Palestinian Youth statement thanks football ultras group in Scotland for their solidarity

On the 13th of May, as the ‘deal’ to end the mass Palestinian hunger strike was about to emerge from the rumour-mill, far away from Palestine in Scotland’s biggest city Glasgow,  a display of solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers was done supporters of Celtic Football Club. This was the final game of the season when Celtic were given the league trophy and crowned Scottish Football Champions and amid all the displays, colour, noise and party atmosphere a flurry of Palestine flags and a banner reading “Dignity is more precious than food” appeared in one particular corner section of the stadium.

This was the 111 section, home of the Green Brigade an ultras group formed in 2006 in rejection of the modern corporate games reducing football fans to mere silent and compliant consumers. The political footing of the group is left-wing, anti-racist,anti-fascist and anti-sectarian. Celtic football club was formed in 1888 by immigrant Irish and has since become to symbolise the Irish heritage of the large Irish diaspora in West Scotland who faced the best part of a century of religious discrimination. The Green Brigade have come under fire for continuing the tradition of Celtic fans giving vocal support for Irish Republican resistance to the British presence in Ireland as well their opposition to any association between the club and the British army’s wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Despite this day including some quite elaborate displays, the Green Brigade still marked the day with their display of solidarity with the Palestinian Hunger Strikers, they very rarely make any form of public statement about their political actions but agreed to once the impact of what they felt were very modest actions became clear.

We did this in solidarity, to raise awareness and because it’s the right thing to do.

We want Palestinians to know we are thinking about them and encourage Scottish civil society to look at the injustice in Palestine. The Western media ignores the struggle so we felt we had to at least try and highlight the issue. Its hard to explain the feelings when hear of the actions undertaken by Palestinian prisoners or the oppression of Israeli State. All we can say that there is no greater sacrifice than to be willing to hunger strike until death for justice. 

Solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Until The Last Rebel.

Anon Green Brigader 

Palestine activists here in Scotland helped make sure the Palestinian activists we knew saw them via social media and within few days the images had went viral via twitter & facebook and many Palestinian expressed their gratitude, while the Green Brigade were for the most part unaware of the great impact their actions had.

With the aims of making the Green Brigade fully aware of how much their solidarity action was appreciated, to foster interaction between Palestinian youth and their international supporters and to facilitate the wish of Palestinians to express their thanks the idea grew that some sort of statement should be written for Palestinian youth activists to sign. This is all the more timely as largely unknown to the world, 4 Palestinians remain on hunger strike including the Footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, arrested 3 years ago on his way to play for the Palestinian national team and held since with no charge or trial. Mahmoud a refugee living in Rafah Camp in Gaza is now on (at the time of writing) his 68th day of hunger strike and while there is no football for him the Israeli Women’s U21 team will play a match in Scotland on June 16th and Israel will host the UEFA 2013 U23 tournament. It is hoped that the actions of the Green Brigade and a response from the Palestinians that highlight the role these type of actions have may lead to supporters of human rights in Scotland and Europe to question the morality and ethical soundness of bodies such as the Scottish Football Association and UEFA treating Israel as a normal state rather than the apartheid state that it is and should be sanctioned as.

The response from the Palestinian Youth statement has been quite emphatic with almost 100 Palestinian Youth activists from the occupied West Bank & Gaza, ’48 and forced exile, from the refugee camps, popular committees and Palestinian NGO’s have signed the statement.

Dear Green Brigade comrades,

As our free prisoners were fighting with “empty stomachs” battle in the dungeons of the Zionist regime, we outside prisons were protesting on streets, taking our part in the fight. Our decades old fight has been of ups and downs. At times, we feel frustrations witnessing the world being indifferent. At other times, we felt hope. 

