Credit: Jude Lee Allan

Police accuse Celtic supporters of infiltrating the Young Communist League

By Patrick Gaffey

UofG lecturer defends the Young Communist League after criticism following climate strikes. 

On Saturday 6 November, Glasgow saw a huge wave of marches, advocating for environmental protections and regulations at the COP26 conference. One group participating in the event was the Young Communist League (YCL), the youth wing of the Communist Party of Britain. The police clashed with this group and came under criticism for their conduct. In the aftermath, one senior Glasgow police officer told The Sun that the YCL group had been “infiltrated” by the Green Brigade, a Celtic FC fan organisation. He said that the police recognised most of their membership, and “while they were waving red flags that day, they’d normally be waving green ones”.

Dr Ewan Gibbs, a lecturer at the Department of Economic and Social History, criticised the article on Twitter. He described it as “absolute garbage”, with the purpose of “justifying punitive policing of demonstrations and football supporters”.

Gibbs pointed out that the YCL has no links to Celtic FC or its support groups, and that many of its members are Rangers supporters. One such person is Jamie, a YCL member and University of Glasgow student, who spoke to The Glasgow Guardian about the police’s claims. He said that the YCL has members from “all walks of life”, and can count supporters of different teams among its ranks, as well as many who have no interest in football. He argued that the police were inventing these allegations for two reasons: to “demonise football supporters”, and to dissuade non-Celtic supporters from becoming involved with groups such as the YCL.

To find out more about the Young Communist League, click here.


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V. I. Lenin