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Green Brigade - Original Statement & Q&A
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The Green BrigadeWhat and who are the Green Brigade?
The Green Brigade are Celtic ultras. We are lifelong supporters saddened at the passive nature of our modern home support and angered at the way we are treated as consumers by the PLC. In the style of European fans we want to bring colour, style, fun, originality and atmosphere back to Celtic games by backing our team for 90 minutes, on our own terms, and in our own way.
Are ultras hooligans?
Absolutely not. Ultras are fervent football fans who wish to add colour and vibrancy to encourage their team and do not look for trouble from other fans ultras.
What makes you different from other Celtic fans groups?
Firstly we welcome any attempts to improve the atmosphere inside Celtic Park from whatever quarter it comes. What makes the Green Brigade different are our politics. We are anti-racist, anti-sectarian, anti-fascist and left-wing and proud of that fact and similar to comrades from St Pauli, Livorno and Athletic Bilbao etc, believe that we should be allowed to show our support for political causes which have always gone hand in hand with being a Celtic supporter.
What have politics got to do with Celtic?
Politics is life. Politics has always been part of football and it’s disingenuous to claim otherwise. In the 1909 Scottish Cup Final Celtic and Rangers fans rioted together against the authorities for various reasons including the widespread belief that both clubs had engineered a replay which the fans could ill afford. You cannot suspend reality when you enter a football stadium. Some of the recent decisions of Celtic plc are in our opinion highly contentious and could be regarded as political. For example the shameful decision to tarnish Jimmy Johnstone’s memory by having adverts for right-wing paper The S*n plastered on commemorative posters. Sponsors such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Coors are highly controversial companies criticised by watchdogs for operating sweatshops, having links to anti-union Columbian death squads and being generally anti-trade union, etc. We feel these sponsorships are outwith the spirit of the Social Charter and all that Celtic stood for. Would Michael Davitt, Land Leaguer, the man who laid the centre spot be proud of what has become of this club? To be successful does not mean sacrificing all your principles on the altar of competitiveness. Barcelona for instance do not require their shirt to be sponsored by any corporation with a questionable character and are involved in human rights initiatives. We encourage Celtic’s board and shareholders to take a serious look at a more ethical fair-trade sponsorship policy more in keeping with the club’s socially concerned traditions.
Celtic are also unique in that they were set up by Irish immigrants and the whole history surrounding that does not need to be repeated by us, it is well-known to most Celtic fans. We are of the Scottish and Irish people, a Celtic, Gaelic-speaking people divided in recent history by religion and we support efforts to reunite the people and efforts to revive the Gaeilge/Gaidhlig languages.
Do the Green Brigade just want to sing republican songs?
A common question and understandable given the media misconceptions and confusion between sectarianism and politics. The Green Brigade is a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters of many faiths and backgrounds and does not endorse ANY political party or group in either Scotland or Ireland. All members support a 32-county Irish Socialist Republic and an Independent Scottish Socialist Republic in principle and the achievement of these ends using peaceful means of struggle. On the issue of songs we feel that if a song does not have sectarian lyrics then it shouldn't be offensive to anyone. Irish rebel songs go back to the 1798 Rebellion and the United Irishmen which was started by Presbyterians like Wolfe Tone and Samuel Neilson.
These songs have been passed down through the ages and are political but not sectarian. Songs of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 like the The News Fae Moidart, Roses of Prince Charlie and Will ye' no come back again are sung by the Tartan Army on away trips as well as songs commemorating the Wallace and the Bruce however no-one seems to be pressuring the Tartan Army to stop singing those. Similarly we feel that the problem with Rangers singing pro-British songs is they are politically opposed to our pro-independence and republican stance and the other causes we believe in. But we respect their right to express those views in a non-sectarian manner.
In the final analysis, the Green Brigade are fanatical Celtic supporters and will not try to be cheerleaders for the crowd. We will join in with whatever the fans choose to sing as long as it is not racist or sectarian whilst keeping the atmosphere going when the crowd are quiet.
How can I help?
The Green Brigade are broadly left-wing in our political outlook and encourage any likeminded anti-racist, anti-fascist Celtic fans to get involved by making yourself known to other Green Brigade members. You will be warmly welcomed to help in future displays and have a say in how we can make supporting Celtic an enjoyable experience.
GB's Original Mission (by Barrhead Bhoy)
"I was involved in the JBs last season, but after Bannergate, I, along with many others, could never go back. So the 'splitters' decided to hold a meeting, where it was decided we'd go ahead with a new group.
In recent seasons, there has been much debate about the atmosphere, or to be more accurate, the lack of atmosphere at Celtic games. To counter the perceived apathy amongst our support, a group named the Jungle Bhoys was formed. For various reasons, we do not feel that this group will be able to fulfill our aspirations and properly reflect the true nature of our support base. We are not set up in opposition to the aforementioned group and wish them every success in what they hope to achieve.
We aim to offer an alternative to them. We are open to everyone who cares passionately about our great football club. We acknowledge and embrace the traditions of our support and hope to get some passion back into the stands. For some following Celtic is a hobby akin to going to the cinema or watching their favourite group. Their pernicuous influence has taken root and now it has become fashionable to come in late and leave early and spend the time in the stadium chatting to your mates via text messages. We do not intend to tell anyone how to support their team but if you are one of these people then our group is not for you. If, on the other hand, you still view going to the football as an experience to be savoured then you will find like minded people within our ranks. Here are a few bits of information about our group, as well as some of our aims.
-The Green Brigade is an ultras group. We admire the way that fans in Europe support their team, and we would like to add some of that passion to our support.
-We are a predominatly left-wing, pro-Republican, anti-fascist group.
-We are an all-inclusive group. We will not discriminate against people because of their race, religion, political stance, etc, though nazi's/fascists are not, and will never be, welcome within our ranks.
-We are not run by a committee. Every decision goes to a vote in which all members can have their say.
-We believe Celtic's history is firmly rooted in Ireland, as well as Scotland.
-We believe we should be allowed to sing about the struggle of the Irish people, without fear of ejection from the stadium.
-We will not be dictated to by the PLC.
-As we refuse to co-operate with the PLC in any way, our displays will be limited, predominantly, to away grounds.
-We aim to support our team through song, whether we win, lose or draw.
-We aim to add colour to Celtic Park, and whatever other stadium Celtic play in.
-We aim to make going to watch Celtic fun again.
If you want to help out in any way, whether it be hands-on, like helping out in the making of banners, setting up of displays, or helping with fundraising, donations, acquiring materials, then visit or messageboard at greenbrigade.proboards77.com
We welcome any constructive criticism and ideas from our fellow fans, as "football without fans is nothing"."
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