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Heavy Hands Empty Stands Campaign

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On the news.

Rangers are trying to tap into new fan bases eg. India

 

 

That will be"We'll guard old Delhi's walls" then.

 

Or is that sectarianism.

:evilgrin:

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If someone is involved in conduct which is illegal then one cannot make it even more illegal.

 

 

Stopped reading here. I can only hope there's more of a basis to this new banner making party than this inaccuracy.

 

I've been going to matches up and down the UK and not once have I been subject to 'heavy hands'. Probably because I behave myself.

 

Innocent people won't be affected by this.

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Well it doesn't just cover Sektarianizm but any form of 'abuse'

 

So calling Eberdeen fans "mutton-molesters" and the like can be seen as offensive as you are abusing them on their sexual orientation. :evilgrin:

 

Sadly, the polis will be all to happy at huckling folk from FP, Rugby Park etc and banning them or locking them up all the while turning a blind eye (and ear) to the 'songs of the old cuntry' sang at Ipox and The Piggery.

 

Pile of shite!

 

As every day goes by, it feels as though we no longer live in a 'free country'.

 

I wrote this months ago when the original bill was made public. My opinion still hasn't changed.

 

Fans of all teams will be huckled before any OF fan. Take the example of the young fella with the Nicky Law banner at the Rangers game. Aye it was daft of the boy yet how many thousand get away with pish a lot worse than that every Saturday or Sunday. Kidding on your a rifleman taking out fans in the other stand??!?

 

Fully in support of the "Heavy Hands, Empty Stands" campaign.

 

 

Yet I believe all football fans in Scotland should get behind it, before we are all criminalised, or worse, witness the death of Football in Scotland.

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Stopped reading here. I can only hope there's more of a basis to this new banner making party than this inaccuracy.

 

I've been going to matches up and down the UK and not once have I been subject to 'heavy hands'. Probably because I behave myself.

 

Innocent people won't be affected by this.

 

pish.

 

look at the recent examples of manchester police having to pay out hundreds of thousands to stoke fans who they illegally detained and the young guy in london who had half his face taken off by a police dog while heading home from a match with his father and his mother.

 

the bill is wrong on so many levels. anything that the police deem to be offensive behaviour can see you up on an aggravated charge. however you won't know what actually constitutes offensive behaviour until you're found guilty.

 

this nothing to with sectarianism, it's just a witch hunt against football fans. as others say laws to deal with sectarian b.o.p already exist, this law is not required. what it does mean is that any time you leave the house to attend a football match you are subject to different and harsher laws than the rest of society. any one who attends football matches and thinks this is a good idea is either a masochist or an idiot.

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Until 11 September last year, the police were rather admired in the Meyers household. Tony Meyers is a firefighter, a profession in which you work closely with the police and tend to get on with them, and his younger son, then 17, had done work experience with the police and was considering it as a career.

 

All that changed in a few dreadful seconds on Reading station, when the two of them were forced to watch as officers handcuffed Tony's older son, 20-year-old Leeds University student Tommy, forced him on to the ground, and set a police dog on him. The dog bit fiercely into Tommy's face – he couldn't even raise his handcuffed hands to protect himself. The injuries will be with him for the rest of his life, partly because the police refused him access to antibiotics for 14 hours, by which time infection had taken hold.

 

Tommy, a slightly built, taciturn and rather serious student of medical biochemistry who is thinking about training to be a doctor, was acquitted of assault and resisting arrest last month. I ask him what he thinks of the police now. He pauses for a moment to put his thoughts in order and says quietly: "They're cruel, inhumane, barbaric and brutal. They look on people with disdain. They think they are above everyone else. I have no faith at all in the police." Tony says: "The only trouble I witnessed that day was caused by the bullying police thugs who think they can do what they want and get away with it."

 

That day last September started no differently from dozens of Saturdays in the Meyers home: Tony and his two sons, all Crystal Palace supporters, set off for an away match at Reading, which Palace lost 3-0. After the match there was some aggravation between police and Palace fans. At the railway station, the fans were herded on to the Paddington-bound platform, even though some, including the Meyers, wanted to go to a different destination. Some protested vociferously, and a group of fans taunted the police, who thought the situation serious enough to draw their tasers and use batons. The Meyers were briefly confronted by a group of officers and hit by a baton as they crossed the bridge to the platform; they insist they did nothing to deserve it.

