The Struggle Goes On. . .

As the dust settles on Thomas Rannachans Axe The Act Campaign in the Govan by-election campaign, I thought I’d write down a few paragraphs on it all. The campaign was most definitely a success. It was a success because the SNP felt our presence and that was the main purpose.

Personally, I was champing at the bit to help in the campaign, and it was an absolute honour to stand beside great, like minded people, who wont accept the nonsense being dished out by the SNP and their uniformed boot boys. On Wednesday morning we heard of 7 Celtic fans’ homes being the subject of 7am dawn raids in which 2 of them were charged under this ridiculous act. The other 5 were charged last night and held in custody for 5 hours. As Im writing this here, it feels like in my head Im reading about an Irish Internee in the 70’s. Its not though. These are football fans in Scotland and its 2013. Their crime of course was singing Roll of Honour at a football match. A song which can be legally sung anywhere else in this country of course, and the reason for that is that its not sectarian or racist or discriminatory in any way. It doesn’t incite violence, it doesn’t glorify anyone, it remembers the bravery of men who those who sing it hold in the utmost respect. Oh and just for good measure, one of the supporters girlfriends was verbally abused by the ‘Boys in Blue’ during these dawn raids.

So, on we went to Polling Day yesterday. I was at a few Polling Stations and spoke to lots of people. Some couldn’t care less, but many more were receptive to what I had to say to them. I remember one particular wummin say as I was handing her a leaflet, telling her about the bill “Ach aye. Thats a racket anaw”. Myself and the man I was with near pished wurselves. The big moment however, was when the Helmet Headed Nicola Sturgeon unexpectedly stepped out of a car right in front of us. Resplendent in Marks & Spencers sensible clobber, she wasn’t expecting what was to follow.

Marie McCusker, from The Celtic Trust , a constituent of Sturgeons. Politely asked her if she could speak to her about the Act. Sturgeon palmed her off with “why dont you make an appointment to see me”. Now, at this time my blood is boiling at the sight of her but I kept my powder dry at this point. When Marie once again asked why she would not speak to her. Sturgeons response was, that she was here to see her candidate. Well, that was it for me. I exploded. “What about fans being dragged out their beds at 7 in the morning, have you nothing to say about that. Your a disgrace. You and your party are a disgrace”. Our very own Jeanette Findlay was also giving her it tight. I couldnt tell you what she was saying cos I was beelin. Im still shouting “Hey Ms Sturgeon, we’re not gonna go away”

As Sturgeon exchanged niceties with the political lackeys at the door of the Polling Station. Myself and Jeanette went over to the car and got our Axe The Act placards out. As she moved back towards her car, walking as fast as she could without running. I asked her again to answer a question. “No” she replied emphatically. Im telling her she is criminalising innocent people and as Jeanette tells her that we,re gonna hound her everywhere she goes, Sturgeon turns round and says flippently, “oh, thats nice”. Now Im off following her down the street. “Ye know whats not nice, its not nice when people are dragged from their homes in front of their families at 7 in the mornin for singing a song about elected TD’s and MP’s”. I am reliably informed that I didnt swear, and for those who know me, Im as shocked as you are.

In another part of the ward, at another Polling Station, some other SNP snivelling fuckwit decided to have a go at the secretary of the affiliation. A young lady. Now, I dont know if proving your bullying credentials is a way up the SNP ladder, but by all accounts this little arse got more than he was bargaining for, as this young lady was double wide for him and he shuffled away in a wee strop.

So you see. The campaign was a success. From the top to the bottom of the SNP they felt our presence, and the message is clear. You continue to harass us in our arenas. We’re going to come to yours and do the same.

Another point Id like to make. Is that whilst helping in this campaign. I got to see quite close up, the level type of person who does this kind of thing normally. The political actavists in Scotland. I can tell you this now. A bigger shower of Goon Dragoons you will never see. Heres the thing though. These are the folk who are elected to parliaments and council seats. These are the people who make decisions who affect all of our lives. Everyone needs to be more pro-active when it comes to politics. I have always felt that, but none more so than this week. 80% of the electorate did not bother to vote. The New Labour Goons were of course loving it. Hammering the SNP and watch us rile them. What they have to be smug about with the blood of thousands of innocent people on their hands is beyond me. But they’ll keep for another day.

I’d like to thank everyone I was with this week. All of them inspired me, and some of them have for a long time. Last night, and today, I am proud to call myself a Celtic man.

This fight has only just begun. The SNP should know, that we will only get better at this, and the more they send their bootboys to intimadate, the stronger our resolve will become. Sure, we learned from the best. I leave you with a wee song our Jeanette penned today. I’m sure you’ll recognise the tune.

Keep up the pressure and Tiocfaidh ár lá.

