The OBA,. Time to get rid of it.

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Joe O'Rourke
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:13 pm
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The OBA,. Time to get rid of it.

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:03 pm

The totally needless and illiberal Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is still with us. It’s been more than four years since the Act was imposed on supporters all over the country and beyond. Since the SNP no longer have a majority in the Scottish Parliament, this is the best chance to get rid of this horrible piece of legislation that does nothing but criminalise ordinary everyday football supporters.

FAC will be distributing leaflets asking people to take part in the public consultation to repeal the Act. As many supporters as possible need to fill in the consultation. The leaflets will show you how to do it. You do not have to be based in Scotland to fill in the consultation.

The Celtic Trust is asking fans to 'stand up for the Green Brigade' on the 15th minute in recognition of their tremendous fundraising efforts over the course of only a few days - the fund currently sits at just over £136,000 and rising as I write. The actions of the GB were not agreed with by all but I think we can all agree that they have drawn attention world wide to a terrible humanitarian disaster and have raised much needed funds for two great charities. They have shown that football can be a real force for good.

REPEAL THE OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR ACT – NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO ACT

Since 2011, Fans Against Criminalisation have campaigned against the Scottish Government’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. We oppose this legislation on the grounds that it is fundamentally unjust to create a law which only applies to one demonised sector of society, as this law does with football fans. It is also both dangerous and ridiculous in equal measure to outlaw something as subjective as ‘offensiveness’, and the attempt to do so has simply amounted to an unjustifiable attack on freedom of expression.

Since this legislation was enacted, football fans have been harassed and criminalised across the length and breadth of the country. Fortunately, football fans now have an opportunity to make their voices heard about the treatment of supporters and the curtailment of expression.

A member’s bill has been submitted to the Scottish Parliament to call for a repeal of this illiberal and impractical law. A 12-week consultation period has now been launched to survey the attitudes of citizens about the prospect of repealing this legislation. Fans Against Criminalisation is calling on each and every one of you to take part in this process.

After 5 years of campaigning to defend civil liberties and the rights of football supporters, we now have an opportunity to show the Act the red card.

Please visit the link below and complete the survey attached.

http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/S/FootballActRepealBill/

If you fill in your reasons at each stage this can take 20 minutes or so to complete. That would be 20 minutes well spent and we would strongly encourage you to do that. However, if you don’t have the time then as long as you simply answer the question without explanation then your submission will make a difference. It is also helpful if you identify yourself as a football fan ie someone who will know the effect the Offensive Behaviour Act has had on ordinary, law-abiding fans. In the survey the reference to Sections 1-5 relate to ‘offensiveness’ at football and Section 6 relates to Threatening Communications. This part of the Act has barely been used in four years.

There may be some questions which you may not see as particularly relevant or have a view on, but these can be ignored if you wish. Only the question relating to Section 1 of the Act (the main part) is compulsory. However, it is absolutely vital that whatever you answer you keep hitting NEXT until you get to the end of the survey and hit SUBMIT otherwise your submission will not be recorded.

Every single submission counts.

Please complete this and advise others to do the same.

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