 

One of the officers who confronted them, PC Jonathan McHugh – not the officer who used the baton – says he was assaulted by a Palace fan. He was not seriously hurt, and had no visible injuries, and no one else saw the assault. However, McHugh is adamant, not only that it happened, but that he kept his eye on the man who assaulted him for the next 10 minutes or so, despite the fast-moving and difficult situation on the platform, in order to arrest him when he had time. This man, he says, was Tommy.

 

A train arrived and removed most of the supporters. Then McHugh went to the other end of the platform, where the Meyers were talking. It's common ground that at this stage Tommy was calm and following his father's advice to co-operate with the officer.

 

What happened next is bitterly disputed. The Meyers say McHugh gave no explanation for instantly handcuffing Tommy; McHugh says he told Tommy he was arresting him, but did not say what for. Police say Tommy struggled and kicked out; the Meyers faimly dispute this. What is not in doubt is the following: that a very tall officer got Tommy in a headlock while McHugh held on to his arms; that between five and seven officers separated Tommy from his father and brother and pointed tasers at their faces; and that a woman dog handler was on hand but did not release her dog because, she said, she threatened Tommy with a spray gun and that stopped him from struggling, so the dog was not needed.

 

It's also not in doubt that another dog handler, Jamie Gilson, came from another part of the station, and deliberately deployed his dog while Tommy was on the ground. Gilson later claimed he released the dog at Tommy's legs but that Meyers swivelled 90 degrees; Meyers says he did not swivel, and was not able to do so. The dog bit his face. To show me how the dog used its jaws, Meyers holds his thumb and forefinger expressively against his cheek and neck. The dog embedded its teeth millimetres below his eye, and just behind his ear.

 

Meyers says: "This dog was jumping all over the place. I went rigid like a dead body. There was a lot of pain and a lot of blood. I knew from my own medical knowledge that I'd been badly hurt."

 

They took him to the hospital, where he was given 30 stitches and antibiotics were dispensed but not administered. The police took the medicine away and took him to the police station, where he was not allowed the antibiotics or painkillers until about 10.30 the next morning, though he asked for them. Thames Valley police are unable to comment on the reason for this. He was released at 3.30pm that afternoon. He was later charged with the assault on McHugh and with resisting arrest.

 

By the time he was allowed to take the antibiotics, they were not effective, and Meyers woke on Monday in great pain and with weeping wounds, and went straight to hospital. The consultant said that an immediate operation was vital, otherwise the infection would spread to his lungs and he would die. Infected skin was cut away and plastic tubes inserted to drain the infection. He has permanent nerve damage and, to his parents' distress, his voice is now muffled. He spent a week in hospital. His breathing is still not easy, and doctors have advised a further operation.

 

He says the incident seriously affected his academic performance. He has also had counselling and anti-depressants.

 

The dog handlers and Meyers' custody are the responsibility of Thames Valley police, who say: "We have no record of a complaint against the police regarding this incident and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment." Amanda Jacks at the Football Supporters' Federation says: "Standard procedure is to wait until the end of criminal proceedings before making a formal complaint." PC McHugh is a member of the British transport police, which says: "Our officers will always deal with those engaging in intimidating, disorderly and antisocial behaviour to ensure that fans who are out to watch football, along with other members of the public using trains, can do so in safety."

 

The use of dogs in policing football crowds is increasingly controversial. Meyers's story has uneasy echoes of the events which resulted in Chelsea supporter Cliff Augur and his son James being taken to Charing Cross hospital in 2008. Augur was on the ground, but, unlike Meyers, not handcuffed, so he had some means of protecting himself: "I remember seeing the dog in my face. I held onto the dog by the scruff of the neck. I was horrified and frightened. I thought that if I hung on to the dog I could stop it from doing some serious damage to me." But he had no protection against the policeman who kicked him, breaking four ribs and puncturing his lung. James had bites from the police dog on his leg.

 

The identity of the officer who kicked Augur has never been discovered, though several of his colleagues must have seen what he did. He is still, presumably, policing the streets of London. I have the name and description of a suspect, and this has been given to the police, but no action appears to have been taken.

