1. First of all- what is exactly Green Brigade? When was it founded? How many people are involved?
The Green Brigade are Celtic ultras dedicated to bringing back passion to the stands at Celtic Park. We were founded in 2006 at a time when the
stadium had fallen silent and we began with only a handful of members and no official secton. We currently have around 70 members and an official
section which holds 300 ultras.
2. You are well known for your choreography- which choreo do you consider the best of all of them?
It’s hard to decide as we’ve done a lot of banners and choreos which have proven very popular. Our best choreo would have to be the one against Barca in the Champions League which was celebrating Celtic’s 125 yearsanniversary. This tifo was very expensive and took a lot of time and effort to plan and set up – the end product was worth it though. It was a full stadium display (60k card display) of the original Celtic badge in one stand, the anniversary badge in the opposite stand, 125 Celtic in
another stand and the rest of the ground filled in with green and white hoops. Pictures can be found here:
3. Do you often go to away games?
The Green Brigade is represented at every Celtic match however at away games we are not able to organise a section to keep us together. What then happens is the Group is spread around the stand which makes it difficult to try and influence the atmosphere. Fortunately the Celtic away support is already pretty good so there isn’t as much need for organised ultras to create the atmosphere.
4. What other fan groups are in Celtic Park and what is their relationship with GB?
There are no other ultra groups at Celtic Park however there are fan groups such as the Celtic Trust and associations which represent
individual Celtic Supporters Clubs of which there are many. We have a good relationship with these groups and we are all involved in a campaign umbrella-group called Fans Against Criminalisation which challenges fan repression and harassment.
5. Do you publish any fanzines?
We do not have an official fanzine however one of our members publishes The Thunder which is very fan and ultra orientated and obviously supportive to the Green Brigade.
6. It is a not a secret that GB members have anit-fascist ideas. Do you have some sort of clear political line in GB?
We’re an anti-fascist group who promote anti-discriminatory values and this is a requirement for all of our members. There is no set political line and the group comprises a broad spectrum of politcal thought/feeling from the Left.
7. Your best friends and biggest enemies?
We have a friendship with IRD93 Toulon as well as being on good terms with groups such as Ultras Inferno Liege and Ultras Sainkt Pauli. We are a
member of the Alerta Network and therefore have good relations with other members of this network. In Scotland there isn’t much of an ultras scene so we don’t really have a big rival at the moment. The groups from the old Rangers still exist at their new club however after the death of their club they are pretty much irrelevant to us now, although we will still ridicule them at any opportunity.
8. What do you think about Rangers? Don’t you miss derby games?
Last year was probably one of the most special I’ve experienced due to the death of those bastards. Admittedly, the adrenaline and excitement of the derby games is missed as is the euphoria of a victory against them on and off the park. However, no victory against them will ever beat the slow and painful death which we were lucky to enjoy and celebrate every step of the way. Their death was the ultimate derby win. Rangers were always in Celtic’s shadow but now they no longer even exist!
9. Last half a year or so had been marked by a continuous repression of Celtic
fans. Can you breifly describe what units and organisations had been thrown against
Green Brigade? How did the conflict start and what do
you think is the real reason?
We have always faced attention and harassment from the police however in the past two years it has become far more intense. While the Green Brigade face the brunt of this, the wider Celtic support is also targeted. It basically began a couple of years ago when politicians and senior police officials hijacked a tiny incident at a Celtic v Rangers game and attempted to further their own agendas and motives. At the time the media and clubs backed their initiatives and the fans were being hung out to dry. This then lead to the introduction of the 'Offensive Behavior at Football' law which was introduced which they falsely
presented as an 'anti-sectarian' law when in actual fact it is a law which allows the police to arrest you for anything which they think is offensive at football. With this law the Scottish Government gave millions of pounds to the police which allowed them to set up specialist units to monitor our group and other fans. Fans have been arrested and banned from football for all manner of stupid incidents, one
of our most notable being one of our members being arrested at Glasgow airport as he arrived home from a family holiday because he held a small banner of a zombie (new
Rangers) being shot. I would say the main reason for the level of repression is quite simply control. The authorities will never be happy until they have a grip and control on people and groups, especially those who carry an influence, are outspoken and do not bow to the status quo.
10. What is the media and club approach to those repressions?
The media do not view us or even the Celtic support very favourable and are always quick to label us as bigots or extremisits for our Irish Repbulican views or sympathies, this is down to nothing more than ignorance on their part. Unbelievably, a popular Glasgow newspaper even labelled Celtic fans as bigots and extremists when reporting on how they were covering the city in anti-racist and
anti-fascist stickers! Recently we have gathered a little momentum though with our campaign against repression and some journalists have picked up our story and been
far more supportive and criticial of the police and government. Unfortunately the club works hand-in-hand with the police and we also face problems with them which doesn’t even involved the police – at the moment they are trying to implement banning orders which don’t even require criminal convictions; essentially creating a restraining order between you and the team simply because they don’t like you.
11. What do you guys think about independence of Scotland?
It isn’t something that we have ever discussed as a group and opinions may vary.
12. Any words for Polish antifascists?
Until the last rebel. Thanks