Sir’s, I would like to draw your attention to the incident which took place in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow on Saturday 16th of March 2013 between 12.50pm and 2.10pm where my wife and myself witnessed what can only be described as over the top Police tactics perpetrated against a peaceful group of Celtic fans and some members of the general public.
I myself am a 48 year old law abiding citizen and lifelong Celtic supporter. In all those years apart from the mounted Police charge in Janefield street in the eighties I have never witnessed such Police aggression.
My wife and myself decided on Thursday of last week that we would join in a peaceful walk from the Gallowgate to Celtic Park to show support for fellow fans who have been harshly treated by the Police. We did not do this without serious consideration.
Over the past eighteen months we have witnessed a tangible increase in what can only be described as a heavy handed approach to Celtic fans by Strathclyde Police at Celtic Park and Hampden. The incidents we have witnessed have been worrying but pale in to insignificance when compared to Saturday’s disgraceful behaviour by the Police.
We witnessed peaceful non aggressive Celtic supporters being subjected to harassment, intimidation, Kettling and other overzealous tactics by Strathclyde Police officers while they attempted to walk peacefully along the public highway. At no time did we see any Celtic supporter raise their hands or throw missiles at any Police officer and I have given a statement to that effect to Strathclyde Police, a prominent QC, my MP and MSP. I have also made it clear to the before mentioned that I am willing to testify to this under oath in a court of law.
I also have a collection of images some of which are extremely distressing which I have passed on to the Solicitors firm Gildeas in Glasgow. I am more than happy to share these images with Fans Against Criminalisation and Celtic Football Club for their consideration. It is clear from these pictures that there was absolutely no aggression from any Celtic supporter towards the large Police presence.
For the Police to say that the operation on Saturday was spontaneous and not pre planned is an absolute nonsense in my opinion. The amount of Police resources deployed to that one area in such a small timescale in my opinion would be near impossible for a normal Police response to any instantaneous protest. I believe that The Police knew for days before and this operation was pre planned.
I sincerely hope that Celtic Football Club stand up for their supporters who were a credit to the club and their fellow supporters by showing great restraint in the face of aggressive policing on Saturday.