 

As one of his bail conditions, Meyers was banned from going to matches. This is another increasingly controversial aspect of football policing. The FSF believes bans are issued too easily, and points to the widespread use of section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, which allows police to order people out of an area, to prevent innocent fans from attending football matches. In one notorious case, Stoke City fans were herded on to a coach and not allowed to get off until they were home, even after pleading to be allowed to go to the lavatory. By the time the coach got to Stoke, it was flooded with urine. Many supporters feel they are herded around contemptuously when they are doing nothing more sinister than seeking to watch football.

 

The civil rights organisation Liberty has condemned the continued use of Section 27 against football supporters, calling it "part of a pattern of the law being used against football supporters in a way that can become a denial of their civil liberties".

 

Policing of football matches has caused the FSF so much concern that they launched a campaign called Watching Football is Not a Crime. They say that Meyers' case is one of many in which supporters are treated as though they are all criminals; and that while there certainly are some violent football supporters, the police approach stigmatises all fans.

 

For the FSF, the police attitude was summed up at Meyers' trial, when his barrister asked PC McHugh why he arrested Meyers without considering alternatives, as he is obliged to do. "It was football day, it was football-related, there was disorder on the day," he replied. "There are always issues at football, there is always disorder." The officer had put into words what many football supporters believe to be the general police culture. His force, the British transport police, puts it slightly more diplomatically, saying that disorder at matches "remains a challenge".

 

"Too many officers who physically police fans on a match day seem to believe that football supporters equal trouble," says Jacks, "although there is sympathy for our concerns among some senior-ranking officers."

 

Now Meyers has been acquitted, the ban on attending matches has been lifted, but he says: "I'll never go to away matches again. You lose all your human rights on an away match."

 

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this nothing to with sectarianism, it's just a witch hunt against football fans. what it does mean is that any time you leave the house to attend a football match you are subject to different and harsher laws than the rest of society.

 

That is correct. Under this proposed legislation you could have 2 guys sitting next to each other on a train/bus. One is going to a game the other isn't. The footie fan is wearing his team's colours. They both make the same bigoted remark. The footie fan is committing an offence the other isn't. Where on earth is the sense and fairness in that? The Scottish Government seems to think that sectarianism is confined to football. It most certainly isn't.

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The bill is a joke but as per noraml the SNP can't back down so it looks like we're going to get stuck with it

 

Thanks Alex

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I respect the opinion of the original poster, and broadly agree with the sentiment 'heavy hands – empty stands'. I do not want to see Well fans or any other diddy fans being lifted for standard banter which could be interpreted by some as offensive. I particularly support the East Stand choir and their efforts atatmosphere this season. However, I believe the intention and most probable effect of the bill is to reduce the influence of sectarianism in Scotland and for that reason I support it.

 

I am also concerned that the anti-authoritarian platitudes wheeled out here (sorry mate) have their origins in the OF agenda and the protection of their archaic way of life. Particularly the 'rushed legislation is invariably flawed and misused' thing – sorry but where did that come from, an objective study of the historical impact of emergency legislation?

 

ALL legislation is open to interpretative abuse. Swearing at someone is an assault. Does that mean the associated legislation lists all of the word and phrases you are not allowed to say? Does it provide notes on inappropriate volume, context and intonation? Are we arrested every time we go to the football and use a bad word? In the real world the police are required to exercise discretion in the application of the law, and their front line implementation is then subject to assessment and refinement by the courts. This is how order is maintained in liberal democracies. The reason this particular piece of legislation being widely torn apart and criticised for 'relying on the opinion of the police' or 'criminalising football fans' is because there are a huge number of arseholes in this country who definitely DO NOT spend much time worrying about maintaining freedom of expression in Scotland, but definitely DO really like chanting bigoted shite upand down the country while their expensively assembled journeymen, only too happy to cash in of the bigot-dollar, provide them with inevitable moments of reflected glory in their grim lives. Even the ones that don't much care for the chanting know that it is the centre of their brand and power, and resent any interference from wider society. I thought that is what Well fans had chosen to avoid?

