Leading figure from all walks of public life call for the repeal of the O B Act

01/03/16 

As reported in the Herald today, a statement calling for the repeal of the Act has been endorsed by a huge range of figures from Scottish society and beyond.  The full text of the statement and list of signatories is reproduced below:

We, the undersigned, call on the Scottish Government to repeal the Offensive Behavior at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

 We do so on the basis that it is wrong to create a law which applies to one demonised sector of society, which this act does to football fans. It is by definition a discriminatory piece of legislation and we also note that the Government has failed in its commitment outlined in its Equality Impact Assessment to carry out an equalities audit in regard to this law.

 We also oppose this legislation on the basis that it is practically impossible and inherently dangerous to criminalise offensiveness. This Act is therefore an unjustifiable attack on freedom of speech and the rights’ of fans to political expression.

 This legislation was a clumsy political response to one football match which serves only to unjustly criminalise football supporters and should be repealed as a matter of urgency.

Endorsed by:

Fans Against Criminalisation

Liberty, (also known as National Council for Civil Liberties)

The Irish Voice, Irish Community newspaper

The Glasgow Irish Heritage Group

Danny Boyle, Parliamentary and Policy Officer, BEMIS, equalities organisation

Paddy Callaghan (Comhaltas Development Officer Scotland) 

Evin Ó Dunaigh (Personal Capacity / Development Officer – Conradh Na Gaeilge Alba)

Tom Grant, former Celtic Director

John Paul Taylor, Fans Liaison Officer (Celtic Football Club) – in a personal capacity
Alasdair McKillop, Co-Founder of ‘The Rangers Standard’

John Higgins, professional snooker player
Tam Cowan,
broadcaster
Stuart Cosgrove,
broadcaster

Alan Bissett, Author and Playwright

Gary Lamont, Actor, (River City)
Joseph M Bradley, Senior Lecturer, University of Stirling

Carlton Brick, Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland

Craig Daly, Senior University Teacher, University of Glasgow

Lesley Doyle, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Sir Tom Devine, Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh

Jeanette Findlay, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Patricia Findlay, Professor, University of Strathclyde

Tom Gallagher, Emeritus Professor, University of Bradford

Marion Hersh, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Liam Kane, Lecturer, University of Glasgow

John Kelly, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
Willy Maley, Professor, University of Glasgow
Maureen McBride, Doctoral researcher, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow

David Mckendrick, Lecturer in Social Work

Stuart Waiton, Senior Lecturer, University of Abertay

Cat Boyd, Parliamentary Candidate, RISE

Maggie Chapman, Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party

Neil Findlay MSP, Scottish Labour Party

Colin Fox, National Co-Spokesperson, Scottish Socialist Party

George Galloway

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party

James Kelly MSP, Scottish Labour Party (Shadow Cabinet)
Paul Martin MSP,
Scottish Labour Party
Liam McLaughlin, Scottish Socialist Party (Executive Committee)
Michael McMahon MSP, Scottish Labour Party

Siobhán McMahon MSP, Scottish Labour Party

Thomas Rannachan, Parliamentary Candidate, Scottish Labour Party

Suki Sangha, Parliamentary Candidate, RISE

Anas Sarwar, Parliamentary Candidate and former MP, Scottish Labour Party
Glasgow

Fariha Thomas, Glasgow City Councillor, Parliamentary Candidate, Scottish Labour Party
Tony Callahan, Solicitor

Sinead Corrigan, Solicitor
Paul Kavanagh,
Solicitor

Barry McCormack, Solicitor

Paul Mullen, Solicitor

Ann Ritchie, Solicitor

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