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Well done to Alex Salmond you got your way and gave your Police force the powers to carry out state condoned thuggery on peaceful protesters. Today my wife ,myself , hundreds of fans and the general public seen the state’s boot boys in all their fascist glory.
How many times have you heard ‘everything was fine till the Police turned up’ ? Well that’s exactly what happened today. What should have been a peaceful march to Celtic Park from the Gollowgate was turned into a brutal assault on freedom of expression and legitimate non violent protest.
People were ‘kettled’, obstructed, harassed and assaulted by Strathclyde police some of whom were brought in from Ayrshire (wonder why?).
The most disgusting thing that happened was a guy with a very young kid who was no part of the fans group was told he would be arrested and his child given to social workers for simply walking down a street. I met the guy and he was as white as a sheet and his toddler was screaming. Keep People Safe ? Orwell would be impressed with that bit of double speak.
I’m still very angry. I’m also willing to swear under oath that I did not see one Celtic fan acting in an agressive manner. The Police on the otherhand did.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The SNP have got their way and pushed through an ill thought out and dangerous piece of legislation against the wishes of most of the country. They have succeeded in criminalising football supporters and done absolutely nothing about sectarianism in Scottish society. This smacks of narrow minded thinking and total arrogance.
Will this law prevent RC Churches being vandalised ? Will it stop the sectarian attacks and intolerance which surround Orange Parades ? NO is the short and sad answer.
This government had a chance to stand up for the minority and not only have they failed but they have also found new ways to suppress and criminalise their Culture. If this is a taste of independent Scotland then it’s a nasty taste and therefore I personally can not support a move to independence as long as this type of law is passed.
Remember today when you next visit the ballot box. Do you really want a Government capable of brining in this type of ill thought out and insulting legislation?
Here’s a few Scottish songs that might put you in Jail under the new law.
These songs are openly seditious to the Crown, openly anti English and one openly slates King William of Orange. As a Scotsman I’m proud of these songs. However this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as oppression in Scotland is concerned. Scotland got totally raped in the same way as Ireland did by the English and their home grown collaborators (now known as the Conservative and Unionist Party ).
As this song debate rumbles one it must be remembered that it’s nothing new. My earliest memories are from when I travelled on the Supporters bus from Springburn. My Uncle was heavily involved with the CSC and helped set up the first Celtic social club in Springburn based at the old CO-OP building in Angus Street. He also ran the supporters bus. My uncle, like the rest of my family was very proud of our Irish heritage. Like many, we arrived in Glasgow after fleeing the famine so our heritage was a big part of my extended family’s life.
On the supporters bus like now everyone enjoyed a good drink and the songs would be belted out and us youngsters would accompany them by using the windows as a drum. I have great recollections of many Celtic songs being belted out along with other favourites like The Wearing of the Green and even Danny Boy but at the first mention of the IRA my uncle and a few of his mates would do their nut and tell people to cut it out or they were “aff the bus”. This always led to a bit of an argument, one that at that age I never really understood. I understand it now but I never thought at that time that 30-40 years down the line we would still be having this argument.
Peter Lawwell recently made the following statement; “I don’t think it’s significant at Celtic Park but it’s there on occasions. It’s more significant among our away support. These chants which mention and glorify the Provisional IRA are totally and utterly unacceptable.
“One, they are wrong and should not be sung and they also give those who wish to categorise Celtic with other clubs an opportunity. It’s embarrassing to the club and damages the club. It also embarrasses the majority of our supporters. We will deal with it.
Neil Lennon our manager and proud Irish man was quoted today as saying; “It’s important that we put a general message out that these chants have no place around our club,”
“To be honest, we are better than that as a club and we always have been, we just don’t need it.
“We don’t want them at matches and they must stop.”
I’m in general agreement with that and like everyone else I have my own personal opinion but I refuse to force that on anyone else. However I feel it’s about time that Peter Lawwell and the rest of the board made it clear just exactly what songs, chants and add-ons the want to put a stop to. At least that would give the support a proper framework to work from. Just now we seem to be stuck on a roundabout and no one really knows what cut off to take.
If this carries on their is a danger that it will begin to tear the support apart. We have already seen the Green Brigade hung out to dry in the media and by people like Paul McBride QC who can only be described as a man blessed with the qualities of a Chameleon. The only senior Celtic supporter to come out and speak up for the support has been Michael Kelly a man who many of us would have never thought of agreeing with.
For fellow supporters who may be weary of the Green Brigade and their motives why not join their forum and talk to the guys on there instead of just standing back and berating them. You might be pleasantly surprised or maybe not but at least you will then have a clearer idea of what the actual members of 111 are all about. I don’t agree with everything the Green Brigade do or have done but they are not the shower of hate filled PIRA loving monsters that our biased media would have the less well informed believe. So check them out, engage with them and make your own mind up.
The Celtic support is under attack from all sides at the moment and for what ? We had the cheek to ask The Police, football associations and the judiciary in this country to enforce the law of the land and put an end to Sectarian and racist singing from the Rangers support.
I think the Celtic support would benefit from some support and leadership from the board.Let’s see if we can work this out together and get off this roundabout and back on the one road.
