Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Students accused of Israel flag racism

Two St Andrews University students committed a racist breach of the peace by insulting the flag of Israel, a court has heard.
Chanan Reitblat, a Jewish student, said Samuel Colchester, 20, and Paul Donnachie,18, called him a terrorist during the incident on 12 March 2011.
He told Cupar Sheriff Court how the pair entered the halls at 01:30 to see another student who shared the flat.
Mr Colchester and Mr Donnachie, deny the charges.
They are accused of acting in a racially aggravated manner intended to cause alarm or distress to Mr Reitblat by placing their hands on their genitals before rubbing them on the Israeli national flag while making comments of an offensive nature.
They also deny an alternative charge which alleges they behaved in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person fear or alarm.
Mr Reitblat, a chemistry student at St Andrews on a one-term exchange from the Jewish Yeshiva University in New York, said he felt "violated and devastated" by the incident.
Mr Reitblat, 21, now shortly to enter Harvard, said he had the 4ft by 3ft (1.2m by 0.9m) flag on the wall of his flat after being given it by his brother, an Israeli Defence Forces soldier.
He said he knew Mr Colchester and Mr Donnachie "vaguely" and they were aware he was Jewish.
He said: "They were extremely drunk and smelled of alcohol, falling over a lot as they walked in.
"Paul noticed that I had a flag, at which point he said Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol.
"They both then unbuttoned their trousers.
"Paul put his hands down his pants, pulled off a pubic hair and rubbed it over my flag. Sam did the same thing.
"Sam started urinating in my sink. He asked me if I wanted him to jump on me. I said no, but he did it anyway."
'Nazi, fascist'
Mr Reitblat added: "They were in my room for just a few minutes, it happened very fast.
"Down the stairs I could hear them shouting 'Nazi, fascist, and terrorist'.
"I was trying to collect my thoughts. I was deeply disturbed, humiliated, shocked, and violated.
"It caused me a lot of anxiety. I feared for my safety. I couldn't eat and I couldn't sleep, so I couldn't study."
He said the next day he saw messages on Facebook from Mr Donnachie, including one saying there was a Zionist in his hall.
Mr Reitblat, who flew from New York to give evidence, said he struggled at his exams afterwards, viewed his term at St Andrews as "a flop", and stopped feeling safe at the institution.
He went to stay with a friend in Glasgow before going to St Andrews police station, accompanied by a friend from the Jewish society at the university, to report the alleged incident.
The summary trial, before Sheriff Charlie Macnair, sitting without a jury, continues.

