This was the first time I had ever got involved in this type of activity. I got involved as I firmly believe the Act was totally unnecessary and brought into Law for no other reason than to 'even up' arrest figures. To me the view is self evident, and nothing I heard from the SNP MSPs that we met on the day changed it.
The day started off with the group being met by two of Strathclyde's finest in George Square who informed everyone, very calmly, that they knew who we were,where we were oing, and indeed, when we were coming back. Well done Sherlock...you can obviously read a Twitter feed! This ludicrous and pathetic attempt at some sort of Plod intimidation was not lost on the group and I sensed it only increased our determination to have this Act overturned.
When we arrived at Holyrood, there they were again. Watching every move we made as we made our way inside. Everyone I talked to within the group kept asking, 'what do they expect us to do?' No one had any idea!
We then watched the Justice Committee, by CCTV, debate whether a review of the Act should be brought forward/ entually, the Committee decided to write to the Chief Constable, the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Police Authority and then review the issue further. My abiding memory of the discussion was the SNP members trying to disassociate the kettling of the Green Brigade from the Act and its review. Incredible! Complete nonsense!
After this was over we had the pleasure of speaking with SNP MSPs John Mason and James Dornan. Apparently the latter is a Celtic fan.
Could they give us arrest figures? - No
Could they tell us how this Act reduces anti Irish racism? - No
Could they define sectarianism? - No
Could they tell us how the Act helps reduce sectarianism? - No
Could they explain why fans were being arrested coming off a
Holiday flight? - No
Could they tell us how this Act would help to stop the recent attacks
on Neil Lennon? - No
..and so on.
Never I have seen two gentlemen as uncomfortable as Messer's Mason and Dornan.
After one of the FAC members told everyone of his experience of having the Police show up at his door at 6am to arrest him for swearing I detected a change in attitude from the SNP MSPs.
Indeed at the end of the meeting Mr Mason said he would support the review being brought forward.
My impression is that they know the game is up and are looking for a way out to save face. If we keep up the pressure, I am convinced the Act will be overturned and overturned soon.
It is clear we have the support of many MSPs and it was good to hear Johann Lamont speak and give us her support.
I would encourage all fans to support the FAC in any way they can.Victory is not far away!