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I was unfortunate enough to have to chair a “debate” on my twitter timeline this weekend as two polarised views clashed on my timeline in response to one of my tweets. On one side we had someone who wished to lay the blame for the injuries sustained by our Ibrox employees squarely with the SOS, whilst the other expressed a desire to see a “more aggressive approach” to the nature of fans protests. Throughout the course of what was an unpleasant exchange between the two of them, it emerged that the proponent of the “more aggressive approach” was not a member of the UOF or SOS whilst the other was apportioning blame based solely on unconfirmed reports he had heard.

 

It was a discussion which has been very much mirrored on Rangers message boards over the weekend. Some clearly saw Friday night’s events as an opportunity to tarnish the fans groups whilst others appear unwilling to accept that the behaviour of Rangers led to the injuries of the two elderly Rangers employees. Considering the incident which led to the injuries occurred both after and away from the location of the organised protest it seems unreasonable to link the unsavoury incident to the main protest where thousands of bears demonstrated in an emotional, exuberant yet exemplary peaceful manner.

 

Those who maintain they saw no violence or assaults at the latter incident, may well be correct, but you cannot ignore the fact that as a consequence of whatever happened at Argyle House two elderly Rangers employees, George and Liz sustained injures. And that is not, and never will be, acceptable.

 

I’m sure all of us in the Rangers support would wish them both a speedy recovery.

 

I’ve been harping on for months now, almost like some PC Brigade acolyte, about some of the unhelpful derogatory and inflammatory language being used. If we claim as a support that such language dehumanises our support when it is directed against us, does the same argument not work the other way ? Or would anyone care to argue that terms such as “rats” is neither derogatory nor dehumanising ?

 

What is clear from Friday is that those wishing to exercise their right to peaceful protest now goes way beyond the ranks of members of the UOF and SOS. This places an added responsibility on protest organisers to ensure that all participants are clear about both the nature and aims of such protest. The briefing message needs to be clear, consistent and unequivocal that all such demonstrations against the board are to be peaceful in nature.

 

I am also firmly of the opinion that a “more aggressive approach” will be self-defeating. Our board are worthy of utter contempt for their actions, but that does not in any way, shape or form justify violence or threats of violence towards them. Supporters protesting in a peaceful and responsible manner against avarice, broken assurances and opportunistic businessmen playing Russian roulette with our club will capture the imagination – behaving in a manner befitting thugs wont. Furthermore it will turn away many bears who will just not entertain such behaviour.

 

Protesting and demonstrating is one of the few immediate options available to us as a fan base, it is imperative we use it responsibly and do nothing which usurps either its effectiveness or ability to unite our fan base behind a common cause.

 

The proposal which sees Ibrox being used as security against loan is very much a crossing of the Rubicon for the Ibrox support, and has galvanised and unified us as a fan base. Let’s not cross our own Rubicon in the way we protest against it.

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Obviously, I was at the front door rather than at Argyle House and generally speaking, as I posted immediately after the protest on Friday, there were few problems. However, it was disappointing to hear of the physical issues a few people experienced.

 

Of the problems that did happen these can be put down to:

 

1. A lack of notice for the protest so an inability to organise it properly.

2. The amount of people who turned up compared to similar protests.

3. SoS appearing to arrive late to the front door

4. The fact some people took it upon themselves to protest at a different venue.

5. A slow reaction by police to the swelling numbers and alternative venue.

 

Now, I've attended a few much smaller protests by SoS over the last couple of years. Before these Craig Houston spoke well and laid down the law when it came to the expected behaviour. Unfortunately, on this occasion he seemed to arrive late and by that time some fans had pushed very close to the sparsely stewarded front door.

 

I'd imagine any future protest won't go down the same lines as both SoS and the police will be better prepared. These protests should remain strong but the safety of all involved should be a priority or the message is just lost amongst the subsequent negativity.

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Kumbaya my Lord....

 

If people are assaulted then we have a duty to make sure it doesn't happen again. Many people - not least the media and even other Rangers fans - are using this an excuse to belittle what was a strong and united message from the Rangers support. That has to be examined and the possibility removed for the next protest.

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If people are assaulted then we have a duty to make sure it doesn't happen again. Many people - not least the media and even other Rangers fans - are using this an excuse to belittle what was a strong and united message from the Rangers support. That has to be examined and the possibility removed for the next protest.

 

 

The hair shirts that many are wearing because of this overblown incident at Argyle House will be suitable reminders for the future.

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I wouldn't get too hung up on what happened the other night. I believe there was an unfortunate and regretable incident which may even be categorized as assault, details are sketchy. This should obviously be condemed and as Frankie says care taken so as to lessen the chances of it being repeated.

 

But given it didn't take place at the location of the protest, nor at the time of the protest and nor is it known who actually committed any such assault...........then the blame should be layed at the door of the individual(s) concerned rather than stigmitize the protest as a whole.

 

If the world stopped for every isolated incident then nothing would happen.

 

The main reason that the mood of the protest seemed to be somewhat angrier than many other protests was IMO the same reason why a widerspread cross-section of the support felt that a rubicon had been crossed and until we remedy the root cause of that ('positive' changes in the boardroom) then the root cause of any bad feeling will only get worse.

Edited by buster.
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while it is vital no innocents are caught up in the maelstrom what happens at the next protest will depend on what the rats do.

 

some fear from them would be most productive.

 

It's protest numbers and empty blue seats that concern them.

 

There should be no violence. Not only because we don't want anyone to be hurt but it enables deflection and may discourage some peaceful protestors.

 

As for fear, the fear of losing executive control is enough.

Ashley is still making the decisions and he won't be coming anywhere near Glasgow.

Edited by buster.
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