Salmond, do you really think its over?
If you do, you’re gonna have to jail us all.
Until you get your FoCUS off our cases.
We will make you rue the day you passed the bill.

Oh. . And just to annoy Sniper. . . He was at the wrang place 🙂


Roll of Honour

Read the Roll of Honour, of Ireland’s bravest men.
We must be united.
In memory of the ten.
England your a monster, don’t think that you have won.
We will never be defeated, while Ireland has such sons.

In the dreary H-Block cages, ten brave young Irishmen lay.
Hungering for justice, as their young lives ebbed away.
For their rights as Irish soldiers, and to free their native land.
They stood beside their leader. The gallant Bobby Sands.

Now they mourn Hughes in Ballaghy, Ray McCreesh in Armaghs hills.
In the narrow streets of Derry, they miss O’Hara still.
They so proudly gave their young lives, to break Brittanias hold.
Their names will be remembered, as history unfolds.

Through the war torn streets of Ulster, the black flags did sadly wave.
To salute ten Irish martyrs, the bravest of the brave.
Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Keiran Doherty.
They gave their lives for freedom, with Thomas McIlwee.

Michael Devine from Derry, you were the last to die.
With your nine brave companions, with the martyred dead you lie.
Your souls cry out “Remember. Our deaths are not in vain. Fight on and make our homeland. A nation once again.”

What Burns Where The Flame Used To Be…?

On 6th April 2013. Thousands of football fans turned up at George Square to protest against the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act. This followed on from a peaceful protest on 16th March 2013, were hundreds of police arrived, kettled protesters, drew their batons and arrested 13.

This, brought outrage to many of our support and rightfully so. We all made a point of being there, standing together against this ridiculous piece of legislation. Chris McCann of Fans Against Criminalisation stated that day.

“For too long we, as a campaign and as a collective of fans, have let the government and police set the agenda and push their propeganda – we’ve let them claim that football fans are some sort of evil within society, that we’re termites to be fumigated, pests to be controlled. We’ve been too quiet as fans have been arrested and harassed. We’ve allowed a situation to develop where the police can brazenly attack a group of Celtic fans for standing up against them.”

That sentiment was wholly agreed with that day, but in my opinion, most now have decided they canny be bothered anymore. Was George Square that busy that day because you cared? Or was it because it was the place to be seen with your CSC banner?

In my opinion, this is what the SNP and the Police expected from you. Let them have their wee daft protest. Means fuck all, the usual apathy will kick in again tomorrow. They relied on you apathy, and as far as I can see you delivered? Am I wrong? Prove it! Lets see you support Thomas Rannachan this week in Govan.

32 years ago to the very day yesterday, the Long Kesh Hunger Strike was ended. Vol. Raymond McCartney narrowly escaped death. Raymond McCartney is currently an elected MLA. Ten of his former comrades died on that hunger strike. Recently a Celtic fan was convicted for singing a song commemorating these men, and the song was described as provocative. I quote Gerard (Ollie) Lynch, Celtic fan and brother of hunger striker Kevin Lynch.

“It is ironic that this is not an offence in Ireland or any other country. Ireland has moved on but never forgets her past. I would appeal to the government in Scotland to allow the Irish in Scotland to remember their past without trying to criminalise them. In life they tried to criminalise the hunger strikers. They failed. In death they are still trying to criminalise them. They will fail again.”

This week we had the ridiculous situation of a Celtic fan being convicted under this act for holding a flag the wrong way. Now I won’t pretend to know everything about the armed struggle in Ireland, but I’m pretty sure that even with the ingenuity of the Irish. They didn’t manage to make a flagpole able to fire bullets. That is more at home with fictional British Agent James Bond.

That’s the world we as Celtic fans are living in now. We are at the mercy of the whims of Police officers. The same Police officers that were apparently enjoying tea and biscuits as last weeks Ibrox British Forces hate-fest was taking place under their noses. The colour of those noses is anyones guess. What will be next? Will it be officers coming on your bus and putting you off the road because your playing a Shebeen CD? I for one wouldn’t bet against it. Unless of course we stand up for ourselves. We know, that together we can achieve anything in this country. We have proved it many times over.

Now, I don’t expect everyone one to have the same political opinions as me. I don’t expect everyone to sing the songs I sing. What I do expect is each and every Celtic supporter to back each other in the face of oppression. That should be ingrained in you.

Thomas Rannachan’s Axe The Act campaign in the Govan by-election is in full swing. Tomorrow, Saturday 5th October, we will be campaigning at Govan cross. We expect a large SNP and New Labour contingent to be there too. It’s worth turning up to annoy them if nothing else. Seriously though. We need to be there to make it known that we vehemently oppose this act, and we haven’t gone away ye know. Join us tomorrow from 10:30 to 1pm and on Polling Day on Thursay 10th October. We can’t expect the usual people to do it by themselves.