Watchmen

Angela at GBDemo (2)

(Picture courtesy of TCN)

By Phil Mac Giolla Bháin

What do you call a scandal that already has “gate” in the name?

“Gallowgategate” doesn’t do it for me, but what happened last Saturday a few hundred metres from Glasgow Cross was a scandal.

As with all scandals there is an element of chance and timing in what transpired and so it would seem with this…err…event.

Robocop was in town expecting a fascist rally to produce some counter demo agro.

A riot was predicted, but it didn’t happen.

All tooled up and nowhere to go there were suddenly more resources on the street than they knew what to do with.

The police knew that the Celtic supporters group the Green Brigade planned to march to Celtic Park without having applied for permission to the appropriate authorities.

A journalist colleague of mine decided to go down and look at what size of crowd had assembled.

She was accompanied by her 73 year old father and their intention was to go to the Celtic match against Aberdeen.

As the police started to manoeuvre around the crowd at the Gallowgate she got onto a short wall to have a look at what was happening.

She felt a push on her back and suddenly she was in the crowd.

Her father was also pushed, probably by the same policeman, and they were in the “kettle”

Suddenly they found that their liberty had been denied them as they were surrounded by police officers.

She sent me a text to tell me that she and her father were being corralled in by the police.

I immediately thought work and that she was on the spot for a story.

I called her and asked she had her NUJ Press Card with her.

The line was really bad, mobile to mobile and the background noise was substantial.

We were reduced to shouting at each other.

When she repeated back the word “Press Card” to me I suddenly heard a male voice at the other end of the line.

The line went dead and when I called back again she told me that the policeman standing beside her had suddenly become attentive and polite when the magic words were used.

Perhaps, and it is only supposition on my part, that the police officer had enough nous to know that having a journalist in the “kettle” wasn’t such a good idea.

For an hour in the rain Angela and her 73 year old father were detained without charge by the police.

She was told to take down the hood on her jacket.

If you would meet these two people then they don’t immediately come across as a threat to state security.

Her eye witness account of the event is here this piece had over 30,000 hits within the first 24 hours.

The following day she followed up with a scoop about the lack of official permission for the anti-fascist rally.

Angela edited my book “Downfall” about Rangers and is performing the same role in my next book about anti-Irish racism in Scotland.

Her involvement in the Gallowgate incident and the glee of some officers on the spot could fit within one of the later chapters of that forthcoming title.

Certainly a police officer on social media recently offered the opinion that his interaction with Celtic supporters could be characterised as “pest control”.

If the police in Scotland had serious oversight then his career should be over.

If the first casualty in any war is truth then the second one is often language.

Terms like “police state” and “fascist storm troopers” were thrown about with less rigour than a student union common room.

Modern Scotland does not pass muster as a police state, but these words are being written only a few miles from a part of the United Kingdom that from its creation in 1922 definitely was such a polity.

The Northern Ireland statelet was created on the basis of social exclusion, structural discrimination against the catholic minority and unaccountable policing.

When the Good Friday Agreement was being constructed policing was at the heart of the negotiations.

I remarked to a friend on Saturday night that if the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) had conducted the Gallowgate operation then a career or two might well be damaged if not over.

That is perhaps because the PSNI often have to deal with REAL rioters.

In the past few months Northern Ireland has saw loyalists demonstrations and street disturbances around the decision of Belfast City Council to only fly the Union flag on designated days.

Heretofore the British flag has flown from City Hall every day for over a century.

The PSNI have had to deal with multiple incidents at any given time.

Roads have been blocked; buildings attacked and on one occasion a female PSNI officer was attacked in her patrol bar with petrol bombs.

She narrowly escaped with her life.

During all of this no one was “kettled” and, thankfully, no one was killed.

The PSNI operate under an oversight regime that Strathclyde’s finest would consider a police state.

The First Police Ombudsman of the new dispensation was Nuala O’Loan.