We watched as the Green Brigades supported our just cause and our prisoners’ hunger strike. And this was one of the times of hope. We can’t thank you enough. Your action gave us strength here. Photos and videos of your support were circulated between us in Palestine widely. And we knew not to expect any less from our Irish-Scottish comrades.
The Scottish, “the last of the free”, has a history of survival. They have a history of fighting for their freedom and dignity and not giving up for any less. It is true that injustice anywhere in the world is a threat to justice everywhere in the world. But it is also true that free people anywhere inspire free people everywhere. The history of the Scottish people is a history of free people who did not bow to the Roman walls. And with your proud Irish roots, this makes you part of our struggle.

Every Palestinian youth look up to the Irish struggle. No one, better than an Irish, would understand the Apartheid wall that divides our land. No one, better than an Irish, would understand settlers taking over our lands. No one, better than an Irish, would understand the meaning of fighting occupation and sacrificing oneself. No one, better than an Irish, would understand what fighting with empty stomachs inside prisons means. Needless to say, the struggle of Bobby Sand and his comrades has inspired us.

Many parts of Scotland & Ireland became ‘Apartheid free-zones’
in the past. Your support to the South African struggle led the way to the fall of the exclusively-white Apartheid regime. We believe you will repeat history again and will lead Glasgow to be an Apartheid free-zone once again. And will lead the way to the fall of the Zionist Apartheid regime.

Our fight is far from over. We will keep up our fight until freedom, equality and full right of return for our refugees.
Green Brigade comrades, I once again would love to express our deep gratitude and appreciation. Your support makes us stronger. 

Thank you!

Yara Abbas

Areej Mawasi

Alaa Mawasi

Salma Mawasi

Fajr Harb

Amany Khalefa

Maath Musleh

Nader Elkhuzundar

Lama Saqr

Hosam Saqr

Osama Saqr

Riman Saqr

Ahmad Nimer

Abir Kopty

Ebaa Rezeq

Sari Harb

Linah AlSaafin

Shifaa AlKhatib

Hurriyah Ziada (sibling of a prisoner)

Raya Ziada (sibling of a prisoner)

Samer Sharif (sibling of a prisoner)

Beesan Ramadan

Hala Turjman

Wassim Ghantous

Mohammed Lotfi Yousif

Marwan Mahmoud Fararja

Majde Mostafa Abu Aker

Ahmed Eaid Mohammed

Mohammed Saleh

Nancy Alitabi

Ra’fat Riyad Malash

Layan Nidal Alazzeh

Nabil Abed Alazez

Mohammed Alameer

Shadi Al Barmil

Ammar Mostafa

Jehad Abu A’oda

Mohammed Basim Abu Sror

Khalid Walid Alazza

Mostafa A’oad Alaraj

Salah Ajarma

Daoud Qasim

Sabreen Mohamoud Asad

Hanin Monther Alaraj

Samer Ibrahim Awais

Ahmad Lotfi Ahmad Yousif

Mahmoud Ya’qob Hammad

Fadi Mohammed Nasrallah

Jamal Jamil Ikhlayil

Mohammed Nidal Abu Aker

Mohammed Qasim Alazraq

Kefah Ahmad Alajarma

Faris Shomali

Kifah Quzmar

Nisreen Abu-Hunaina

Jalal Najjar

Faten Abu.Sway

Adi Akawi

Lena Awad

Fadi Farwaji

Anan Quzmar

Ismat Quzmar

Lina Hegazi

Sari Harb

Fajr Harb

Diana Alzee

Bassel Araj

Badia Dwaik

Issa Amro

Nadeem Sharabati

Azat alkarki

Tamer Altrash

Imad Altrash

Adeeb Dwaik

Raed Atrash

Sounds Alazeh

Hashem Ayoup

Ashraf Amro

Ahmad Amro

Akram Natsheh

Sameer Khrishah

Salsbeel Dwaik

Najla Jabri

Mohamed Alzgher

Mohamed Altrash

Shada Alhadad

Heba Bader

Suheir Alsharawi

Mahir Hayatleh

Ashira Husari

Budour Hasan

Amra Amra

Sabreen Taha

Jalal AbuKhater

Thameena Husary

Diana Alzeer

Mariam Barghouti

Najla’ Kayed

Tamam Abu Salama

Sarah Salibi

About weareallhanashalabi

Scotland's student movement for Palestine

20 comments

  1. ua

    great job guys

  2. Andrew McCartney

    Your justified struggle will always be in the thoughts of the Celtic football clubs supporters all over the world.

