Monday, 17 February 2014

Roll of Honour Campaign: assessment

Fans Against Criminalisation’s ‘Roll of Honour’ download campaign has now officially come to a close with the song incredibly reaching number 33 in the UK Official Singles Charts. Over the course of our campaign the song has also came in at number 15 on the iTunes singles download charts, number 32 in the Official Irish Charts and number 7 in the Scottish Charts.

 We would like to sincerely thank the Celtic fans for the manner in which they supported this initiative. We are immensely grateful to the thousands who downloaded the song, to those who gave up their time to help leaflet a cold and wet Celtic Park about the issue and to everyone who in some way helped to publicise our cause.

We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to The Irish Brigade, who generously allowed us to use their song for our campaign. The band recognise the scale of the problem currently facing football fans in Scotland and have helped FAC immeasurably as we seek to challenge the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act.

In launching this campaign, FAC sought to demonstrate how absurd it is that people run the risk of arrest and conviction on the basis of singing a song at a football match which would otherwise not be a criminal offence. Having now heard a short clip of this song on BBC Radio, we feel that we have made that point. It is wrong to criminalise a specific group of people in the manner in which this act targets only football supporters. It is an injustice that there is a backlog of Celtic fans awaiting trial for allegedly singing a song which could be bought on iTunes or heard on national radio.

On the issue of ‘Roll of Honour’ being given airtime, a BBC source stated “We believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle’’. It is a great pity that The Scottish National Party, Police Scotland and our Lord Advocate do not equally value such a principle however the Celtic support have defiantly demonstrated that we will not bow down on this issue. We will continue to fight the criminalisation of football supporters and we refuse to allow our civil liberties to be infringed upon by this discriminatory legislation. The SNP would do well to take notice of the discontent regarding the treatment of football fans and call for an immediate review of this Act.

Fans Against Criminalisation

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