It is fair to say that she put manners on the new force from her appointment at 1999 until he left the post in 2007.

The good old boys of the RUC (many of them since put out to grass) were shocked at the powers of her office which included the ability to arrest PSNI officers and seize evidence.

This truly is policing the police.

Given the history of the Royal Ulster Constabulary nothing else would have enticed Republicans to sign up to the new deal.

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” is an entirely legitimate question for any democratic society at any time.

Michael McMahon MSP remarked that Kenny MacAskill’s response was almost verbatim what had been said to the Bellshill politician the previous evening by a senior Strathclyde cop.

If the police and the politicians are in too cosy a relationship then it is for the Fourth Estate to look into this relentlessly.

So far in Scotland the mainstream media’s reportage of the Gallowgate incident has been little more than the regurgitating of the police press statements.

There is of course an alternative view from a qualified journalist and NUJ member who was actually on the spot and got exclusive copy.

So far Angela Haggerty has been contacted by Al Jazeera, and Australian media organisation and the Irish Post.

So her copy is considered good enough for Arabs, Australians and the Irish in Britain, but not for readers in Scotland

The role of social media in providing an alternative narrative to the police spin has been telling.

Once more the mainstream media seems determined to continue their descent into irrelevancy.

If the police, politicians and the media are all agreed that the cops are just wonderful then the use of the term “police state” doesn’t start to look so fanciful.

If a police career isn’t even dented by this fiasco then people in Scotland should start to worry.



Categories: Antifascism, Human Rights, Identity

41 replies

  1. Wow. What. Remarkable story. This must’ve been like the uprising in Libya. What a brave pair you both are to put yourself at risk for such an astonishing story that offers a never before seen level of insight. You truly have experienced the terrors of the world. You should write a book about it. Maybe Terry Waite could write the foreword. I will be recommending you both for MBEs – I know you will appreciate that. Well done guys. Amazing work.

  2. This article has several points which are worthy of further discussion. However, why does the author fail to mention several facts about the incident? e.g. The Green Brigade had not applied to the City Council for a permit to march; they refused an offer to march on the pavement. etc etc
    Do words like “assumption” and “probably” sit well in this critique of the police, main stream media etc?
    For me, this article shows that both the mainstream media and the new digital media can both include/omit facts to suit differing perceptions of the same incident – perceptions formed by the core beliefs of the writer.
    Oh, and use a spellchecker next time ….

  3. Is this article really supposed to taken seriously? A melodramatic second hand account of a minor incident of public disorder with a completely tenuous link to policing issues in N.I.. The vast majority of the Scottish public will have no qualms in the way a group of neds with assorted hangers-on were dealt with by the police.

    • Clearly the link to policing issues in N.I. is just that here is a recent example of where police need de-politicising. I’m glad you are able to speak for the ‘vast majority’ of the Scottish public, though I would be interested to know where you got that authority. I’m also keen to know why ‘neds’ suddenly have less rights than other people?

    • Spot on, John. Sounds like yet another exercise in victimhood politics by Phil Macmanynames.

      • tccokey3
        I would be very wary of assuming that anyone who has little time for the chip on the shoulder Green brigade nonsense is suffering from any Anti/irish/Catholic bias. These clowns do immense damage to their community. I speak as someone whose father was in a seminary in Dublin during the Irish Civil War (escaped, obviously), who has a large extended family in Armagh, who played in the same school football team as Charlie Gallacher, Pat Crerand and Harry Hood and is a lifelong Celtic supporter (aka “a tim”) and I believe the Green Brigade is in danger of embarrassing Scotland’s Catholic community in the same way as intolerant Orangemen now embarrass most protestants

  4. For the sake of brevity I chose not to start each sentence with ‘in my opinion’ so apologies for that omission. Neds including pseudo-political ones have the same rights as everyone else and I didn’t suggest otherwise. My point was that the matter was dealt with appropriately by the police and the subsequent fuss is totally out of proportion to what actually happened.