 

OF interests are at the centre of this dialogue. I heard Alan Rough and Derek Johnson on the radio the other night agreeing with an OF caller, that under this bill everyone in the stadium attending a Scotland England game, including the players, could be arrested for singing their respective country's national anthem. Genuine football fans would do well to draw a line between that type childish transparent nonsense and the real issue here. I've read the bill - a Celtic season ticket holder gave me a copy and asked me to attend a protest. There is no easy way to assess its effect in a non-OF context, but my best guess is that the only behaviour regularly seen in Motherwell crowds which would cause arrest is the sieg heils no one is talking about in the Atmosphere at Fir Park thread. If the few fat old inbreads who position themselves amongst our young singing section and throw sieg heils between the lines of their Well songs are lifted and thrown in a cell with the IRA chanters and billy boys I for one will not be anticipating the death of Scottish football.

 

Well Fans Back the Bill ph34r.gif

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I believe the intention and most probable effect of the bill is to reduce the influence of sectarianism in Scotland and for that reason I support it.

 

 

This Bill isn't going to achieve that. I apologise if I repeat the arguments of others but they are important. Firstly this Bill isn't designed or intended to stamp out sectarian bigotry. Its aimed at behaviour of football supporters. This is a fundamental flaw. The problem is that sectarian bigotry at football matches is simply a manifestation of one of Scottish society's most serious problems. The Scottish Government is frightened to tackle that head on and I can understand why.

 

Secondly, any police action will be aimed at easy targets ie fans of clubs outwith the OF. No match commander is going to order his/her officers to wade in to thousands of OF fans and start hauling them out. But that is what is required if we are to take the SG's soundbites seriously. If any match commander did that there would be all hell to pay from their bosses, the Churches, and politicans.

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Well behind this.

 

Another bit of badly put together legislation attempting to curb a problem which has its roots far away from football. Once again, it'll lead to fans of every other club with the exception of Rangers and Celtic suffering at the football, just like every other piece of Scottish football based legislation.

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I respect the opinion of the original poster, and broadly agree with the sentiment 'heavy hands – empty stands'. I do not want to see Well fans or any other diddy fans being lifted for standard banter which could be interpreted by some as offensive. I particularly support the East Stand choir and their efforts atatmosphere this season. However, I believe the intention and most probable effect of the bill is to reduce the influence of sectarianism in Scotland and for that reason I support it...............

 

Well Fans Back the Bill ph34r.gif

 

 

The civil rights organisation Liberty has condemned the continued use of Section 27 against football supporters, calling it "part of a pattern of the law being used against football supporters in a way that can become a denial of their civil liberties".

 

Policing of football matches has caused the FSF so much concern that they launched a campaign called Watching Football is Not a Crime. They say that Meyers' case is one of many in which supporters are treated as though they are all criminals; and that while there certainly are some violent football supporters, the police approach stigmatises all fans.

 

There are already widely misused powers at hand as shown, we do not need more. If the authorities cannot implement current laws fairly and properly what chance these vague new powers are going to be properly adhered to?

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I get that you believe this - what is the basis for this view?

 

If it was then it would apply in all circumstances and in all locations throughout Scotland, not simply to football fans. If it was broadly based then it would apply to workplaces, public places, music events etc etc? There is an implication that people only become bigots when going to or watching football in other words the so called 90 minute bigot. This simply isn't true.

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The problem is that its designed to target 'offensive behaviour' which could be ANYTHING. If im right the bill doesnt actually mention sectarianism.

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If it was then it would apply in all circumstances and in all locations throughout Scotland, not simply to football fans. If it was broadly based then it would apply to workplaces, public places, music events etc etc? There is an implication that people only become bigots when going to or watching football in other words the so called 90 minute bigot. This simply isn't true.

 

Sorry, I chose a poor quote in my previous post - I am interested in the basis for the assumption that the bill isn't really about sectarianism, its actually about criminalising football fans 'for anything which could be interpreted as offensive'. The bill is self-evidently about behaviour at football - is that your main objection?

 

Football-based sectarianism is a clear and identifiable social ill in Scotland and it perfectly appropriate to legislate against it in isolation. It fills our casualty wards and is recognised and associated with Scotland by ordinary people throughout Europe. Many of them would have watched the highlights of the problem OF derby last season, the 'highlights' of which were one of the most viewed items on BBC's website, which in turn is one of the most viewed websites in the world. That is why the Scottish Government wants to legislate against, and they probably aren't secretly hoping to penalise Well fans for sticking up two fingers at St Mirrian fans, or whatever.

