Those involved with arranging marches etc on public roads will be well aware of the amount of planning, organising and authorisation required to allow a properly prepared march to take to the streets.
Part of the planning requires council authority where the organiser is required to guarantee several aspects of the march including a set ratio of stewards to marchers and allowing other authorities the opportunity to check the planned march doesn’t conflict with other activities at the same time.
Sensible respectful organisations have no issue complying with this level of organising. The Green Brigade certainly can’t fall in to this category and yet again flaunt civil responsibility while being completely above the law and incapable of being considerate to others.
A few media outlets reported at he end of last week that the Green Brigade planned to march to hampden from the city centre. They forgot to mention or were unaware that the Celtic ultras completely ignored standard protocol which requires council approval for such an event. After the recent terror attacks in Manchester, Police Scotland requested that they cancelled their march as hundreds of officers would need to taken away from security duties at hampden to police their march. The Celtic fans ignored this plea and obviously viewed their selfish march as being more important than the safety of others attending the cup final.
Sources explained that when the media contacted Police Scotland to confirm this they seemed anxious to down play the situation as this could potentially alert terror groups of the lack of officers at hampden and they were keen to say they had the situation under control. Although annoying, it is an understandable ploy.
Plenty within Police Scotland were annoyed by the stance of the Celtic ultras and the plan was to issue the Green Brigade with a public order notice to disband their illegal city centre gathering and prevent them from marching. Despite a number of officers, dog handlers and mounted police, the Green Brigade did, yet again, carry on regardless without intervention by authorities. Some media pictures clearly show this event carrying on without even as much as a marshall in attendance which in itself is against council guidelines for marches.
There seems to be an internal issue within the police as to how to deal with this group who flaunt legislation regularly. Rumours persist of outside influences changing police tactics and the possibility of perusing legal avenues against them due to their continued pyrotechnic use. I won’t hold my breath awaiting the correct course of action against them as those inside the police who wish to take them to task will no doubt be on the wrong end of the final decisions yet again.
Make no mistake, there’s a rising amount of police running out of patience with this maverick arm of the Celtic support but will they actually ever have enough power to stand against them? I think not.
As the country united in its grief at the events in Manchester this group totally ignored the nations unity and dismissed pleas based on the safety of others. The police then made a complete u turn on their idea to disband this illegal gathering and allowed them free passage of our streets yet again much to the annoyance of plenty serving police officers.
Their own club, the council and the police seem incapable of bringing this disrespectful group in to any sort of normal way of thinking as they write their own rule book yet again.
Some may be unaware that their own section within Celtic Park is a no go area for normal Celtic stewards etc as they hand pick who attempts to police them. Try and find a picture with any police officers within their section at any home game.
To summarise, they control their section, get rewarded with safe standing, ignore the law regarding pyro use, contravene council legislation on marches and benefit from changes to police tactics to thwart them. The longer this goes on the worse they will become. Meanwhile those within Celtics support who aren’t fooled by them and normal citizens effected by their antics continue to be bewildered by their free rein. The sooner those influencing Police Scotland are outed and those within the police who have had enough of them get their way the better.