Green Brigade’s statement calls for Palestinian flag display at Atletico Madrid game

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.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

14 Comments

  1. Rob O’Keeffe on

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with flying a Palestinian flag and showing support for the Palestinian people.Hamas flags,on the other hand,are unacceptable and Celts aren’t being asked to fly them.Showing support for the poor and oppressed and trapped ordinary Palestinians is something to be proud of.

    • Paythefacepainter on

      Well said Rob. Looks like Johnno would be more at home over the other side of the river

      • Time to ban these morons for ever. They have put together a nonsense statement which does not explain their reprehensible behaviour which continues to manifest itself I’m many ways. Any spaces left at Celtic Park will quickly be filled with real supporters. The same idiots who are making out that Palestinian terrorists are martyrs will expect our Israeli players to give their all for the club. Celtic football club get shot of these clowns.

    • Celtic, God bless you for your support for Palestine. I’m a Celtic fan from now on. You are fk in amazing

  2. So now these spoilt entitled gobshites want to turn Celtic Park into a political rally on a European night?
    All that matters is Celtic trying to gain 3 points in a campaign where our support is very much needed in trying to achieve the likes.
    Maybe we should get rid of abada also, just to please these trouble making upstarts.
    This is nothing more than an ongoing fight with the board, so these spoilt brats can get there own way.
    So called militant political activist trying to use our name for self gain more like.
    Let them bring there protests to the embassies involved, instead of trying to use Celtic Park for the likes.
    Sick to death of such eejits within the GB claiming to be the voice of Celtic supporters, when all they do is continue to drag our good name through the muck, with providing so much ammunition to be fired straight back at ourselves as a football club.
    We are a football club, not a political party running for government, and about time this so called GB start to understand that.
    Our history has nothing to do with middle eastern politics, and nothing good will come from such a stance to ourselves as a football club, and certainly no solution to the crisis that exists either.
    Wouldn’t be bothered whatsoever if the club ended up banning them as there becoming a bigger problem to ourselves as a club than they are worth nowadays.
    Fuck the GB

    • Colin Stevenson on

      I see the hood that the Green Brigade have achieved for the poor and oppressed over a long period of time, however this does not give them the right to speak on behalf of all Celtic fans, on this occasion I feel that they are wrong, Hamas are the agresssors, using ordinary Palestinians as shields , let’s be honest and look at the atrocities that they have committed, there are no winners here only innocent people who were going about their normal lives. I for one don’t want Celtics good blame blighted.

  3. “A football club will be formed for the maintenance of the dinner tables of our needy children.”

    Celtic FC’s founding principal.

    Something that the club and its supporters still do till this day, feed “needy children” Folk like our parents or grandparents, mibe now great grand parents considering the date! Is who the club was formed to feed. The GB do their foodbank thing, others are always up to fund raising for things, Mary’s meals, groups that take kids to the games for free, all sorts.

    Brother Walfrid never mentioned anything else, all that came after. The war of independence in Ireland, what folk call “the troubles” (like suddenly a bit of bother) was all after, the state of “Israel” didn’t exist.
    WW1 hadn’t happened.

    I have read a lot from people who are claiming that Celtics founding principals are all sorts of things, just thought I would remind everyone what they actually are.

    Charity, feeding children who had no food.

    Your principles today might have additions to that, that’s up to you and if folk want to highlight the plight of oppressed people fair enough, someone has too, yet its not why the club was formed.

  4. Martin Blackshaw on

    The Celtic Board and fans have to open their eyes and understand that the people behind this are not remotely interested in the suffering of the Palestinian people, or any other people for that matter, they are Marxist agitators who take advantage of tragic situations to arouse the passions and emotions of the uninformed public. It’s a well-known Marxist tactic and it should be resisted strongly by right-thinking people who only want to go and watch their team. I urge the Celtic Board to now ACT to remove this so-called “Green Brigade” from the Celtic support before it brings further international disgrace on the club. Despite this sophisitc attempt to identify with the Catholic spirit underlying the foundation of Celtic Football Club, this “Red” Brigade seeks to promote further violence in a region already scarred by decades of division. This was certainly not the spirit of Brother Walfrid and it’s not the spirit of the Catholic Church he faithfully served. Beware!

  5. 100% Johnno and Martin, GB doesn’t speak for me and I don’t want to see the name of the club dragged through mud just so they can make a point.

    I hope the club ban them for the CL game as much as I hate to see supporters banned but they are not bigger than Celtic. Club was here long before they were born and will still be here long after they grow up.

  6. I wonder what Jock Stein would have said about this. I’m sure it would have been to remind everyone to concentrate on the football.

    Sick of the GB. Self appointed custodians of Celtic’s principles. Cringe worthy.

  7. Absolutely need banning for life before they fo our club untold harm . What are the board doing this has gone on fir years now. They are blackening my clubs name once again but this time have gone too far. Everyone is condemning this disgusting terrorist attack innocents have and are now being slaughtered.
    Total shame on you green brigade get out of our club you are dragging us to the gutter . I just can’t understand hiw and why our board put up with these morons . They need to put an end to it now grow a pair and ban them all fir life never to return to our club . They are disgusting horrible individuals anyone who can warrant the actions of these hamas terrorists killing children woman and men in cold blood . This group have to go and go now. If the board don’t do it. Then the whole of the good celtic support should stop going until they are banned for good . It’s utterly horrible disgusting I can’t stand it .

  8. I never ever in my life thought I would ever be ashamed to wear my colours.
    I don’t want anyone to think I have any kind of support for these utter scum bag morons . Personally I would gather every one of them and send them to gazza hamas will be proud of you . Disgusting horrible morons.

  9. People will have differing views on this no doubt but the banners that seem to have caused the statement from celtic, referred to the resistance and not the Palestine. I think that was a step too far. Calling now for people to bring Palestinian flags is like encouraging the support to get behind them. GB that is. Many of us enjoy the displays they come up with in the stadium and admire a lot of the causes they get behind.

    At the same time not everyone agrees with their political views. In my humble opinion the club had no choice but to distance itself from the resistance banners. I hope the GB continue to be a big part of the match experience, and that the good name of Celtic is not tarnished in any way HH

  10. Like so many others, I’m sick to death of the GB. They are following a few agitators like sheep.

    I have total sympathy for the people of Gaza, but Hamas knew the consequences of their attacks and the subsequent deaths of innocents.

    GB, you have the right to protest but you don’t have the right to use Celtic Park as your platform.

    Make your Protest on the streets.

    I am a season ticket holder of 40 years and I find your actions totally unacceptable. ( that includes your pro IRA chants and rebel songs. As stated many times here, Celtic was formed to feed the poor. It is not a platform for political exchange.