Campaign group Fans Against Criminalisation have called for the Irish community to join the final battle to repeal the ‘illiberal and counterproductive’ Offensive Behaviour at Football act.
With the summary of evidence from the Justice Committee currently being gathered into a report, the next stage requires a vote on or before January 26 once the report is submitted. With stages two and three – which it is hoped will finally signal the end of the act – expected to follow quickly after, FAC and others who are working to secure the act’s repeal have launched a final effort to secure the support of MSPs for a repeal.
A majority of MSPs have stated their opposition to the act, and committed to voting for a repeal, but with so much at stake those involved are guarding against complacency by going on the offensive once again – and the Irish community is being encouraged to give their support.
In conjunction with the Celtic Trust, an email template has been produced which allows individuals to contact their constituency and list MSPs and enlist their support for the repeal of the act.
Speaking of the latest stage of the campaign, FAC said, “It is absolutely vital that the process does not stall this month and that every MSP whose party has committed to supporting repeal turns up and votes to adopt the Stage 1 report (assuming that the report supports the Bill which, given the balance of evidence, it certainly should!)
“For that reason, we are calling on all opponents of the Act to email their MSPs (constituency and list) to ask that they support the repeal bill at all stages. You can do this by simply emailing your MSP or, better yet, by visiting them at their local surgery. In order to make this easier for everyone, and given the success of past email campaigns, we have once again asked the Celtic Trust to host an automated system on their website.
“Please note that the email template makes no mention of the Celtic Trust or of Celtic, and can be used by supporters of any club or none.”
The email system can be accessed here