  3. Lindsay Tierney

    Just a wee message of hope to my Palestinian brothers and sisters, You are not alone…Your struggle does not go unnoticed…Together we are strong. The Celtic family welcomes you with open arms, and if you choose to do so you will “Get a peese at anyones “CELTIC” door” A Scottish colloquialism for most welcome (for those who don’t know a peese is a sandwitch!) Stay strong Bhoys and Ghirls. We are here for you.
    Scots born, Irish blood.

    Lindsay

  4. i found this letter a while back and think it might be of interest to you. As a member of section 111 although not an actual Green Brigade member. I hope you like (if you haven’t already read it before)

    Your struggle will never be fought alone.

    The letter was Written by Palestinian prisoners, it was smuggled out of Nafha desert prison, where they were being held, and delivered to the Falls Road after the death of Bobby Sands on hunger strike in 1981.

    To anyone under the misconception that there are no historical links between Irish Republicanism and the Palestinian struggle, this letter should clear the matter up.

    To the families of the martyrs oppressed by the British ruling class. To the families of Bobby Sands and his martyred comrades.

    We, revolutionaries of the Palestinian people who are under the terrorist rule of Zionism, write you this letter from the desert prison of Nafha. We extend our salutes and solidarity with you in the confrontation against the oppressive terrorist rule enforced upon the Irish people by the British ruling elite.

    We salute the heroic struggle of Bobby Sands and his comrades, for they have sacrificed the most valuable possession of any human being. They gave their lives for freedom.

    From here in Nafha prison where savage snakes and desert sands penetrate our cells, from here under the yoke of Zionist occupation, we stand alongside you. From behind our cell bars, we support you, your people and your revolutionaries who have chosen to confront death.

    Since the Zionist occupation, our people have been living under the worst conditions. Our militants who have chosen the road of liberty and chosen to defend our land, people and dignity, have been suffering for many years. In the prisons we are confronting Zionist oppression and their systematic application of torture. Sunlight does not enter our cell; basic necessities are not provided. Yet we confront the Zionist hangmen, the enemies of life.

    Many of our militant comrades have been martyred under torture by the fascists allowing them to bleed to death. Others have been martyred because Israeli prison administrators do not provide needed medical care.

    The noble and just hunger strike is not in vain. In our struggle against the occupation of our homeland, for freedom from the new Nazis, it stands as a clear symbol of the historical challenge against the terrorists. Our people in Palestine and in the Zionist prisons are struggling as your people are struggling against the British monopolies, and we will both continue until victory.

    On behalf of the prisoners of Nafha, we support your struggle and cause of freedom against English domination, against Zionism and against fascism in the world.

  5. christopher mcmenemy

    keep strong keep the faith keep fighting till the end !!!

  6. Paul

    Will the green brigade be protesting against the Israeli player that is playing for celtic? It’s hardly fair that a guy like that is allowed free reign to play football whilst others have no facility to play the game back in the occupied land.

    Love Palestine, Hate Kayal

    BERAM KAYAL OUT!!!

    • Your remarks about Kayal are offensive and hating individuals for being this, that or the other is actually quite racist whether you mean it that way or not. The tactic or logic of boycott is part of a wider BDS strategy developed by Palestinian civil society. The BDS movement strategy on boycotts is that we do not target individuals but institutions linked to the Israel state and complicit companies.

      That aside, it’s quite strange that you don’t know this but Biram Kayal is Palestinian. Those who the Zionists failed to ethnically cleanse in ’48 now make up over 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel.