  5. I looked for the contact details so that I didn’t have to add a comment to the article. I couldn’t find it.

    Only a few days ago there was a subjective, pejorative and one sided article on the subject of this teacup tornado surrounding the celtic ultras/Green Brigade/whatever ‘demonstration’. I moaned about it then – I know the various sectarian traditions are hot-stuff for some, but my opinion is that most people don’t see much importance in them, and wondered why the article had been included, despite its (imo spurious) alleged subject matter being civil rights.

    Days later we have another subjective, pejorative and one-sided article on exactly the same melodrama.

    If bellacaledonia wants to put up articles seeking to foster discussion about how we expect policing to work in Scotland , why don’t you just write one and post it?!

    If bellacaledonia is instead just bursting to have go a the ‘offensive behaviour’ bill – just do it directly ffs!

    Why instead are we getting this dross that stems from and is from the perspective of the consequences of the sectarian dramas of some unhappy football supporters?

    This is poor, poor, stuff – what’s the choice here by the way? Be pro heavy handed policing, or pro the rights of sectarians to hurl sectarian abuse at one another despite the law (like it or not)?

    Tell you what, just keep them coming, maybe you could make a section called BellaBrigade – and I’ll really try to stay with you and comment on all the latest articles , we can see who gets bored with it first.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      You write: “If bellacaledonia is instead just bursting to have go a the ‘offensive behaviour’ bill – just do it directly ffs!” Actually, as already stated, this has nothing to do with the Offensive Behavior Bill, this is about policing and police conduct.

      You write: “what’s the choice here by the way? Be pro heavy handed policing, or pro the rights of sectarians to hurl sectarian abuse at one another despite the law (like it or not)?”

      I don’t think this is the choice at all. I’s quite consistent to say that in the 21C abusive behaviour is banned [you can’t walk around Brixton shouting ‘we hate nigggers’]. But this reality doesn’t mean that somehow abusive or illegally violent policing is condoned.

      This isn’t very difficult stuff.

      I’m sorry that you feel this is the wrong place for addressing issues of liberty or state accountability, but, it’s really not.

      Btw – if you ever want to contact us our details are (obscurely) at the section called ‘Contributors & contact’.

      • So it’s not about the Offensive Behaviour Bill – so then it’s about policing and police conduct (the other thing I mentioned).

        You can’t address it without some facts to address – the articles bella has published don’t provide any. That was my problem before – you can claim it isn’t really about disgruntled sectarians all you like, but when you’ve got them and no evidence of the illegal police violence, then your claim doesn’t look to good.

        Funny I was going to use racial abuse as an example too. So, we stop abusive behaviour – using legislation when communities can’t self-police themselves into civility. What happens? – some start protesting that the consequences of their own flouting of the law has upset them. They do so in a way that leaves them (and they know it) wide open to their ‘demonstration’ being stopped by the police. Then what happens? – the police stop them. Now, this is the point where the journalists show us the evidence of illegally violent policing, and you’ve got the basis for an article on illegally violent policing (though even then it would be more balanced to show how and why the ‘demo’ was set up as it was).
        But no such evidence has yet been presented, so what we’ve got is a small minority of a small minority who are disgruntled by the Offensive Behaviour Bill getting in the way of traditions of abuse, stirring the pot and piggybacking on people’s genuine concerns about policing methods.

        ‘This isn’t very difficult stuff.’
        Right back at ya! 😉

        ‘I’m sorry that you feel this is the wrong place for addressing issues of liberty or state accountability, but, it’s really not.’

        Bella would be a great place for addressing these things! But as I tried to get across in my comments on the previous article, and again in this comment – until someone actually shows some evidence of illegally violent policing, and/or why the state ought to be accountable for things not yet demonstrated – you aren’t actually addressing anything that actually happened!
        Which is why I suggested that if Bella really wants to cover this stuff, just go for it in an article designed to get discussion going around policing; how different types of events need different types of policing; the relationship between citizen and state & the police’s unique place in that dynamic; police and state accountability; how the rights of one part of the public impinge on the rest of the public; and so on. But not these articles, which I maintain that without something more like evidence of police wrongdoing, are just pejorative opinion pieces serving their own agenda.

        Trust me, if you can show some evidence – I’m right on side. Instead, as I said, we have two subjective, pejorative, one-sided, context free articles, *and I still don’t know why*.

        Re: contacts – thanks, I looked around that section and saw all the mini bios, but I didn’t see any obvious contact form to the site or its editorial board/team. I’ll look again tomorrow, for now, eh’m awa tae bed…

    • We are at: bellasletters (at) yahoo.co.uk

      • It sounds like he thinks he is LNS .

        • By ‘he’ do you mean me?
          If so – what’s ‘LNS’? and why not just direct a comment to me instead?

          • LMS,Lord Nimmo Smith . tut,tut,tut…..try not to be so touchy.I was on about the style of your piece,you were like said Smith and his reasons for excusing letting off his friends for their behavior

          • ‘tut tut tut’ ???
            What – Am I supposed to know who you mean by some three letter acronym, that you happen to use for a person – If Nimmo Smith is important enough to you I can see why you’d know him by LNS, but not me – why would you expect me to?

            Touchy – You commented to someone else on the thread but seemed to be referring to me (for reasons best know to you), all i did was ask if you were referring to me. Why you think that’s being touchy is, again, something only you can know. You could have commented to me, why you didn’t, only you can know.

            I’m not letting anyone off with anything – all my comments on this and other article are based on two things –
            1. No evidence is supplied – the articles are one-sided and subjective.
            2. In the absence of such evidence – the motivation for them is questionable.

            I notice in your other comments you’re trying to make out that everyone else is being one-sided, The irony! That’s what the problem with the articles are – they are one sided.

            My entire problem with the pieces, is that in the absence of any evidence, it just looks and sounds like another sectarian melodrama, that some (small number of) people want everyone else look at. It doesn’t matter to me which side it was – I’ve no time for either.

            It seems you view it differently, fair enough. – I don’t
            You to see articles about on this site, fair enough. I don’t

            But don’t try and make out that if I’m not on your side that I must be on their side, just because you don’t agree with me.
            I think you’ll find that few people fit into the clearly marked boxes that you choose to build your world with.

          • I knew would react like that,dry your eyes if you don,t agree with any side here what you doing here ! don,t take yourself so seriously.I tried to placate you ,cos I,m a good guy!but you,v still got the attitude.Don,t Don,t behave like a schoolmarm …………..In” Glesca Parlance ” If you can,t hack it get your jacket

          • Me, dry my eyes?! lol
            You’re the one who come on here with no argument, greetin’ about what people were saying. Dry your own eyes, but open them first.

            Placate me? You’d no need to placate me, I wasn’t angered or excited. I’m sure it suits your imagination to think you’ve come in and wound some people up, but that’s just your imagination – enjoy it.

            I’m sure you’re a good guy.

            Not only have got an attitude (according to you), but I’ve still got it!? Got it from when before? have we met in a past life or something?

            Ah, a schoolmarm – what’s that for tam – for asking for somebody, somewhere in this story to provide some evidence, and make it easy for us?

            ‘Glesca Parlance’ ! ffs! gies a break man – you’re a cracker!

            In the parlance of those who wish to discuss things – ‘If you can’t bring an argument, don’t come to the debate’

          • You said – ‘I knew you would react like that’, if that’s the case – why did you do something different, like direct a comment to me asking why I felt posted my comments on this *and* the other thread?

            You said – ‘if you don,t agree with any side here what you doing here ! ‘
            Grow up man! There’s more to almost everything in the world than picking sides.
            I don’t agree with a side because nobody has shown that there is a ‘side’ here. That’s why I’ve a problem with these articles, they make it sound like it’s about sides, but there’s no facts to show that.
            You’ve made it clear that you think there is a side – but you haven’t said why?
            The point is that this story is non-story, there are no sides, a bunch of fans wanted to demonstrate and got stopped. That’s it. No evidence that anything else went on has been provided. So…

          • Hi mr. serious take a chill pill,calm the waves,relax don,t do it……..I,m off down the Celtic club.I happen to be El Presidenti of the Dirty Bastards Club.Im chairing a meeting to-night……..on the agenda.Charlie “chuckles”green,s proposal to take us with him to England !!!+the recent/future.demo,in support of the Green Brigade.You are most welcome .

          • Aye that’s right, come into a discussion without anything to offer, and hae wee poke at me – and when you get called on it, you’ve nothing but crap patter. Mr Serious? I bow to your clinical analysis and rapier wit.

            Keep taking whatever you’re taking, and enjoy your night out.

          • HHMMM at least your cutting the reply down ,If you,d like to have a wee blether about “Things Celtic” That,s fine ,only Celtic that,s still fine I am a Celtic man.I am able to debate various views be they Socio/Polico/religious/finance/………..but I refuse to try to point score at this time……. My offer still stands…..In friendship yours ………in Celtic TC.

          • I’ve just not much to say TC.
            I don’t know why you think my opinion about the merit of the articles is off.
            I’ve been at pains to say often enough, that if only someone could substantiate the claims made in the article, I’d be all to happy to add my voice the condemnation of the policing. That’s all.
            If you feel differently, that’s fine – though I think we might have missed our opportunity to discuss it now; the thread’s got old. Hopefully we’ll be able to sure a discussion in the future.

            I’m sure you’ve strong feelings and opinions on the matter that drew you to post comment. They’re clearly different from mine, maybe we’ll just not agree.
            If I’ve got you thinking I’m anti-celtic, or anti-catholic, then let clear that up and tell you, I am not.
            The fact is TC, I’m not really bothered about Celtic (or The Rangers for that matter), that’s why if you accept that there isn’t enough substance in the articles (at least in my opinion) – hopefully you’ll see why ,from my point of view, having them on this site under the heading civil liberties, is actually taking liberties.

            (sorry, it got long again, can’t help myself)

            I’ve no points to score either TC, so I’m happy to reciprocate your gracious sign-off, in friendship.

    • We have published an eye witness report and then a comment piece looking at the wider issue of how to depoliticise policing from the experience in NI.

      Liberty, aren’t keen on kettling, telling us “the tactic does appear seriously to undermine the relationship of trust and confidence between peaceful protesters and the police” and “has undoubtedly had a chilling effect on many people’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly”. You may not agree and that’s fine but Bella believes that kettling is an infringement of the fundamental right to peaceful protest and in this instance we had a situation that could have been easily defused. The police clearly new about the event well in advance and had several operational options. They could have a) asked the groups to disperse b) escorted the group to the game c) arrested individuals that were breaking the law. All of which would have had considerably less impact on man hours.
      Bella will continue to publish on police and civil liberty matters.

      • Thanks, I saw the bellaslettters address, but the bit where I saw said it was ‘if you are interesten writing for us’. I’ll remeber it’s for general contact too.

        I’m not keen on kettling either, and as I said if that’s the sort of thing worthy of general discussion of policing then lets have an article on kettling.
        It is under current laws legal though, as far as I’m aware. In that context it certainly isn’t the ‘illegally violent policing’ you mention.

        I’ve taken pains in my previous comments to caveat my them to the effect that I am *not* in favour of heavy handed policing, that I do *not* like kettling if I need to add these things as a kind of signature to these comments then fair enough – I appreciate that that you might be answering these comments in isolation (though to be fair I did refer to my earlier comments).

