The Green Brigade have doubled down on their stance regarding the situation in the Middle East and their public support for the Palestinian cause. And in a statement released on social media today the Ultras group criticises the Celtic Board for their inconsistencies regarding bringing politics into football when it suits them or when there’s money to be made.
And the Green Brigade finish off by calling on Celtic supporters to join them in waving Palestinian flags at the next home match which is against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday 25 October – a move that is almost certainly going to drag UEFA into this row and could see Celtic being heavily punished, perhaps being hit by another fine or maybe more likely a partial or full closure of a stand. That is a situation that is edging closer to happening as we pointed out ahead of the Lazio game due to the latest display of pyrotechnics in Rotterdam.
This morning we published two articles on The Celtic Star one in support of the Green Brigade and against the statement that Celtic released yesterday afternoon and the other arguing the opposing view, supporting the club and condemning the Green Brigade for the display at the weekend.
It’s clear that both sides of this row have a sizeable support yet when push comes to shove it’s most likely going to be Celtic first, last and overall for the majority of supporters, especially the ones who have been appalled at those Green Brigade’s banners at the weekend.
What is definitely worth pointing out is that both the banners and the resulting statement from the club could and should have been better worded. But Celtic is a club open to all and that can never be weakened as an idea and a guiding principle. We must never forget our roots, founded from famine and oppression and in an extremely unwelcoming and hostile environment. All parties have an obligation to Celtic here – not the PLC or a supporters group but to the wider Celtic. Our Celtic.
And harming Celtic doesn’t do anything to help the Palestinians or anyone else.
Another point worth mentioning is this, at the end of last season the Green Brigade trialled the Celtic Wall and campaigned for the lower Jock Stein stand to be covered into a standing section for the ultras and others wishing to join in the singing. You would have to imagine that that is now much less likely to happen after this latest episode plays out.
Here’s what the Green Brigade’s statement says….
“Following a recent Celtic PLC statement, we would like to reiterate our unshakeable belief that we, and other football supporters, have the right to express political views on the terraces, just as ordinary citizens do elsewhere in society. Football remains one of the few areas of public life where working class people have genuine political agency, and we will not be dictated to by an elitist board that has repeatedly demonstrated contempt for the history and traditions of Celtic Football Club.
“Celtic was born out of famine and oppression, a product of colonial rule, death and the mass displacement of people. It is because of this history that Celtic fans are renowned for their empathy and solidarity; consistently siding with the oppressed and destitute. This fact is not lost on the PLC as it regularly flirts with the idea, particularly where it can be commodified, yet the board are quick to condemn when the views expressed challenge their worldview, disingenuously then proclaiming to be apolitical. The current hypocrisy of the PLC is sadly in step with much of the political and media class, epitomised through the example of Ukraine.
“Political messaging was welcome at Celtic Park then; yet it is being condemned now. The question on any reasonable mind should be why? Why are Ukrainian lives more sacred than Palestinian lives? The Green Brigade remains unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian people, as we have been consistently. We have supported various Palestinian projects throughout our history and for over a decade have developed a close relationship with Aida Refugee Camp culminating in the formation of the Aida Celtic football academy in Bethlehem.
“We send our sincere solidarity and prayers to our friends across all of Palestine at this traumatic time when yet again much of the international community turns its back in cowardice while war crimes are inflicted on a largely defenceless, imprisoned population. We call on the Celtic support – the true custodians of Celtic Football Club – to stand on the right side of history. In 2016, we defiantly raised the flag and matched the fine for Palestine. Now, more than ever, the Palestinian people need our solidarity. On 25th October, v Atletico Madrid, we ask all Celtic fans to raise the Palestine flag on the European stage and show the world that Celtic Football Club stands with the oppressed, not the oppressor.
“We must apply learning from apartheid South Africa to dismantle apartheid Israel – if we are neutral in situations of injustice, we have chosen the side of the oppressor. In the meantime, we encourage fans to donate to the MAP Gaza Emergency Fund.”
— North Curve Celtic (@NCCeltic) October 10, 2023