Considering Celtic Manager Neil Lennon was receiving threats from immediately after our victory at Snake Mountain at New Year; it was strange that the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, Stephen House waited until after the so-called “Shame Game” in March to announce his concerns about the behaviour of supporters within Scottish Football.
House’s budget was under threat, and there was also the prospect of one Police Force to cover the whole country; that new force would need a leader; so getting yourself in the public eye would certainly improve your profile.
House then began to blame all the ills of Scottish society, from sectarian and racist abuse to domestic violence on football supporters; and not surprisingly Alex Salmond stopped the bandwagon at Holyrood and jumped on (just as well it wasn’t a tram).
Salmond like House seen an opportunity to raise his profile and endear himself to the electorate; he painted a picture of drunken obnoxious football supporters; rampaging through the day; before going home to batter their wives at night; absolute nonsense!!!
Salmond proceeded to push his new proposals through Parliament by calling a summit of those he believed would agree with him; unfortunately for him that back-fired; because everyone except the Police dis-agreed with his knee-jerk reaction.
His next move was to go through the Justice Committee route; obviously that committee enjoyed an SNP majority; so therefore couldn’t fail to deliver; his problem was; the people he had speaking on behalf of the SNP made a complete mess of it; and further alienated themselves from the rest of the committee; and indeed the general public.
First of all we had Roseanna Cunningham talking about seeing Celtic supporters gesticulating towards Rangers supporters by making the sign of the cross aggressively across some open land; therefore suggesting that making “The Sign of the Cross” could be deemed to be offensive.
We then had the Justice Committee Chairperson Christine Grahame claiming that we needed a new law as the present law tended to convict Rangers fans for singing songs which were deemed to be sectarian; while the songs sung by Celtic fans were deemed to be political; and in fact; IT WAS NOT EVEN.
The fact of the matter is this; the existing law is suffice to handle any acts of sectarianism or racism in Scotland; that was proved with the jailing for eight months of Stephen Birrell for his sectarian actions on the internet; that is what is possible if the authorities do the job properly; this of course didn’t happen under the scrutiny of the Prosecuting Fiscal in Edinburgh; in the case of John Wilson.
Here we had a guy who had admitted assaulting Neil Lennon; his solicitor had admitted his client had indeed assaulted Neil Lennon; but for some reason the video evidence; which was seen all around the world was not shown in court. Then to crown it all, the jury, which I believe was selected from the Larkhall post code area found the case “NOT PROVEN”.
One of the main opponents of the proposed new legislation is the Catholic Church; they also see it as another attack on the Catholic population of Scotland; along with the SNP’s proposals for same sex marriages being conducted in religious ceremonies as well as civil ceremonies; they may just alienate the Catholic vote at the next election; or even sooner; when he holds his Independence referendum.
The Church had asked for the data on sectarian attacks since 2003; it was astonishing to find out that the data from 2003 until 2010 had been destroyed by the Crown Office during the term of the previous Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini; apparently the data suggested that the majority of victims of sectarian attacks was Roman Catholics; and the majority of attacks happened; prior to; during; and after Orange Parades.
I have to say I have serious concerns about the new Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland; like Salmond and House he appears to be promoting himself rather than the well-being of the people of Scotland; including football supporters.
I think Salmond is now fearful for his chances of getting his new bill approved by the other parties at Holyrood; he has painted himself into a corner and he can’t get out; so to improve his chances he is interfering in police operational decisions in Scotland to try and show there is a need for the new law; after the peaceful public demonstration in George Square on Saturday; we had a heavy police presence in the front of the Green Brigade’s section during the match against Hibs later in the afternoon.
With about 10 minutes to go the police moved in to arrest one supporter; they appeared to barge their way in ignoring the fact that there were children and older supporters in their way; this was done in a disciplined manner; it was a definite strategy being conducted from the control room; or maybe even from police headquarters; that is a very worrying new development; and a clear sign that both the Police and the Government will do anything in their power to make sure this proposed new bill will become law.
So what can we do to oppose this proposed new bill; first of all contact your local MSP and demand that he/she votes against the bill becoming law; this is particularly important if you live in a constituency why has a small majority; impress on them the fact that they would lose their seat if the Catholic/Irish/Celtic vote was against them.
There will be more public demonstrations and meetings; we will need to take the campaign to Holyrood itself and demonstrate outside the Parliament; and if the police continue to act in a hostile manner towards the Celtic support; we will take the fight to their doorstep as well.
All Celtic fans have a part to play; we don’t ask everyone to get on the platform with a mega-phone in hand; just being there is playing your part; the bigger the crowd; the louder the message becomes; we will keep you informed of the next step in the campaign; I look forward to the continued support from the greatest fans in the world.
Follow Joe on Twitter @orourke3 and at the C.S.A web site http://www.thecsa.co.uk/
TCN would like to thank Joe for taking the time to write this article
Scotland’s main opposition parties Labour, Lib Dems and the Tories will back a Labour tabled amendment that the SNP Government has failed to make a case for these new offences.
Celtic fans have a big day ahead. Firstly there is the Fans Against Criminalisation demo in George square at 12.30pm then it’s on to Celtic park to support the team against Hibs in the SPL.
Tomorrow F.A.C are hosting a demonstration against the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill in George Square ,Glasgow. The Demo begins at 12.30pm and F.A.C ask that fans start congregating at 12.00pm.