the world, came to be known as the Camel Battle. It was an unforgettable day in Egypt's 18 days of protests that ended up with toppling Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011.

"One year later, at a football stadium in the city of Port Said, chaos breaks after a football match and somehow violence ends up with a death toll of almost 80 people and almost 300 injured!
"So many Ultras are dead. Suprisingly - or may be not surprisingly - from Al Ahly football club. Al Ahly Ultras have been among the most vocal and most active revolutionaries.

"As the news travelled around the world about those Ultras being killed and injured, many probably thought : oh this was just another hooligans fight! 
"But in Egypt conspiracy theories and accusations grew louder and louder on TV stations and social media. 
"Let's not forget that Egyptians have had quite an eventful week since 25 January 2012 when more people than ever before turned up at Tahrir Square. 
"That was followed by a major bank robbery, clashes between protesters and Muslim Brotherhood supporters outside parliament, continued sit-in outside State TV, etc.

"In the beginning of this video (above) you can see clearly how security forces stood by watching while violence was breaking at the stadium. 

"Such footage coupled with countless accounts by witnesses with details of how things turned ugly only came to emphasise people's doubts that the ultras may have been tragetted.

"Whether or not that is true, the damage is already done.

"As the train from Port Said arrived at Cairo Station after 3am, carrying some of the Ultras, inlcuding injured ones, their family members and friends were waiting to see who would come out of the train, alive. Some did come out, safe and sound. Others came out injured. But some did not make it! It was a very emotional moment.

"And.. thousands were gathered at the station.

"The chanting was becoming louder and clearer:

"Either we get their rights, or we die like them"
"Down with the Military Rule"
"The People Want to Execute the Field Mashall"

"Ambulances took the injured to hospitals while the Ultras marched on to Tahrir Square, a square they know very well, a square where they have survived many battles before and are ready for any new ones to come. 

"It was yet another unforgettable day and an unforgettable - sleepless - night in Egyptians' long struggle for freedom."