Celtic fans mock Ibrox Disaster

Sick Aberdeen and Celtic fans are mocking those who died in the Ibrox Disaster in 1971 on Social Network site Facebook. The page titled, ‘The Awkward Moment when Colin Stein scores and Everyone Falls down the Stairs’ has just over 200 ‘likes’ already, with its profile picture showing the mangled wreckage of the railings of Stairway 13.
The Page, which has already been reported to Facebook, mocks the second Ibrox Disaster on 2nd January 1971, when 66 fans were killed – many of whom were children and over 200 fans were injured.
There have been numerous comments from fans of both Celtic and Rangers venting their disgust at the creators of the page.
One sickened fan stated: “This is a disgrace! Whoever made this is needing shot!
While another said: “This is disgusting, imagine actually trying to joke about something like this.”
Despite widespread condemnation of the page, there were some who openly stated that the page was funny. Aberdeen fan Matt McGillivray mocked: “I must admit it is funny to see Govans finest come out too bemoan this page. Yet their ground is the number one hotspot for all kinds of bile.”
Fellow Dons fan Ross Gibson, who works for Alexander Duthie & Sons Ltd as a plumber, laughed: “They all fell down the stairs. The Rangers end was empty. They all fell down the stairs! Hahaha. Stand free.”
While Celtic fan Daniel McGlinchey stated: “Sick, but funny. Watch the stairs there lads.”
And fellow Celtic fan Mark Lynch implied that the page was not breaking any laws: “I don’t agree with this page, but to be honest theres nothing sectarian in it so what you all going on about??”
Celtic’s Greatest Ever Manager Jock Stein helped lift the injured and dying from the terraces that infamous day, with that haunting black and white image of Stein on the sidelines lifting a Rangers fan onto the pitch.
This year was the 40th anniversary of the disaster, with a minute’s silence held before the Old Firm derby on the 2nd January to commemorate those who died, with both teams wearing black armbands and led out by legendary Old Firm captains John Greig and Billy McNeill.
Colin Dolan of the group Rid The Old Firm Bigotry Once And For All issued a statement condemning the Facebook page. He said: “This page was brought to my attention early this morning. I have to say that at first I was shocked, on reflection I had no reason to be shocked after some of the items, posts, pictures and pages I have seen on facebook.”
“I feel Facebook’s actions are inadequate allowing anyone to begin a facebook page on any topic and go live immediately. Why are no checks done on the person, why no checks regarding page name, several clubs names are being used illegally in my opinion as are the players names. Several pages are set up to enhance their own reputations within circles of bigoted thugs, hiding behind several guises. I immediately highlighted this disgusting page this morning to all the members on our page advising them simply to report it.”
Colin added: “Many people are still affected today by what happened on that tragic day, it is only recently both Rangers and Celtic showed their respect on the anniversary and observed the minute’s silence. We will not tolerate anything like this anymore, we will do everything we can to beat the vile nasty bigots that exist.
“Our 2600-strong members feel that the SFA, the SPL, the Clubs and the players should be doing more, surely together they can challenge facebook or is it just me and the other 2600 that really honestly care?”

Celtic fan avoids jail over racist abuse shame

A Celtic fan who admitted posting racist and sectarian comments on Facebook has avoided a jail sentence after writing letters of apology.
Michael Bailey, 20, from Paisley, was caught after a police task force began reviewing internet sites after March's so-called Old Firm shame game.
He was given a community payback order and told to carry out 300 hours of community service.
Bailey was also given a football banning order for two years.
This means he cannot enter any UK football stadium while the sanction is in place.
Volatile match
At an earlier hearing, the court heard how Bailey posted sectarian comments about Rangers and their manager Walter Smith, and went on to make a racist comment about the Ibrox club's Senegalese player El Hadji Diouf between 7 and 8 March this year.
At this time, a police task force was reviewing social network sites after an increase of sectarian football-related hostility following the volatile Celtic versus Rangers Scottish Cup replay on 3 March.
As a result of the online group, police investigated further and identified that Bailey had made sectarian and racist comments on the "Neil Lennon should be banned" page and on his own Facebook page.
Bailey was detained by police on 30 April and later pleaded guilty to a charge of posting comments of a "racist and sectarian nature" on the internet between 7 and 8 March this year.
The court was told that to show his genuine remorse, Bailey had since written letters of apology to those named in his messages.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC told Bailey: "Bigotry, sectarianism and racism have caused a lot of problems in the West of Scotland and elsewhere in the country.
"It is criminal behaviour that has led to outbursts of violence and disorder in the city."
Sheriff Johnston added: "You have taken some action to apologies to those you directly offended."
She told first offender Bailey that had he shown any signs of violence or incitement to violence she would have had "no hesitation" in sending him to prison, but after considering all of the factors he would be given an alternative to custody.
Bailey's solicitor, Stephen Bentley, said: "Mr Bailey has written individually to all of the people who are named within these postings."
He described his client as "genuinely horrified at his actions" and "remorseful".
Mr Bentley added: "I think he has simply had the shock of his life."

Celtic season ticket holder is youth leader of BNP

OUTRAGED Celtic fans vented their fury last night after a teen BNP chief was pictured posing with top figures at the club.

