CCFC’s commitment to Palestine

The CCFC Comms team explain the club’s support for Palestine, including Tuesday’s donation of £1,000 to the charity Medical Aid For Palestinians. We also offer suggestions on what anti-fascist football fans everywhere can to do next.

The role of the international left is firstly to show solidarity with the Palestinian people who are going through an unfolding genocide and secondly to condemn and take action on our government’s role.

We don’t live in isolation from the world around us. CCFC can’t call ourselves anti-fascists and then ignore world leaders and powerful institutions’ calls for further and deeper bombardment of an entrapped and oppressed people. While it is sometimes inevitable to feel helpless as we watch war crimes occur with total impunity, anti-fascist football fans must put pressure on the government and its institutions to end this ethnic cleansing.

This week, we donated £1.000 to Medical Aid for Palestinians in response to their urgent fundraiser appeal. This charity provides immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills. However, Palestine will need more than our donations in this ongoing crime against humanity. 

We are proudly founded as an anti-fascist football team. We wear the colours of the heroic International Brigades in Spain at away games in this spirit. Anti-fascists and workers from across the world went to fight, and many died, in Spain. However, this support is not abstract or theoretical. 

Just before Tuesday’s match, news came that a hospital was bombed in Gaza killing at least 500 patients, children, medical staff and people seeking refuge. It is our duty to uphold the values of the International Brigade and call out fascism – otherwise our kit and slogans are meaningless. There is no neutrality in genocide. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, with total endorsement from the British government, European Union and United States, means that we as workers, anti-fascists and yes – football fans – should do what we can to expose and fight against this injustice.

In 2021, CCFC held a membership vote, with over 90% of votes in favour, on becoming an official Apartheid Free Zone – this is a commitment to the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement that ends international ties with Israel. There are other practical things we do with this policy – we host Palestinian delegations and fundraise for Palestinian charities; we support the boycott of Puma for its complicity in apartheid and we have signed up to the ‘Give Israel the Red Card’ campaign; we can also do more to highlight and demand an end to our governments’ role in this. 

Britain, where CCFC is based, is also complicit in this genocide. The Government has offered full support to the Israeli government and is signalling the ways they could make support for Palestine more difficult – from proposing the banning of boycotts to seeking to criminalise certain slogans or banners. Yet, people are marching in their hundreds of thousands to protest against what is happening.

We have also seen our social media posts for Palestine receiving incredible support. Numerous non-league teams in England, and thousands of fans in Britain and around the world, showed their appreciation that we are using football as a platform. The legendary civil rights leader Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey even acknowledged one tweet. But posting on social media or giving donations is not where the work ends. 

We are not alone in the sporting world – another fan-owned team, Bohemians in Dublin, have a devoted platform to supporting Palestine. Eric Cantona has made several interventions for Palestine and is an ambassador for Aida Celtic – a football team in a Bethlehem refugee camp. Mo Salah posted a video on Wednesday evening demanding humanitarian aid be delivered to Gaza immediately. Celtic’s Green Brigade have always worked tirelessly to highlight the crimes of Israel. Many of the international Arsenal and St Pauli supporters clubs have issued statements in support of Palestine. Globally, football fans have dedicated matches to support Palestine and make their stand against apartheid.

We encourage everyone to join the Palestine demonstrations in your area – the next one in London is at 12pm on Saturday assembling at Marble Arch; please continue to support CCFC in our commitment to international anti-apartheid campaigns; make clear statements against genocide even in the face of criticism; call out clear media bias and stand up to government intimidation; organise in your work places for your own conditions and for Palestine. 

There are of course those who disagree with us. But we are anti-racist and that means we are against all racism. And we are against genocide. No amount of intimidation, bullying or moralism can conflate being in support of Palestine as anything other than support of the freedom of a people who are at risk of ethnic cleansing. The movement is growing and in the fan-owned football world, we as CCFC members, can be leading the way:

Unapologetically – Free Palestine

Further reading

Campaigns to follow: