Green Brigade Police Harrassment Statement

Last year was somewhat unique. It will rightly be remembered as the year our great rivals died. Yet what seemed to almost slip under the radar amidst the hilarity at Ibrox was the continued harassment of the Green Brigade, and the Celtic fans in general by Strathclyde Police both before and after the SNP legislation was scribbled. We have remained relatively quiet on this issue up until now, but it has got us nowhere and the harassment has continued; in fact it has worsened.
Most Celtic fans heard about the unprecedented case of the 17 year old Celtic fan remanded in custody at HM Polmont Young Offenders Instituiton for an alleged breach of the peace. The fall-out and the protests of other Celtic fans led to that thankfully being overturned before too much damage was done to a young boy. However, there are numerous other cases that haven’t been made public and so the Police have escaped criticism and been allowed to arrest and charge who they want, when they want. These include three of our members arrested by CID (two at home, one at work) after holding a banner reading ‘Huns FC’. Their case lasted the best part of two years before finally a ‘Not proven’ verdict was delivered. The cost of that case will have been astronomical. Clearly unhappy at this, the Police arrested one of the above AGAIN, this time for alleged sectarian singing. This never even made the courtroom, after the CCTV was shown outside the court, showing him clearly singing ‘Up the Celts’ much to the embarrassment of the officers who turned up as Prosecution witnesses.
After the highly-successful ‘Fans Against Criminalisation’ demo at George Square, Celtic played Hibs in a bore 0-0 draw. The game will be remembered by many though, after the Police unnecessarily waded into 111 looking to make arrests for reasons unknown. On the concourse after the game, they successfully arrested one of our members, accusing him of abusing their officers. Again, this was nothing but a blatant lie and led to another court case with THREE different trial dates. A Not Guilty verdict was returned when the case was finally heard.
A month or so later, and we had another member in court. This time his alleged crime was for ‘assault and resisting arrest’ at a Semi-final at Hampden. Again though, he was found not guilty. We have some other court cases pending as we speak, but we are confident these will go the same way as every other one so far. However, they are still obviously causing massive inconvenience and are having a huge effect on people’s livelihoods.
These charges have all led to our members missing matches watching and supporting the team they love. Celtic had banned every one of them while the cases were on-going. Indeed, the club do all they can to facilitate the Police and have offered no help whatsoever to their own support. After the match in Udine in December, Celtic banned a handful of supporters after flares were lit before kick off. One of these fans was a female season book holder in 111 whom, rather bizarrely, was watching the match from the comfort of her own living room! Thankfully, this was overturned eventually after it was pointed out to Celtic security that they had quite clearly made a rather embarrassing yet damaging mistake.
The level of surveillance applied to section 111 and the Green Brigade specifically verges on the surreal and is an astronomical waste of tax payers’ money. 90 minute surveillance clearly isn’t sufficient though as we learn from being filmed when approaching and leaving stadiums. A small band of Strathclyde Police following our members around Europe attempting to make their trips abroad uncomfortable also now appears to be common practice. Perhaps the hardest one for us to take is being filmed when inside Celtic Park hours early setting up for a display. Further from Celtic officials obviously accommodating such procedures they now believe it to be acceptable to hand over personal details of our members. Private information such as mobile phone numbers, names and addresses have been swapping hands without consent, even in instances where there is no alleged crime to answer for. Sadly, for us at least, this type of behaviour isn’t wholly surprising from Celtic officials – whether it is being sanctioned by Chief Executive Peter Lawwell who privately described our songs as ‘cancerous’ or Head of Security Ronnie Hawthorn who willingly will ban dedicated Celtic supporters offering them no chance of a defence against their alleged breach.
In recent weeks there has been a noticeable upsurge from Strathclyde Police in targeting the Celtic support. Up until now they have tried and failed to secure convictions for singing Irish Republican songs, attempting to concoct all manner of charges desperate to find one that will stick. Under their new ‘Anti-Football Legislation’ they are now targeting the Roll of Honour with a number of fans being arrested and charged with ‘offensive behaviour’ and even ‘Racial BOTP’ for singing this song. The most recent arrest being one of our members who was arrested while leaving Celtic Park at the Kilmarnock fixture and who has only just been released after being handed a weekend in the cells. Co-coincidentally, or ironically even, the accused just happens to be someone who has already been through the charade of a football charge with all the accompanying delights and he came away victorious. You’d excuse his paranoia for thinking he was being targeted and tested here.
Perhaps quite unbelievable to some it is not just at or around matches where we get such unwarranted attention. A few months ago one of our members applied for a licence to become a taxi driver. Normally, this would be a straight-forward procedure for a young man with nothing but a minor Breach of the Peace charge from his teenage years. Not quite. He received a letter explaining that his application had been rejected on the grounds that he’s not a ‘fit and proper person’ – an accusation based solely on his connections to the Green Brigade. This had come from the Chief Constable. Thankfully, after appeal, the licence was granted in the end but with no thanks to Strathclyde Police.
The above is just some of the instances of police harassment in the last 10-12 months. Not only is it causing innocent football fans great stress and hitting them badly in the pocket, it’s also costing the taxpayer a fortune. For too long, we have sat back and let them do as they please but it has to stop, and we hope that the coming weeks and months will eventually see a change in their approach and we can get back to supporting our team without fear of arrest at home or away. We believe we sacrifice an awful lot as individuals and as a group in what we do. We dedicate our time and money for our passion of supporting Celtic in our style and we have always attempted to maintain an amicable working relationship with Celtic employees for the benefit of both parties – even when in dispute over certain issues. However we will not tolerate the level of harassment we continue to face nor Celtic PLC’s compliant attitude.

