Fans Against Criminalisation met on Monday 18 March in response to recent events. We now release the following statement detailing our future plans:
Back in October 2011, 2000 Celtic fans rallied at George Square in protest at the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill that was proceeding through the Scottish Parliament at the time. We argued then that the Bill and the disproportionate policing we had begun to see at matches was criminalising football supporters. Events since then, culminating in the scenes we witnessed on Saturday when police attacked fans on the Gallowgate, have only served to prove us right.
Fans Against Criminalisation is an independent umbrella group comprising the Green Brigade, Celtic Trust, Celtic Supporters Association, Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs and Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs, representing thousands of Celtic fans. As well as recent events, the groups who make up FAC also discussed the issue of meetings which took place between Celtic and two of the supporters’ organisations in November 2012 at which videos were shown. The issue was discussed fully and all sides were able to give accounts of what happened. It was accepted by all sides that while the way it was handled was not what it should have been but there was no malice intended by the fan reps involved and no incident like this would occur again. We then moved on to discuss how we would respond to what has happened and restart our campaign against the criminalisation of the Celtic support.
All groups were in agreement that now, more than ever, we need a united front of Celtic fans against not just the Act but also the wider issues of police harassment and the disproportionate policing we see in our stands and now on our streets. We have organised the following public events and we call on all Celtic fans to support these:
- Saturday 23 March: 12-2 evidence gathering session (venue to be announced)
- there will be an opportunity for anyone who was present on Saturday to come and give a witness statement which will be compiled to produce a full report on Saturday’s events. These statements will allow us to respond to Strathclyde Police’s defence of their actions without revealing names or contact details of the witnesses. There will also be an opportunity for people to provide this information online. We call on those who were directly involved to make a formal complaint to Strathclyde Police but we recognise that many people won’t feel able to. We will support and assist those who do make a complaint while taking evidence ourselves from those who don’t wish to
- Tuesday 2nd April: protest/picket (venue to be announced)
- Saturday 6 April, Rally and Demonstration in George Square, 12pm (including launch of a petition to call for an official inquiry into the police action)
- Wednesday 24th April, Demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament and submission of the petition
Fans Against Criminalisation