Every month a group of Melbourne Victory supporters produce a fanzine called IFM. The October edition is available online.
Even if one’s may not agree with everything that is written, it is always a good read. Especially because it is one of the few venues where certain ideas about how football should be treated in Australia by active fans is exposed.
In this edition there is an article from an active fans that gives an inside view about the sort of arguments I placed forward in this post.
I reproduce it here. By I encourage people to visit the fanzine directly to read the other very interesting article.
Above the law
On the Melbourne Victory’s most recent trip to Adelaide, we once again saw an increase in the aggressive persecution of North Terrace active supporter’s. Undercover surveillance is not something abnormal on away trips to the homes of our closest rivals, but on this occasion the authorities, through Hatamoto and the South Australia Police, went beyond merely observing – singling out individuals who had done nothing wrong besides having a chant and a beer, banning them from local pubs and bars and handing out stadium bans to others on mere suspicion and speculation.
Inside the stadium, the situation was no better than at the pregame pubs. Travelling Melbourne fans were subjected to constant video surveillance, throughout the course of the game for merely chanting, while the young locals sitting in the stand directly above repetitively launched projectiles in the forms of coins and bottles into the bay below with minimal action from eitherHatamoto or the SA Police. Some individuals were pulled aside and filmed before they even entered Hindmarsh Stadium, and as at the recent home game against Wellington (a low-risk match if ever there was one), again overzealous policing/security lead to a physical confrontation and the use of capsicum spray, this time for all to see as the action in the stands was caught on the national broadcast.
One might think that the FFA’s foremost concern is for the safety of its patrons, but yet again through their proxies they’ve proved that the agenda against Melbourne supporters supersedes their enforcement of their own code of conduct and the protection of paying customers, the lifeblood of the game.
The local police of Australia continue to show their cultural ignorance and inability to enact simple crowd management, allowing a private security agency and a sporting body to influence their actions to the point that public safety (their number one priority?) is ignored in pursuit of an agenda against a small group of fans, dedicated to following their football side around the country.
Many seem to believe that this small group of fans act as if they’re ‘above the law’, put there can no longer be any question as to whether this is the case with the FFA and their hired goons. The police jump at their beck and call, acting on the slightest suspicion of guilt or an offence at the request of a group of maritime security ‘specialists’ when dealing with potentially volatile situations. Who would you trust? Are our local police really this incompetent? Shouldn’t crowd management be a basic part of their training that they react to on instinct, rather than at the direction of a private ‘security’ firm?
It is a worrying trend for all football fans and wider society when our police forces, paid and funded with our own tax dollars are acting on the speculation of unqualified advisors – particularly when the advisors in question & their employees have an overt agenda against a certain group of people – and are using this questionable information to enact physical force, simply for being ‘different’.