Comments

    1. No. The Police are in charge of Celtic Park on match days, not Celtic. The match commander runs the show and the club must comply with all requests.

      1. What about non match days, ie group setting up tifos ?

        What about license applications which have nothing to do with football ?

        What about police illegally obtaining details by bringing false charges ?

        What about a police officer, head of Hampden control room and a Hampden security supervisor lying in court ?

        1. It does not matter if it is a match day or not. That is a serious breach of data protection because of police wanted to charge they could get your details easily. Complaints should be made

    1. No. The Police are in charge of Celtic Park on match days, not Celtic. The match commander runs the show and the club must comply with all requests.

      1. What about non match days, ie group setting up tifos ?

        What about license applications which have nothing to do with football ?

        What about police illegally obtaining details by bringing false charges ?

        What about a police officer, head of Hampden control room and a Hampden security supervisor lying in court ?

        1. It does not matter if it is a match day or not. That is a serious breach of data protection because of police wanted to charge they could get your details easily. Complaints should be made

  1. Found this very intresting and a have realy good pics of the police filming the GB during the cup tie celtic v raith rovers!

    1. What’s the issue with police filming if you have nothing to worry about? You get filmed constantly by CCTV in every city across Europe these days

      1. The problem is I have been filmed going to the game with my young nephew and we have no intention of breaking any laws. I and others were also filmed during the recent bucket collection for wee Oscar. What right do they have to film people going about their business in a law abiding manner? As far as I’m concerned it is a breach of my human rights. I’ve nothing against City wide CCTV but I do object to a Police force actively filming me and my young nephew.

  2. Found this very intresting and a have realy good pics of the police filming the GB during the cup tie celtic v raith rovers!

    1. What’s the issue with police filming if you have nothing to worry about? You get filmed constantly by CCTV in every city across Europe these days

      1. The problem is I have been filmed going to the game with my young nephew and we have no intention of breaking any laws. I and others were also filmed during the recent bucket collection for wee Oscar. What right do they have to film people going about their business in a law abiding manner? As far as I’m concerned it is a breach of my human rights. I’ve nothing against City wide CCTV but I do object to a Police force actively filming me and my young nephew.

  3. this is scandalous. Police dont surprise me but getting treated by your own club like this is shocking. These guys have brought the thunder back to celtic park. Without them it would be a dead zone> Get it sorted Celtic

  4. this is scandalous. Police dont surprise me but getting treated by your own club like this is shocking. These guys have brought the thunder back to celtic park. Without them it would be a dead zone> Get it sorted Celtic

  5. They have been doing this for decades,I was a vicim of the boys in blue,,sorry black, celtic v Dundee untd cup game where Andreas thom scored a late winner and the boy in blue,,sorry black, face red with rage pushed me to the ground,,,I retuned the favour,,yes,,bad move,,but hey ho.

