The Green Brigade has criticized Celtic for their response regarding the demonstration of solidarity with Palestine within Parkhead.
This development follows the demonstration of solidarity by the fan group during their weekend match against Kilmarnock. Throughout the game, Palestinian flags were prominently displayed, accompanied by banners bearing the message: “Free Palestine. Victory To The Resistance!”
This action took place during the same weekend when Hamas “the Palestine resistance”, initiated an attack on Israel from the occupied Gaza Strip.
The club has strongly disapproved of those individuals who seek to ‘utilize Celtic Park as a platform for conveying such messages.’
In response, the Green Brigade has issued a counterstatement, urging Celtic supporters to ‘display the Palestinian flag’ during the upcoming Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.
Their statement emphasizes the group’s unwavering conviction that they, along with fellow football fans, possess the right to express their political viewpoints within the stadium, much like ordinary citizens exercise their right to do so in other facets of society. They assert that football represents one of the few domains in public life where working-class individuals maintain authentic political influence, and they refuse to be subjected to the directives of a governing board they perceive as elitist and consistently disdainful of Celtic Football Club’s history and traditions.
“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 is 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 consistent. 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 defenseless, 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.”
Celtic’s statement last night read: “Banners displayed in a section of Celtic Park prior to Saturday’s game do not represent the views of Celtic Football Club and we disassociate ourselves from them. We condemn the display of such messages at Celtic Park.
“Celtic is a football club and not a political organization. One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, color, politics, or creed. That is why the Club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages.
“We call on all supporters, regardless of their personal views, to unite in backing our players and the club while respecting the rights and beliefs of others; particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.”