Police Scotland have warned Celtic fans ahead of a planned protest on Sunday, 13th December.
Following the Celtic board’s plea to fans (Celtic FC), Superintendent Stevie Dolan, Greater Glasgow Division, was blunt in his wording ahead of tomorrow’s demonstration.
Fans were warned that their behaviour was being watched carefully, especially in light of Coronavirus protocol. Celtic fans have staged two impromptu protests. One followed defeat to Ross County, while the other came after a limp 1-1 draw with St. Johnstone.
“Lawfully and peacefully”
Dolan said (Glasgow Live):
“We are aware of a planned protest at Celtic Park which is due to take place on Sunday, 13 December, and an appropriate policing plan will be in place.
“The Scottish Government strongly advice against protest in areas under level 3 restrictions. We would urge people to follow this guidance and find alternative ways to protest, such as online, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We understand people may still want to make their voices heard but they must do so lawfully and peacefully. Our response will be appropriate but we will use enforcement where required.”
Police Scotland are ramping up the rhetoric
After two officers suffered minor injuries (BBC), resulting from the initial protest outside Celtic Park, the Police are making themselves very clear.
That clarity could’ve been used before, for more pressing matters.
During the summer, Loyalists ran rampant in George Square (OpenDemocracy).
The police, on that occasion, offered no talk of “enforcement”. They themselves have been protested against this year by Black Lives Matter, due in part to the ongoing investigation into the unlawful death of Sheku Bayoh (The Guardian).
Of course the police don’t want to deal with more demonstrations. For the right reasons, they’ve been called into question plenty this year already.
So the language being used here is more than a little concerning. Where was this talk when far-right thugs halted a march for improved conditions for Asylum Seekers (Daily Record)?
Celtic fans should protest as they see fit, with all of the safety precautions in place. The Celtic Trust aren’t begging for a rammy, they’re instead looking to articulately air their concerns. They have every right to do so. Anyone looking for a fight on Sunday will not be welcomed.
If anything, the police should pleased they’ve got a heads-up this time.