  6. They have been doing this for decades,I was a vicim of the boys in blue,,sorry black, celtic v Dundee untd cup game where Andreas thom scored a late winner and the boy in blue,,sorry black, face red with rage pushed me to the ground,,,I retuned the favour,,yes,,bad move,,but hey ho.

  7. Disgrace. We should be shocked but never surprised by these actions. Time for a public show of unity to back the GB.

  8. Disgrace. We should be shocked but never surprised by these actions. Time for a public show of unity to back the GB.

  9. “THEY CAN TAKE AWAY OOR MEMBERS, BUT THEY’LL NEVER TAKE OOR DIGNITY, PASSION OR FAITH”
    Me

  10. “THEY CAN TAKE AWAY OOR MEMBERS, BUT THEY’LL NEVER TAKE OOR DIGNITY, PASSION OR FAITH”
    Me

  11. Well said its a disgrace the way you guys are treated, Peter lawell had better get this shit sorted out.

  12. Well said its a disgrace the way you guys are treated, Peter lawell had better get this shit sorted out.

  13. Have you proof celtic fc have handed over names addresses phone numbers etc. Have you contacted the club for an explanation?shocking if true

  14. Have you proof celtic fc have handed over names addresses phone numbers etc. Have you contacted the club for an explanation?shocking if true

  15. This is shocking and i know exactly how Strathclyde Police operate as i have had some hassle of this myself. If they can’t get you on a charge they will go out of their way to make sure you do a weekender in the cells and a trip to court on Monday where u get the benefit of sharing a cell no bigger than 6ft x 4ft with 5other people, who range from Junkies and Alkies mostly and who you are in there with from 7-8 am till 4-5 pm at night to then get released and bailed and for the case to then get threw out of court months later at expense of the taxpayer and a huge relief for the person because of all the things that could result in a conviction like being banned from football grounds for many years and for what exactly? Supporting the team you love? And it could affect anyone in a job or going for one like the boy who had hassle over getting his taxi license,they are doing more harm than good and the club should at least be having a word with the security at CP if they are wanting to ban their own kind.This is simply shameful and without the GB there every week Celtic Park would lose a right good fanbase and the vocal support that they bring.

  16. This is shocking and i know exactly how Strathclyde Police operate as i have had some hassle of this myself. If they can’t get you on a charge they will go out of their way to make sure you do a weekender in the cells and a trip to court on Monday where u get the benefit of sharing a cell no bigger than 6ft x 4ft with 5other people, who range from Junkies and Alkies mostly and who you are in there with from 7-8 am till 4-5 pm at night to then get released and bailed and for the case to then get threw out of court months later at expense of the taxpayer and a huge relief for the person because of all the things that could result in a conviction like being banned from football grounds for many years and for what exactly? Supporting the team you love? And it could affect anyone in a job or going for one like the boy who had hassle over getting his taxi license,they are doing more harm than good and the club should at least be having a word with the security at CP if they are wanting to ban their own kind.This is simply shameful and without the GB there every week Celtic Park would lose a right good fanbase and the vocal support that they bring.

  17. The GB are obviously a very well organised, articulate group of people. given the examples laid out above, i would suggest pulling together a case study of all the arrests and subsequent not guilty verdicts and have this formally presented to the PSNI, opps sorry, Strathclyde police at the hightest level be your local MP. i would also ensure that Mr Lawwell is CC’d in.

  18. The GB are obviously a very well organised, articulate group of people. given the examples laid out above, i would suggest pulling together a case study of all the arrests and subsequent not guilty verdicts and have this formally presented to the PSNI, opps sorry, Strathclyde police at the hightest level be your local MP. i would also ensure that Mr Lawwell is CC’d in.

