Today Celtic fans are being told not to hang banners over Ibrox advertising hoardings or they’ll face ejection from the ground, perhaps worse.
Today Nil By Mouth is telling fans they should refrain from singing certain songs.
Today Show Racism The Red Card has released a statement urging fans to respect one another.
And all the while, we have this:
That is the “official response” from Sevco’s sanctioned fan organisation; their version of The Green Brigade … if the Green Brigade were sectarian bigots openly encouraging a riot.
A leaflet which employs a racist term.
A leaflet which calls for a paramilitary style fan march against our supporters.
A leaflet who’s very logo explicitly incites violence.
And so far, Civic Scotland is stonily silent.
No official statement from Ibrox has sought to condemn this.
Imagine that leaflet was about an anti-Jewish demonstration, using vile anti-Semitic language, or if it targeted Muslims or another minority.
Imagine that instead of a prone Celtic fan being kicked in the face it had referenced a lynching or showed a uniformed, jack booted thug beating someone on the ground.
The condemnation would have been ringing like church bells on a Sunday.
The police are “investigating” it, or so they say.
What’s to investigate?
The leaflet details a meeting place, a time, it tells us how these people are going to be clad … the investigation should take all of five minutes, and should start, and stop, with everyone in the vicinity who meets the description being scooped up for breaching one of the many, many laws that exist to prevent exactly the sort of trouble this scum seem to want.
Celtic is often criticised when The Green Brigade crosses what Civic Scotland deems to be one of its lines; the thing is, Celtic has condemned its own fans where they’ve deemed that to be appropriate.
The Green Brigade has never produced something like this, and I know the reaction of our club if they did would be swift and merciless.
Several months ago, Show Racism The Red Card did a seminar on anti-Irish racism in Scotland; that despicable leaflet contains a sterling example of it amongst its other sins. SRTRC invited a well-known expert on the subject to talk to them on it; his name, of course, was Phil MacGiollabhain, and the response the organisation got for doing that was venomous.
Their fans turned the anger, and their hate, up to full.
And Show Racism The Red Card backed down.
They bottled out.
They caved, and they multiplied their disgrace when they appeared to call Phil a racist.
They are very lucky he did not seek legal redress.
The charge is serious.
In fact, it could be professionally devastating, if people in his industry weren’t aware that it was ridiculous.
In the aftermath, they had a nice wee sit down with several Sevco fan reps … perhaps even the ones who are responsible for this disgraceful leaflet.
Our take on it is similar; I’m glad to see he too has called for an official response from Scotland’s chattering classes.
Neither Nil By Mouth nor Show Racism The Red Card has issued a word of condemnation about this leaflet, and nor has The Scottish Government, and that asks serious questions of all of them and every other civic organisation in this country which has worked to establish links with the Ibrox club in the pursuit of a more tolerant land.
If the club itself allows this to go unchallenged and unanswered then we are fully entitled to question their “commitment” to anti-racist causes … if you accept that such a commitment exists in the first place. Silence here encourages the lowest gutter sentiments amongst their fan base. It ignores an outright act of criminality.
That leaflet is beyond belief and if Civic Scotland ignores it then the shame is on them.
If that “demonstration” leads to disorder or God forbid someone getting hurt, then we’re all entitled to demand answers from them if they’ve done nothing to prevent it.
Any civic organisation that stays silent here, and therefore allows that club to do the same, will have no credibility whatsoever when next they roll up at Ibrox to promote one of their causes, because they’ll be doing it in the shadow of the black clad Union Bears, racists, bigots, encouraging attacks on fellow football fans, who have no wish to “moderate” and who’s officially endorsed signing section comes with the imprimatur of the Ibrox board.
An organisation which seeks to incite violence in a racist cause … that’s a red line for any supposedly tolerant society.
Silence will simply not do.
This cannot be wished away, and it cannot be ignored.
It has to be tackled. It demands a response.
Every major political figure in the country should be confronted with this.
Every anti-racism charity should be asked for a comment.
Sevco should be pressured from all sides to disassociate itself from these people and the vile sentiments that leaflet endorses.
These organisations – the club itself – are either serious about defeating this stuff or they are not.
If they are not showing it the red card they’re rolling out the red carpet instead.
By their deeds – or lack thereof – let them be judged.
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