Vile Dean Hartley, 16, the racist party's Scottish youth leader, was snapped next to unwitting Hoops striker Anthony Stokes and chairman John Reid.

The extremist, who claims to have a Parkhead season ticket, was also photographed in the trophy room and dug-out - sparking disgust on Celtic internet chatsites.

One fan, called Robert Emmet, said: "Ban the **** from Parkhead publicly and immediately."

Another wrote: "How can you support Celtic given the history and ethos of our club? The fact Celtic was built by immigrants must make them (the BNP) despise our club.

"Does the BNP care where the immigrants come from, do they differ from Irish to Polish to Asian? I doubt it very much."

King 0kev added: "How can someone, raised as a Celtic supporter knowing our history, attach himself to a load of right-wing fundamentalists who want to blame immigrants for everything."

Hartley, from Glasgow, was also been pictured with hated BNP boss Nick Griffin since posing with Stokes and ex-Labour minister Lord Reid.

And last night the brazen teenager said: "I support Celtic and was getting my pictures taken with the players after the matches.

"I know a lot of people, some relatives, who are BNP supporters and Celtic fans.

"What the problem with supporting a team and a political party?"I've a season ticket. I pay good money for that too."

It is understood Hartley was appointed youth leader in Scotland in May.

Last month he claimed at a rally in Edinburgh that he'd fought his school over a decision to ban him writing a project on the BNP.

Celtic have denied he is a season ticket-holder but refused to comment last night.

A Hoops insider said: "Obviously we can't legislate for every one of the thousands of people who come on tours every year.

"But the club opposes every form of discrimination, including racism."
Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/3756341/Celtic-fury-at-link-to-BNP-youth.html#ixzz1VrIvpUTh

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Celtic fans display support Sectarian IRA Murderer


IN 1977 Provisional IRA member Brendan Lillis was sentenced to life imprisonment. Passing sentence, the judge said: “No doubt if you had not been caught you would have continued your bombing campaign for an indefinite period.”

As a member of the Provisional IRA, Lillis would have read and signed up to the terms and conditions of the IRA Green Book; conditions which embraced paragraphs about the moral and political superiority of their terror campaign, loyalty to the IRA and particularly the paragraph which said: ‘It is these strong convictions which bond the army (the IRA) into one force and before any volunteer decides to join the army he must have these strong convictions. Convictions which are strong enough to give him onfidence to kill someone without hesitation and without regret.’

How much compassion should society show to an ill prisoner who was a member of an organisation whose members had the confidence to kill without hesitation and regret?

How much compassion should it show to an emaciated cripple who is probably physically incapable of posing a threat to anyone? In the case of Brendan Lillis, the answers are not as clear cut as you might think, for in 1993 he was shown some compassion and clemency when he was released from prison on licence after serving only 16 years of his life sentence.

Yet in October 2009 his licence was revoked after he was arrested in a field behind a house where police had just foiled a tiger kidnapping. He was charged with conspiring to kidnap, falsely imprison and rob three people in the house, two of whom were employees of the Northern Bank. Ill health since then has left him unfit to stand trial. But it’s worth bearing in mind that no-one campaigning for his release is doing so on the grounds that he is an innocent man, unlawfully and unfairly detained.

I am not a vindictive man. If I were an MP I would not be voting for the return of capital punishment, even in the cases of terrorism or child killers. I accepted the early release of republican and loyalist
prisoners at the time of the Good Friday Agreement because I believed that it would probably help to create a more stable and peaceful Northern Ireland. It was, of course, a calculated risk and I said so at
the time. I also accepted the possibility that some of those released from prison would end up in the assembly and executive.

To my mind Lillis was given the opportunity to begin a new life back in 1993. He knew the terms and conditions of his release, just as he knew the terms and conditions of the IRA Green Book when he joined it back in the early 1970s. I have no idea if he was involved in any criminal activity between his early release and his re-arrest in 2009, although it seems reasonable enough to conjecture (if he actually is guilty, of course) that he didn’t just get a phone call out of the blue asking him if he fancied going back to a life of crime and risking having his licence revoked.