        You keep insisiting on ignoring the context of the march/demonstration/corteo – it was an organised, unauthorised, group of football supporters, going to the ground. Unusual organisation of fans travelling to the match would be policed differently from demonstrations at the best of times (and often for good reason), but given that it’s a disgruntled set of home fans on their way to the match it’s going to be heightened. Large groups of supporters travelling on foot to the ground aren’t, in my experience, generally permitted to take over the roads until they get very close to the ground.

        You assert that it could have easily been defused by the police. Perhaps they did ask the group to disperse, did you ask them? No mention of a counter to the police’s claim that the demonstration was told that the police would facilitate them making their way to the destination, so long as they used the pavements, and that the offer was refused by the ‘corteo’. They did arrest people didn’t they? If so, then presumably they were arrested under suspicion of some offence – it would certainly be worthy an article if they weren’t.

        Whatever part the police had to play in this they had had a partner in their tango, but shhh.

        Also – you say want to ‘depoliticize policing’, that this article is – in part – about that. Perhaps you could tell us exactly what you mean by politicised policing, and then demonstrate that insead of just asserting that Scotland’s police are in fact politicised instead of just treating as gospel on the basis of a subjective eyewitness account (plus the many anonymous claims made therein), and a subjective piece once more removed and with an eye to NI (where else?).

        I wish bella would publish articles on police and civil liberty – because these aren’t the ones we’re looking for. They purport to be, but there’s no evidence for most of the hyperbolic claims, no context from which the events have unfolded, no broader social context in which those events sit, and no attempt to balance.

        Just to reiterate – I *am* against heavy handed policing, and violent and/or criminal acts perpetrated by the police ( I think the police in the UK as a whole have lost their way in many respects, and it’s a subject that could do with genuine articles). I don’t appreciate having to keeping asserting that position just because I take issue with a couple of weak and subjective articles whose more hyperbolic claims don’t come with any evidence. Once you take the more serious and evidence free claims out of them – they don’t stand up as articles on policing and civil liberties, and look rather more like the disgruntlement of a minority being frustrated, and that then thrust in everyone elses faces.

  6. Not surprised Michael “Green Brit” McMahon’s in on this… he’s typical of Labour’s divide and conquer.

  7. Pathetic stuff. I am disgusted that Celtic FC accommodates these clowns. The Celtic I grew up with wouldn’t have had anything to do with this sort of rubbish and I have even less time for “journalists” who perpetuate this chip on the shoulder throwback to the middle of last century. This deliberate little stunt was deliberately planned to be illegal and to inconvenience the police and will be used against the independence cause.

  8. Some further thoughts.
    I’m no journalist like Phil & Angela, but my sources have told me of the disorder that was happening further along the Gallowgate at the time of this incident. So is it possible that the large numbers of police, vans and helicopter were there due to intelligence received about another “risk group” as well? With limited knowledge of the larger picture that day, maybe what Phill & Bella don’t realise is that if the Green Brigade march had been allowed unpoliced, there was a very real possibility that they would’ve marched right into the other “risk group”…
    Like Angela, I’ve gone to various football matches with my Dad, who is also in his seventies. However, when when I’ve seen large groups of supporters and police gathering, I tend to get as far away from those potential flashpoints as quickly as my Dad’s legs will allow. The result? We’ve never been kettled, assaulted by police etc. But I guess I don’t have the same journalist instincts as Angela who just “stumbled” across this incident…
    A final point. Phil commends Angela’s work, she commends Phil’s work. For me, this attitude of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”, is no more that self-publicising. Is there another book coming out that they want us to know about?… Proper journalism is not about that.

  9. Surely we have to be wary of sectarianism being used against the Independence cause. For me the old firm is all about divide and conquer. It’s the Scots who are being conquered.

    • I don’t think this is about the Old Firm,it’s about what sort of policing we want in Scotland.

