Today’s first demonstration arranged by Fans Against Criminalisation was a great success. The turnout was great over 2,000 Celtic fans turned up to show their support for the cause. One of the most pleasing aspects was age and gender range of the demonstrators.
The rally got under way just after 12.30 when a spokesman from F.A.C opened the rally (apologies as I did not catch all of the names of the speakers) F.A.C spelled out the reason that we were all there for. We will not be criminalised or blamed for the failure of politicians, the Police and the judiciary in this country to tackle sectarianism and racism. Neither will we be blamed for public disorder and wife beating.
A representative from the Celtic Trust Jeanette Findlay informed us of the underhanded approach taken by Msp’s who wish to criminalise the Celtic Support to “even the balance”. We all know this proposed law is in part about dragging our support down with the real bigots. Jeanette also reminded us of the complete nonsense trotted out by some Msp’s that people may face criminal prosecution for signing God Save The Queen or blessing yourself. It was also highlighted that most cases of domestic violence take place around the 24th-26th of December and the 1st and 2nd of January. So the question was asked. Are they going to ban Xmas and New Year ?
Joe O’Rourke General Secretary of the Celtic Supporters Association was next to speak. Joe is a seasoned campaigner for Celtic fans and the club in general and he wasted not time in pointing the finger at the Crown Office who mysteriously destroyed data that proved the vast majority of sectarian attacks were against Roman Catholics especially around Orange Order parades. Joe also made it clear that CSA will stand behind any Celtic fan who is wrongfully charged, prosecuted or imprisoned. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe after the demo and he’s agreed to do a wee piece for TCN on this nonsense over the next few weeks.
There was also a representative of Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs who informed the crowd of the intimidation of Celtic fans travelling over from Ireland to support their club. It’s fantastic to know that we have the full support of our brothers and sisters from across the Irish sea.
After the rally the demonstrators began a good natured and well behaved march to Celtic park. Shortly before kick off many banners were displayed around the whole stadium from CSC’s calling for this bill to be killed.
The whole feeling from start to finish was brilliant. It was my nephews first ever political demonstration and I was proud that he realised just how special Celtic FC and the Celtic family is.
This is just the beginning. F.A.C will be rolling out more events over the weeks and months ahead. We ask that all Celtic fans no matter where you live around the world make your voices heard and stand shoulder to shoulder with Fans Against Criminalisation.