 

What do you think a bill addressing sectarianism across society, the so-called 'real-causes' of sectarianism would look like? The 'Lets Make the Central Belt of Scotland More Affluent, Tolerant and Better Educated Bill'? I'm sorry, but the old 'sectarianism is Scotland's problem not football's problem and that is what we should address' line is just another Old firm cliché presented to avoid responsibility and maintain the status quo. We should avoid those. yes.gif

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I agree that a lot of the opposition to the bill is from the old firm who know fine well that sectarianism is the basis of their clubs and their success. But theres also some genuine opposition from people who think it doesnt seem that well thought out.

 

Why can't we just have a law which simply outlaws sectarian chanting/remarks and songs/remarks about northern irish politics/conflict at the football? Surely that would be more direct harder to argue against?

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Sorry, I chose a poor quote in my previous post - I am interested in the basis for the assumption that the bill isn't really about sectarianism, its actually about criminalising football fans 'for anything which could be interpreted as offensive'. The bill is self-evidently about behaviour at football - is that your main objection?

 

Football-based sectarianism is a clear and identifiable social ill in Scotland and it perfectly appropriate to legislate against it in isolation. It fills our casualty wards and is recognised and associated with Scotland by ordinary people throughout Europe. Many of them would have watched the highlights of the problem OF derby last season, the 'highlights' of which were one of the most viewed items on BBC's website, which in turn is one of the most viewed websites in the world. That is why the Scottish Government wants to legislate against, and they probably aren't secretly hoping to penalise Well fans for sticking up two fingers at St Mirrian fans, or whatever.

 

What do you think a bill addressing sectarianism across society, the so-called 'real-causes' of sectarianism would look like? The 'Lets Make the Central Belt of Scotland More Affluent, Tolerant and Better Educated Bill'? I'm sorry, but the old 'sectarianism is Scotland's problem not football's problem and that is what we should address' line is just another Old firm cliché presented to avoid responsibility and maintain the status quo. We should avoid those. yes.gif

the problem old firm derby I take it you mean the one where players mangers and backroom staff were acting like children and throwing handbags about? By using this point you are yourself using media and old firm cliche's as as I remember there was no widespread trouble in the stands out of the ordinary? Taking out the sectarian problems that may or may not have occurred this bill is a direct action against fans due to the behaviour of players and managers?

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What do people get out of coming on a thread like this to moan about the campaign? I get you have an opinion, but what do you get out of it? is it telling everybody that you behave yerself? Somebody explain?

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What do people get out of coming on a thread like this to moan about the campaign? I get you have an opinion, but what do you get out of it? is it telling everybody that you behave yerself? Somebody explain?

 

What do people get out of reading a thread with 3 pages worth of folk agreeing and "+1"ing?

 

It's called 'debate'. You are on a discussion forum after all.

 

Hitler wasn't one for debates.

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We get it Pangloss you're against enjoyment at football. Fir Park would be a better place if we all sat nicely and had a chat amongst ourselves,applauding softly if we score a goal. No standing though...need to behave.

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We get it Pangloss you're against enjoyment at football. Fir Park would be a better place if we all sat nicely and had a chat amongst ourselves,applauding softly if we score a goal. No standing though...need to behave.

 

Fabrication to try and prove your point. Proof of a weak argument.

 

Rules are in place for a reason.

 

And for what it's worth, I enjoy myself at the football regardless of whether I'm standing or sitting.

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Lets face it, the campaign isn't up for "discussion" its Motherwell forum, we're letting people know what's happening within our support. We're going to look at this as a vehicle to move the campaign forward and let people know what's going on, pass on some info and such. What's to debate about it? a crimes a crime, until you do it at a football match then its more of a crime? not on. This law won't remove sectarianism from football grounds, the sectarians will still be sectarian outside the ground, educate them, don't try making law after law to tackle it. Your I behave myself line is alot of shite though. If you like sitting on yer arse and just watching then fine do it, but don't bemoan the like minded individuals who attend looking to for one thing, to enjoy themselves.

 

The campaign has to be backed, just look at the figures of people charged(not convicted remember) of sectarian offenses in Scotland that have just been released, the vast majority were not in a football ground, so why do we need football(not ice hockey, rugby or sports over all) legislation? Why are over half the "victims" police officers? "Victims" by my understanding being the people who took offense to what's been said. A law in which makes any behavior deemed offensive by a right minded person is a total minefield. Especially when you see the police are the main "victims" of sectarian crimes.

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