Celtic fans return to Lanarkshire on Saturday, just a few miles away from New Douglas Park, where Hamilton Accies and Celtic fans were both harassed while cooperating together to protest against the Offensive Behaviour’ Act.
The policing at Hamilton two weeks ago was politically motivated. It used recent legislation, ostensibly designed to protect society from sectarianism, to prohibit peaceful political protest. The concerted forces of the Scottish Government and Police Scotland has ensured that your freedom to stage peaceful political protest is been enormously curtailed in recent years – banners bearing the message “Accies against the Act” were confiscated.
If you were subject to any of the well documented police action at Hamilton, and intend travelling to Motherwell on Saturday, do not be surprised if you are singled out.
Fir Park Motherwell is a considerably more combustible venue than New Douglas Park. It has been the scene of vandalism, general hooliganism and a pitch invasion to taunt opposition fans in recent times. Police appear reluctant to get involved with fans for these activities at Motherwell. As a football fan, it is your political views you have to watch out for.
Before planning your trip to Motherwell it’s worth revisiting this comment by Brogan Rogan’ last week.
Also take a look at the Citizens Advice notice on police powers in Scotland. If police search you, even if no offence has been committed, they can seize whatever they want. Some pretty innocuous political dissent has been proscribed. I’m appalled – and so are some officers I know.
Living on the streets in winter in Scotland has to be one of the most challenging aspects of humanity. Next month, you can share what this means, by sleeping trackside at Celtic Park with dozens of others for the Foundation, as part of hte 2015 Christmas Appeal. The Celtic Foundation provide nourishment and shelter to the many of the city’s homeless each winter.
This is social outreach at its hardest. There is nothing easy about sleeping rough in Scotland. You can find out more here. Join in and aim to raise £125. Well done to the dozens already signed up.