Truth and justice
The Hillsborough inquests jury has delivered its verdict and said that the fans were not to blame for the disaster. Stadium design, poor planning and errors by the police and ambulance service all contributed to the dangerous situation in the Leppings Lane end but the behaviour of the Liverpool fans did not. The police blamed the supporters rather than accepting responsibility and it has taken 27 years for the victims’ families to get justice (the Guardian has a timeline).
The Guardian also has an editorial, in which it says,
“The cover-up was easy because too much of the country was willing to allow one group of people, football fans from the failing northern city of Liverpool, to be represented as somehow different and other from the rest of us.”
Unfortunately, some people still think this way. Alison Gurden, a barrister who defends fans charged with football-related offences, has recently written two posts advising Millwall fans of their rights (click here and here to read them.) Police may assume that innocuous Millwall fans are hooligans because of their club’s reputation.
If you go to football matches, it’s possible that assumptions could be made about you if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you do get into trouble with the police, contact Amanda Jacks of the Football Supporters Federation. See the Fan in Trouble page of their website for her contact details and information on the help that they can provide.