Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Green Brigade Response To Campbell Corrigan

Over the past few days, Strathclyde Police have orchestrated a media campaign to tarnish our group as bigots, as justification for their power-grabbing and the Scottish Government's new anti-Football Bill - a Bill that criminalises football fans and the Celtic support in particular. Realising they face a challenge from fans opposed to the Bill, the politicians and police need a scapegoat and they've decided that we fit the bill. Lurid headlines about our supposed 'songs of hate' have been followed up with a demand from Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan for us to meet him for a dressing-down - a demand made on the back page of a tabloid newspaper. 

We have yet to be formally invited to meet Corrigan but we are happy to respond to his public offer with a public response, and to tell him in the firmest possible terms that we have no intention of meeting him and letting him wag his finger in our face. Corrigan's police force have spent hugely disproportionate resources on policing and gathering intelligence on the Celtic support, and ourselves in particular, including constant video surveillance at matches and a range of petty harassment. 

Out of concern with the policing of football fans and the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill we, alongside the other established Celtic fan organisations, formed Fans Against Criminalisation. On October 29th, we held a peaceful and very successful demonstration in George Square to oppose the SNP's anti-Football Bill. In what seems like a direct response, Corrigan's police force have since acted against us and the Celtic support. At the match v Hibs that afternoon the police, with no regard for fan safety, waded into our section of the ground in an attempt to make arrests of unknown fans. Match commander Eddie Smith then made a complaint to the SPL about offensive chants and after the subsequent match with Rennes in the Europa League he made a similar complaint to UEFA. Such a complaint is unprecedented. 

Following the demonstration and those two matches, several fans have been arrested. In a dawn raid on Friday, the police arrested a 17 year-old boy for a breach of the peace. He has no previous convictions but despite this, he was remanded in custody for 7 weeks on Monday morning, for singing a song that Alex Salmond, Campbell Corrigan and co don't like. Earlier that morning a man accused of attempted murder was granted bail. The young fan was released last night after the intervention of the Lord Advocate. The Lord Advocate, one of the Bill's main cheerleaders, must have realised the potential political damage such a case, illustrating the Crown's attack on fans, would have had on the Bill. 

Campbell Corrigan has today been on radio shows, further scapegoating our group. We note that he is also insisting that he will be meeting Celtic fan organisations to tell us all how to behave. After the police's attack on Celtic fans following the Fans Against Criminalisation demonstration, two Celtic fan organisations asked them for a meeting to discuss their behaviour. The match commander Eddie Smith refused to meet them and his superior, Wayne Mawson, refused to speak of the events of that day. Rather than giving Campbell Corrigan free reign to scapegoat our group for his own ends, perhaps the media should be questioning him on his own force's political policing.

1 comment:

  1. Amen Strathclyde Police is as bad as the RUC, the tabloid media aka the laptop loyal are having a field day because their actions are painting us in a bad light. We should all stage a walkout en masse as soon as the pigs start their shite in protest at what is literally victimisation by a country steeped in institutionalised bigotry. I must say that I am not surprised by the courts actions regarding the 17 year old boy being refused bail & an attempted murder accused being granted it. I for one will not stand for this, as a die hard Celtic fan it makes me sick to my stomach that my fellow supporters are being treated worse than people who try to kill their fellow man by this country's legal system. Re: the poppy. I constantly hear people(politicians, rangers fans, British forces) telling us how these brave people fought to defend our right to democracy and free speechyet these same people will happily see us criminalised for voicing our opinions because they differ from their own prejudices. 21st century "multicultural" Scotland is no different than Germany during the Third Reich. One Scotland Many Cultures (except Irish, Catholic or supporting Celtic)