      • Yes. We want the sort of policing that stops disgruntled eejits trying to deliberately create havoc by mounting an unauthorised march down a main street.

  10. I recall attending political demonstations in the early 1980’s in Glasgow, relating to the Irish hunger strike. The police were, understandably, due to institutionalised Anti Irish racism, very hostile to our Political belief’s and treated us with the contemt and hatred we deserved. The Green Brigade, who although football supporters, appear to have fantastic insight into politics the world over and the oppression of people’s basic human rights. I also know of the fantastic work The Green Brigade carry out in Glasgow to support our immigrant brothers and sisters to settle in this beautiful city, points which appear to be missed in the quest to sensationalise their every movement. Lets have considered dialogue and move Scotland into the 21st century. We deserve it.

  11. David is spot on. If you had any regard for your elderly parent’s safety you would immediately moved away. Anyone who has read this author’s previous work understands he has a particular agenda which renders any serious analysis of the policing of this protest/gathering redundant.
    One final piece of advice – before consulting your Latin dictionary learn to write English properly. (NI has saw)

  12. A few people on here who mask their Anti/Irish/Catholic,bias not so well.If one disagrees fair enough,but totally one sided arguments shows up what they really think.

  13. What on earth is the Green Brigade?

  14. Dave McEwan Hill……You seem to have good linage there,but in yourself.All I can sense is one who thinks their place is the back of the bus.I,m not one for trouble ! but youth is always the first to question things.Those young people need showing the way,a bit if right thinking leadership not intolerance and downright condemnation.Believe me I,m not into aggravation,there is two sides (or more)to every story.

    • No. I have seat on the front of the bus. I have no chip on my shoulder. I am entirely confident that I can and have made my way in the world and in Scotland without giving a toss about slights, imagined or otherwise, from the sort of bigots you will find in any country under any
      number of pretexts. The fact is bigots are invariably inadequate people and those who react to them are usually not smart enough to see that there is nothing a group of bigots like better than to see their target getting agitated.
      You know what. Most decent people in Scotland are seriously embarrassed by Loyalist bigots and most sensible Catholics are embarrassed by chip on the shoulder bigots of the other persuasion.
      And it’s not a Scottish problem. In England it’s racist BNP. In Pakistan it’s islamic fundamentalists, in US it’s haters of left wing commie black folk and so on. There are deeply stupid people in most countries.
      Most of us who have grown up ignore them.
      There is an agenda in some sections of the Labour Party in Glasgow and West Central Scotland to keep Scotland’s Catholics suspicious about Scotland. This little bit of nonsense fits into that brilliantly. But sensible ,well informed and ambitious Catholics will have nothing to do with it anymore.
      You know something else. The worst bigotry I ever experienced was when I was a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school in Lanarkshire and it was made plain to me that I could get no promotion – because I was an SNP activist

      • I understand your points and see your different views.We have been on different paths of life,you white collar me somewhat other.I have held Nationalist views since I was 15 and debated with friends If we want Irish people to have their country.Why not the Scots.People choose to see bigotry when it,s perhaps not there,you mention it being all over the world.In your case at work that was Political not sectarian.Loyalists are mentioned,and Catholics with chips on shoulders…….we don,t have chips I can assure you.What we have are genuine reasons both sporting/political at this time..

  15. Bella, I completely understand your point – there is an issue over police tactics. ‘Kettling’ is extremely unpleasant and it needs to be addressed.

    However, what is completely lacking is any balance. The Green Brigade deliberately held the rally without consent looking for aggravation. They told their supporters to expect trouble, calling the police ‘fascists’ and for all their members to make sure they were armed with cameras.
    As much as this march was designed to support people who have been banned from Celtic matches (not just by police, but by Celtic Football Club also) it was also a deliberate attempt to provoke a situation in which the protesters could record ‘evidence’ to use against the police.
    Maybe as a follow up article we could possibly hear about the people that have been banned from the matches and why they were actually banned ?

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