You will not need me to remind you of an SNP government minister’s desire to “equalise” political chanting in status with criminal acts was one of, if not the primary, motivation for the Offensive Behaviour at Football’ Act.
The Act has been justified at every turn by an insistence that it exists to keep sectarianism and hate away from football games, despite sectarianism and hate chanting being well covered by existing legislation. Yesterday, this presumably shield against hate crime, was used against Hamilton Accies and Celtic fans, holding banners proclaiming “Repeal the Offensive Behaviour Act”. Among other prohibited banner slogans were “Fans not criminals” and “Supporting your team is not a crime”.
I have been appalled at this Act, from the early concepts of the Bill, to its ineffective passage through courts, to this highly Offensive manner it trampled on the Human Rights of Celtic and Hamilton fans to silence political dissent.
You are living in a land where “Accies against the Act” is a prohibited phrase, where both sets of fans, acting in unison, offending no one apart from those in power, are hassled by the police.
Thanks to everyone who donated to my Celtic Foundation fundraising page (still open) for yesterday’s Great Scottish Run, it is enormously appreciated. Well done to the thousands who lined the streets offering support, and on occasion, peeled oranges. Society, a concept we were told was dead in the 80s, is alive and well in Glasgow.