So, let’s go back to the earlier questions. How much compassion should be shown to someone who seems to have turned his back on the chance to reform and rehabilitate himself? How much compassion should be shown to a man who has been confined to a bed in the hospital ward at Maghaberry prison since January and who has been, so we are told, increasingly frail since he was returned to prison in October 2009? Others have posed another question: isn’t there the risk of creating another republican
martyr if Lillis is allowed to die in prison?

Compassion has a role to play in every area of life: it is one of the civilising aspects of our existence. But compassion has to be earned. It isn’t a right (although the ninnies of the Northern Ireland Human Rights
Commission would probably love to make it so!). Compassion cannot be guaranteed just because someone is too physically ill to remain an active or potential threat to individuals in particular or society in general. Early release should never be an expectation for those who become ill while serving a sentence. Just look at the remarkable recovery made by the Lockerbie bomber after his release! And there are other examples, too.

What about the prospect of making a martyr for republicanism? The 10 dead hunger strikers achieved absolutely nothing. They may be venerated in some republican circles, but the sight of a hobbled Sinn Fein shackled to the DUP makes a mockery of their so-called sacrifice. Anyway, for Sinn Fein and dissident republicans, martyrs tend to be two-a-penny: capable of being invented, elevated or simply hijacked as and when the occasion demands it. To be brutally honest about it, I have absolutely no doubt that some of those campaigning for early release are doing so for their own ends rather than for his. And there are probably others who hope he does die inside, hoping to exploit his death and funeral for political and propaganda purposes.

David Ford has a very difficult decision to make. If the decision were mine, I would have huge reservations about a ‘compassionate’ approach, not least because Lillis himself and some of the people supporting his release have displayed no compassion in their own previous activities.
Similarly, releasing him because of the possibility of martyrdom sends a very dangerous message.

It may well be the case that Lillis needs specialist treatment. So be it, transfer him to a hospital where he can get 24-hour supervision and attention. But that doesn’t require his ‘release’, pardon, freedom or a
get-out-of-jail-free card: if he can be made well enough for trial then let him be tried. Surely clearing his name and proving his innocence is just as important to him and his family as getting him back on his feet

Illness and death are inescapable facts of life and in this case it seems to me that Brendan Lillis’s circumstances and present location are mostly of his own making. His illness is not linked to his offences
(proved or alleged) nor his imprisonment. Personally, I cannot make a credible argument for either compassion or freedom in his case. Neither the cause of justice or mercy would be served by releasing him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Celtic stars IRA song shame



SHAME-faced Celtic idol Frank McAvennie last night claimed he doesn't even know the words to the IRA anthem he was filmed boozily singing.

McAvennie, 51, sparked a fresh bigotry storm after he led Hoops fans in a chorus of the Boys Of The Old Brigade.

Macca's drunken antics were caught on video at the controversial Players' Lounge in Dublin - owned by current Bhoys ace Anthony Stokes's dad John.

But the ex-soccer playboy - lampooned for his 'Where's the burdz?' catchphrase - insisted: "I don't even know the words of it. I was invited up to sing You'll Never Walk Alone." 

The clip of Macca - where he appears to struggle with the lyrics - has been viewed hundreds of times on YouTube.

Despite his excuses, anti-sectarian campaigners and politicians insisted all Old Firm heroes have a duty to set an example in Scottish football's war on bigotry.

Charity Nil by Mouth said: "They must think about what they say and do."

And outraged Scots Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: "Celtic should ban this idiot from Parkhead for life."

The incident took place a fortnight ago - a week before the pub caught fire during an armed raid.

In April police warned anyone singing The Boys Of The Old Brigade at games would be nicked.

Five years ago McAvennie was slammed for recording anti-Rangers phone clips.

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