      They live under an ingrained if subtle apartheid and more open racist hostility and discrimination. Palestinians have a burning love for football and and as you rightly pointed out in your confused and unhelpful comment, they are denied a Palestinian football structure in may ways, due to the occupation and the Israeli designed humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, the very fact that the majority of the worlds Palestinians, the refugees in exile, are denied entry to Palestine let alone play football there. In the Northern part of ’48 Palestine (the parts taken by the Zionist project at that point in time, they seized more in 67 and have continued seizing more to this day) there are many Palestinians (Israel prefers to call them Israeli-Arabs), the only football league is the Israeli league, they faced and face racist discrimination but stayed strong and broke their way to the top of their sport. The debate about whether they should play for Israel is one that is and needs to be had. That debate, however, should be had amongst the Palestinians themselves, they are the ones resisting, they have a movement and their own strategies, its not our role.

      We’ll be getting some good resource materials, factsheets etc on the blog soon and we always cite and provide links to excellent news and analysis websites and blogs such as http://electronicintifada.net/
      http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/
      http://www.stopthewall.org/
      http://www.bdsmovement.net/

      These in turn will give you more sources and hopefully you engage with the ideas and the arguments more and start viewing the question of Palestine from a more politically and morally sound perspective.

    • Scott

      Beram Kayal is a Muslim. Your comments are ignorant to the situation in Israel. There are many Muslims living freely in Israel and although the west bank and Gaza act as open prisons to the population not all Jewish Israelis agree with their government’s actions and many protest against the apartheid being carried out there. I’m sure Kayal supports the Palestinian cause more than most.

      • Scott whilst you are right to point of that some some Jewish Israelis are active in the struggle, your other comment that Muslims live freely in Israel is quite in inaccurate I’m afraid. As we pointed out above 48 Palestinians live under an apartheid system that discriminates against them in a myriad of ways, just one but a vivid example is in land rights; they are forbidden to use over 90% of the land due to racists and apartheid land laws.

    • georges

      Paul, I am a palestinian living in Brazil. I understand your anger and I simpathize with your feelings , but I just think that you’re quite wrong. I bet you thought that Kayal is an Israeli Jew, but he is not. Beram Kayal is a PALESTINIAN living in Israel and, like 99% of the arabs living there, I’m sure he is a supporter of the palestinian struggle.There are many arabs in Israel (very discriminated and badly treated, BTW) and many of them cannot even meet their relatives in West Bank and Gaza due to israeli restrictions.

      As someone pointed out, they are those who the Zionists couldn’t kill or expel.

      Actually, I think it’s remarkable that Glasgow Celtic hired a palestinian and gave him the opportunity to show his talents to the world.

    • Stephen

      Kayal is a Muslim not every Israeli supports this occupation and even less Muslims living in Israel. I don’t think Kayal supports the atrocities his country commit.

  7. Scott

    I hope this bond between the Celtic – Irish/Scottish community gives strength to not only the Palestinians but also the Tibetans, and all the other oppressed populations in the world. We are one!

  8. Pingback: LA GIOVENTU’ PALESTINESE RINGRAZIA GLI ULTRAS DEL CELTIC DI GLASGOW « Finchè morte non ci separi

  9. Pingback: For Mahmoud Sarsak, we call on students to join the protest at the Scotland v Israel football match, June 16th in Edinburgh « weareallhanashalabi

  10. Mir Malik Bush

    We Salute U Celtic Green Brigade

    Truth is with the Oppressed

  11. Abu Alifa

    in truth we’re united,in humanity we’ve gonna be stronger,in solidarity we’re began,in heaven {insyaAllah} we’ll meet
    all thankfull and all of best wishes from deepest of my heart for GREEN BRIGADES..
    Thank you..
    # I am Indonesian

  12. Pingback: Today in Palestine!

  13. Crawman

    There’s only one Bobby Sands

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: