Do Not Silence Rebellion

On the criminalisation of Celtic fans for singing Republican songs:

Friday morning there’s a knock at the door. A policeman takes you into custody and you are taken to a station, interviewed and kept in the station cells until a court appearance on Monday morning. For some Celtic fans this is happening to them regularly.

Filmed by FIT team for 90 minutes, identified, tracked down and individually prosecuted. Our money is being spent in the desperate crackdown on the singing of songs. Singing ‘Boys of The Old Brigade’ amounts to a sectarian breach of the peace in Glasgow. Thus arrest and convictions will rise in the next crime report. Republican songs are not sectarian in my opinion. There are certain religious lyrics in some songs, but republican songs are about republicanism. ‘Boys of The Old Brigade’ commemorates the Easter Rising of 1916. A song that evokes the Republican spirit of unity in the face of oppression. Of rebellion against authority, a concept that would be best celebrated, not repressed.

To have this level of investigation, intelligence gathering and prosecution on the singing of songs is not legitimate in a country that claims to support the spread of democracy. There is no violence in sharing in this carnival. No one comes to any harm, no property is damaged, all that happens is people remember the Rising. Even the Queen laid a wreath for those who fell in the Rising. It is a shame her court can not prosecute her for her sectarian action. The idea of that is as laughable as the money being squandered prosecuting this thought crime.

This very year a man assaulted Neil Lennon at Tynecastle and walked on the grounds that he denied calling the Celtic manager a fenian bastard, despite the fact he kicked Mr Lennon live on satellite television. Here may be brutality, but it is also evident in the actions of the state.

Football is an arena of colour, pride. passion and celebration. To be proud of ones roots is not illegal. At Celtic Park this has meant being proud of being founded by Irish immigrants and welcoming Glasgow’s refugee population with regular football tournaments. To be passionate about Republican politics is not illegal. To celebrate these ideas in song? This could be an imprisonable offence. Meanwhile, if you organise attacks on muslims and their friends the police will let you go after minimum investigation. The idea that the government is planning to pass a bill on football fan’s behaviour is simply troubling. It’s time to stop rambling……there’s work to be done.

Posted By

Omar Ibrahim Ma...
Nov 28 2011 21:42



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