  19. I agree with your sentiments, however don’t expect any slacking off from police attention when the banners and motif’s displayed recently are portraying sinister looking skulls in Celtic tops and the use of the term ‘Ultras’.
    Those kind of depictions belong with the thugs of other clubs, and only weakens your argument to be considered fun-loving fans.
    Hail hail.

  20. I agree with your sentiments, however don’t expect any slacking off from police attention when the banners and motif’s displayed recently are portraying sinister looking skulls in Celtic tops and the use of the term ‘Ultras’.
    Those kind of depictions belong with the thugs of other clubs, and only weakens your argument to be considered fun-loving fans.
    Hail hail.

  21. I’m a Rangers supporter and I picked this up on the RST page. I’m not obsessed and not at the wind up, but I would like to ask a serious question.
    This article is very well written and having seen the treatment we receive home and away first hand I have no reason to doubt any of the examples given. However, do you think Celtic as a club and a body of supporters have fuled this police behaviour by demanding songs sung by other clubs (namely mine) be banned as sectarian, and if that failed just plain abusive? The authorities clamped down on us so hard there are now songs eradicated from the stands at Ibrox. If someone had told me 15 years ago, you would go to Ibrox and not hear the Billy Boys at an old firm game I would have said they were mad, but as a direct response from complaints made to various bodies that is now the case. I think the authorities are now just leveling things up. I have never been offended by a song, my day is not long enough to worry about things like that but plenty of people claimed to be, during the Billy Boys, The Famine Song days. Were they really offended? Those who were so offended by the word fenian now laud Paddy McCourts fenian army? Or was this a game to somehow prove who were the ‘Best’ fans? I think the latter was probably true in most cases, but this has now turned on Celtic fans, and the Green Brigade in particular. As you can’t be offended by others, only to sing songs or wave banners others find questionable. I have no issue with the Green Brigade. I do not agree with their ‘politics’ but it is their right to display their feeling whichever way they wish. But the and other Celtic fans must take a bit of medicine on this as other supporters are only following their example. I know I will get all the usual abuse for this but I feel my point is worth making

      1. No doubt the Billy Boys had to go, but likewise there are songs, banners presented at several grounds in Scotland (Parkhead, Tynecastle, Easter Road…) every week which also need to be looked at. Rangers and Celtic will take the brunt of these forceful police tactics as they grab the most press coverage.

  22. I’m a Rangers supporter and I picked this up on the RST page. I’m not obsessed and not at the wind up, but I would like to ask a serious question.
    This article is very well written and having seen the treatment we receive home and away first hand I have no reason to doubt any of the examples given. However, do you think Celtic as a club and a body of supporters have fuled this police behaviour by demanding songs sung by other clubs (namely mine) be banned as sectarian, and if that failed just plain abusive? The authorities clamped down on us so hard there are now songs eradicated from the stands at Ibrox. If someone had told me 15 years ago, you would go to Ibrox and not hear the Billy Boys at an old firm game I would have said they were mad, but as a direct response from complaints made to various bodies that is now the case. I think the authorities are now just leveling things up. I have never been offended by a song, my day is not long enough to worry about things like that but plenty of people claimed to be, during the Billy Boys, The Famine Song days. Were they really offended? Those who were so offended by the word fenian now laud Paddy McCourts fenian army? Or was this a game to somehow prove who were the ‘Best’ fans? I think the latter was probably true in most cases, but this has now turned on Celtic fans, and the Green Brigade in particular. As you can’t be offended by others, only to sing songs or wave banners others find questionable. I have no issue with the Green Brigade. I do not agree with their ‘politics’ but it is their right to display their feeling whichever way they wish. But the and other Celtic fans must take a bit of medicine on this as other supporters are only following their example. I know I will get all the usual abuse for this but I feel my point is worth making

      1. No doubt the Billy Boys had to go, but likewise there are songs, banners presented at several grounds in Scotland (Parkhead, Tynecastle, Easter Road…) every week which also need to be looked at. Rangers and Celtic will take the brunt of these forceful police tactics as they grab the most press coverage.

  23. Why don’t you make a dossier of all suspect treatment and send it to Alex Thomson on C4, if what you are claiming is true then on his present tack of how his fellow journalists and others have been treated by the Zombies and msm. The treatment of the GB and it’s members by Strathclyde Police and Celtic’s executive management may take his notice.

