The images included in the video below may cause embarrassment to Police Scotland and the SNP.
Police State Scotland
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 aggressive manner. The Police on the other hand did.
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.
This ill advised law which many of us fought against comes into force on March first. Paul McKenna of Bishop Crosas CSC attended a Q&A session last night and has provided TCN with the key points from the meeting.
“Attended a meeting with the police team that will run the offensive behaviour act coming March 1st.
Mentions of the IRA in any song will not be allowed. Other teams mentioned are Hearts & Rangers with the famine song and Aberdeen with the Ibrox disaster. None of these are allowed under the bill.Question came up about ‘aggressive blessing’. They said you can bless yourself at games like the players do as they come on and off the park but they wont allow charging toward the segregation fence facing opposing fans and blessing yourself in front of them as this will be seen to ‘wind them up’, to use a looser term than offending them.
Also asked if using the word ‘hun’ would be sectarian, the answer was NO! As a stand alone word it will not stand up in court as hatred/offensive etc. But if you add on other offensive terms then it MAY fall into breaking the new law. For example: “you orange bastard dirty hun”, that’s an example I’m using there as an indicator of what I thought they meant.
‘Boys of the old brigade’ will be punishable under the new law as deemed by Lord Advocate to be in support of a terrorist organisation.
National anthems are EXEMPT from this new law at football grounds.
Law extends to travel periods. This will extend to a 12 hour window before and after a game. For example, act in a way that this law deems offensive 4 hours after a game in the pub then punishable under the penalties imposed as if you were at the ground.
Big clamp down on internet hate, especially on Facebook and Twitter. Places like ‘Huddleboard and ‘Follow Follow’ etc can’t be viewed by police until a member of that board reports a post. Same punishment of up to 5 years applies for internet related hatred/bigotry etc.
Offences committed by non-Scottish residents will be pursued for prosecution although admitted this will be tougher but will look at each case as and when it happens.
‘Having a party when Rangers die’ has been used by Celtic and Killie fans recently and if continues WILL NOT fall into breaking the new legislation as they see this in the context of banter.
The police presence at games will not increase or get heavy handed they say.
The meeting lasted a while and the questions don’t have to stop there. Lots more was discussed but the above is what I believe to be the main points that affect my attendance at a game. Aberdeen and Hearts fans were in attendance but didn’t really say much.” @BishopCrosasCSC
As you all know by now I’m in favour of sticking to Celtic songs at games but we’ll put that to one side just now.
The news that a senior Strathclyde Police officer Eddie Smith approached UEFA delegates and made a complaint about what he classed as illicit chants at the Celtic Rennes game raises a few questions about the Polices motives.
As far as I’m aware the club were not notified at any time by the Police that this action had been taken. Why was this? I would have thought the club would have been the first people to be informed.
Another question is was this the first ever football match this particular Plod ever visited? I take it he was off duty during the league cup final and other Glasgow derbies over the past few seasons.
And finally (for now). How far up the chain of command and I’m including the SNP Government was it known that Smith would be carrying out this strange course of action?
Strathclyde Police do not enjoy the best of relationships with the Celtic support so unless they come out and explain how and why this unprecedented action was taken the relationship will only deteriorate.
Hail, Hail. This is my personal opinions and rebuttal of Sir Stephen House’s letter to Jackie Baillie MSP as published on this site on Sunday. I want to make it clear that these are my thoughts and recollections of what actually happened on that day. Therefore I am not speaking for The Celtic Network or Fans Against Criminalisation. Continue reading “Sir Stephen House’s Letter – My Rebuttal part 1.”
I simply can not fcuking believe it. My life seems full to overflowing with flabergastation (now there IS an Americanism if you ever saw one) of late. A month or so ago we had the conclusion of the commission held under the “impartial” auspices of the “honourable”, for one must not judge lest he become the judged, Lord Nimmo Smith and friends (of Rangers could we say or might we be told to fcuk off). The subsequent silence from previously vociferous quarters announcing imminent Armageddon was not just deafening but deafeningly defining. Then, of course we had the recent “rioting” by – how many was it, three? – at Dundee.
More recently we had The Gallowgate Boston Tea Party. Examining the “uprising” on the “quiet” streets of Glasgow in the context of the American protests of December 16th 1773 provides, in my bizarre imagination anyway, some weak tea correlation between that event and the new crowd-control phenomenon of “kettling” (sounds like bringing what was perfectly cold and stable to boiling point to me, possibly a very apt description of what took place in Glasgow) which was used, or should one say overused, very effectively to antagonise demonstrably peaceful demonstrators and to deprive ordinary decent citizens of their civil liberties and the right to protest against blatant injustice – sorry, blatant stupidity. It would go some way to making restitution if the authorities recognised, as history has done in the case of Boston, that the peaceful actions of 16th March 2013 in Glasgow’s city centre were unquestionably for a righteous cause. However, it has to be acknowledged that we will never know all the facts that led to the reaction of the police. There are several scenarios two of which may provide some answers. It is known that the response teams were readily available because of their presence at the nearby right wing demonstration and not because of some conspiratorial preparation. Had this not been the case then perhaps the police numbers immediately available might not have been so numerous. The second point to be made in favour of the police is that they are often merely carrying out orders which may be dictated by the specific intentions of someone in higher authority. There are certainly accusations on both sides as to the cause of the kettling and while the evidence to hand would seem to confirm police over reaction this must be balanced by the actual illegality of the actual event and the unknown agenda that instigated the police response. It is unlikely that we will ever get to the bottom of police orders just as the evidence of the supporters may not necessarily disclose all that was perpetrated by individuals. Not withstanding any of this, there are certainly issues surrounding the whole legislation and I have good cause to believe that the ordinary bobby feels as strongly opposed to the imposition of it as they are frustrated by the confusion it causes as any football supporters. What is a problem for Celtic supporters in particular is that many of our own do not recognise the insidiousness of this law and look to target the behaviour of The Green Brigade rather than oppose the unnecessary and ridiculous legislation. This same support seems not to recognise or understand the need to oppose legislation that specifically targets and suppresses the legitimate behaviour of all football fans but more especially if that targeting is selective within its own club support. It would appear that the lack of physical presence for the demonstration in George Square on 6th April indicates a similar attitude from the Celtic board in spite of their apparent verbal protestations against the legislation. In conclusion, if an event is illegal it does not in itself give the police cart blanch to act with aggression and violence if that is what happened. The police are not meant to be an army of Frankensteins, hell bent on creating monsters from the unsuspecting and the unprepared. Law, as I was reared to understand it, is meant to be a safeguard and the police there to enforce and uphold it for the protection of all citizens. It is not a cudgel with which to club or browbeat a chief constable’s personal and political agenda into the heads of those who disagree with it. It would seem there are those in high places who think it is and there are those too lily-livered to oppose their abuse of power – witness the whole negotiation scenario surrounding preparations and post event organisation for George’s Square and afterwards on Saturday, 6th April.
And now to last week when we are informed that Neil Lennon, manager of Celtic Football Club, has offended the delicacy of football players, fans and T.V. audiences and brought disrepute to the unblemished game by using what are euphemistically called “swear words” or “cursing”. A trip to a good dictionary will clarify that the lack of vocabulary expressed by Mr. Lennon can in no way be interpreted as “swearing” or “cursing” in the true definition of these words. Can I just say that if these words are so offensive to delicate ears then most modern television programmes and movies should only be watched wearing ear muffs. They have become almost household in their commonness on screens. Actors have become so fluent in old fashioned expletives that they are now regarded as colourfully expressive literary dialogue, up there with Willie Shakespeare plays and the best names in English literature. Yet it seems these same words used by Mr. Lennon were deemed not to be expletively emphatic but rather to be unacceptably offensive to the fragile ears of the footballing community in St. Mirren Park and elsewhere. I watched the archive footage of the match on Celtic TV the Monday afterwards and I have to say that Mr. Lennon’s only fault, as far as I heard, would appear to be how limited his expressive dialogue with Jim Goodwin seemed to be. I have heard longer and more embellished tirades of colourful language used in primary school banter. And are we to believe that St. Mirren Park is the only arena to have experienced such language and Mr. Lennon the only “offender“. In my own supporting days I can guarantee to have heard and (blushing) used as brightly shaded and more deeply coloured expressions of the English language in numerous stadiums throughout Scotland, the U.K., Europe and even the world. Any decent lip reader will confirm its use in every square inch of a football stadium and by every section of people therein as seen each time a game is shown on T.V. I would go as far as to maintain that anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear will have learned more foreign language expletives than any other foreign language vocabulary simply through watching football on T.V. I am quite certain that if we were technically competent, similar local verbal specialities would be quite common on the playing fields of the most distant galaxies. Certainly I have heard both large and small, broad and tall in an extensive array of colours use “technical” terms not found in a dictionary to emphasise their emotions. I have heard them frequently on and off the pitch, among staff, players and watchers at Celtic Park over many years. I will refrain from commenting on the newest club in Scottish football as I have not listened to nor witnessed any of their incomparable games. It could well be that their charismatic and highly influential C.E.O. has managed to stamp out such verbal atrocities along with the bigotry, sectarianism and violence, miraculously (as with so many “negative” components of that club) never picked up by mics or caught by T.V. cameras. We do know it was never used by any managers of that club in the past, at least none that were reported – surprise, surprise.
Nor am I convinced that such language is limited to football as history records a considerable amount of fcuking taking place in the sport of kings, queens and concubines. And many a “bastard” has made his mark in the annals as a consequence.
In truth, it is more likely the delicate flowers of Hampden have decided they must find Mr. Lennon guilty of some misdemeanour. It irks them beyond tolerance that he has gone for so long without offending them. They simply will not accept that he behaves appropriately when not incensed by certain confrontational individuals. Their minds and hearts simply will not accept such reformation in Mr. Lennon. The image is not fit for purpose, their purpose. So, without any justification for pulling him up for football infringements, they have turned, for the first time ever in football history, to blasphemy and sent him to Pilate Lunny for trial. He will no doubt scrub his hands with carbolic soap as he recommends that Mr. Lennon be crucified even though he finds the man has done no wrong. No doubt it will be a good excuse to once more release Barabbas Green in spite of his outrageously rebellious and profane tirades, his defamations of authorities, his outrageously selfish “negotiations” and his manipulative and underhand shenanigans. Is it not strange, no probably not, how delicate ears can be variously affected not by what is said but by what they wish to hear? And so it is that the priority in the current state of Scottish football is unquestionably the re-establishment of queen’s English. Of course, for all right thinking folk, there is nothing in the game so much in need of reform at this present time. Yet, somehow one gets the feeling in one’s cynical bones that once Mr. Lennon has been dealt with, the gurus will without doubt reassess the problem of correct vocabulary and conclude it is a very minor issue in a sport not renowned for its oratorical expertise. The one sure-fire certainty is we will never hear of another case again.