    1. Again, this is only my opinion, if Alex Thomson had been the victim of any form of threatening behavior then something would have come of it. This is a man who has been in more war zones than NATO, I can’t see the likes of Graham Speirs scaring him lol

  24. Why don’t you make a dossier of all suspect treatment and send it to Alex Thomson on C4, if what you are claiming is true then on his present tack of how his fellow journalists and others have been treated by the Zombies and msm. The treatment of the GB and it’s members by Strathclyde Police and Celtic’s executive management may take his notice.

    1. Again, this is only my opinion, if Alex Thomson had been the victim of any form of threatening behavior then something would have come of it. This is a man who has been in more war zones than NATO, I can’t see the likes of Graham Speirs scaring him lol

  25. The Police are exempt from they DPA and they are entitled to request personal data from Celtic FC to either detect and/or prevent crime.

  26. The Police are exempt from they DPA and they are entitled to request personal data from Celtic FC to either detect and/or prevent crime.

  27. Can I say for the record,that I enjoy most of what the GB do for Celtic Park and the atmosphere they can produce is awe inspiring.

    My main beef is that there is an ever-growing political element to their ranks and the hangers on that trail behind them.I’ve had the privilege of taking my nephew to Parkhead when his Dad couldn’t make it.He sits about 20 rows behind the goals just beneath 111,and I’ve slowly watched a quiet,good-natured,practising catholic teenager, slowly move over to the pro IRA side of our fence.

    I’m not blaming GB in any way for this,but I know that sometimes he stares in awe of all that you do and sing(i might add that his wee pal sits not far from him and his head is full of broken bottles at times too).He comes from a moderate,practising family with a good faith and un-biased look at the West of Scotland.

    Celtic is a football club for all Scottish and Irish people alike. All colour and creed are accepted in the Celtic family.

    There is no place in football for politics, a Celtic song has, and always will be a Celtic song. I think the more mature members of GB would do well to remember this and show our future generation Celts how great our club and supporters are.

    If not I can see a gradual decline in the quality of support we have been able to produce generation after generation.

    There is no excuse for police picking on supporters just because they’re from a section of support who decide to be more animated and collectively more vocal than the ordinary supporter. But if that then starts to develop into “Up the R.A.” rebel tunes and the like,well to be honest, Glasgow Celtic F.C. and the majority of their support do not want them anywhere near Parkhead or in the Stadium.

    I hope this finds you all well and can I just say-

    Happy Adminiversary

    Hail Hail

  28. Can I say for the record,that I enjoy most of what the GB do for Celtic Park and the atmosphere they can produce is awe inspiring.

    My main beef is that there is an ever-growing political element to their ranks and the hangers on that trail behind them.I’ve had the privilege of taking my nephew to Parkhead when his Dad couldn’t make it.He sits about 20 rows behind the goals just beneath 111,and I’ve slowly watched a quiet,good-natured,practising catholic teenager, slowly move over to the pro IRA side of our fence.

    I’m not blaming GB in any way for this,but I know that sometimes he stares in awe of all that you do and sing(i might add that his wee pal sits not far from him and his head is full of broken bottles at times too).He comes from a moderate,practising family with a good faith and un-biased look at the West of Scotland.

    Celtic is a football club for all Scottish and Irish people alike. All colour and creed are accepted in the Celtic family.

    There is no place in football for politics, a Celtic song has, and always will be a Celtic song. I think the more mature members of GB would do well to remember this and show our future generation Celts how great our club and supporters are.

    If not I can see a gradual decline in the quality of support we have been able to produce generation after generation.

    There is no excuse for police picking on supporters just because they’re from a section of support who decide to be more animated and collectively more vocal than the ordinary supporter. But if that then starts to develop into “Up the R.A.” rebel tunes and the like,well to be honest, Glasgow Celtic F.C. and the majority of their support do not want them anywhere near Parkhead or in the Stadium.

    I hope this finds you all well and can I just say-

    Happy Adminiversary

    Hail Hail

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