Falkirk takes to the streets

Outdoor performance is the way ahead says Butler

Organisers of Big In Falkirk want to establish the annual event as Scotland's national street arts foSlWétl Neil Butler. artistic director for programmers UZ Evr—znts. is convinced of its potential. ‘We genuinely believe that street performance is the way of the future for live entertamment.‘ he told The List. Those who make it to the two-day event. kicking off in Callander Park on Saturday 26 May, can expect to be dazzled by a glittering array of street i.)erformers. Among those seeking to stun the crowds WI” be Groupe F. the theatrical pyrotechnics company famous for lighting up the Eiffel Tower for the millennium and recognised as one of the finest companies of its kind in the world. Also in attendance WI“ be the Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International (NWSI) performance company which WI” present Les Oiseaux De Lux. an interactive spectacular that will flood the park with giant dancing stilt birds and Del/reality. a display of drumming ants. tango dancers and pyrotechnics. (John Lyndon).

Gorrie moves to outlaw

hate crime MSP wants new anti-sectarianism law.

The recent treatment of Celtic footballer Neil Lennon

demonstrates the destructive impact of bigotry.

Northern Irish fans booed and abused the player, who

Don‘d Game is Catholic. while on international duty. because of his religion. The sectarian abuse he received was

compounded by the daubing of a hanging man on a Belfast wall next to the words ‘Neil Lennon RIP'. Lennon subsequently conSidered withdrawing from international football, in fear of his life.

Scottish courts consider crimes caused by such bigotry to be the same as any other. Unlike racially-motivated assault. perpetrators are not given harsher sentences. That could change if a draft bill is successful when it is put befOre the Scottish i_)arliament. Liberal Democrat MSP Donald Gorrie wants to put sectarian crimes on the same legal footing as racrally-motivated crimes. ‘Sectarian harassment is as bad as raCial harassment and should come under the criminal law.‘ said Gorrie as he unveiled the draft legislation. ‘The aim is to cover harassnmnt of people who may not go to church. but take part in activities or support football teams which their opponents see as being derived from a religious group."

Gorrie's bill might have been applicable in the case of DaVId Hutton. who was Jailed for life for the murder of Celtic fan Thomas McFadden. The sixteen year old was stabbed to death after a street brawl with Rangers fans on the day their club beat Celtic to win the 1999 Cup final.

It's hard to imagine that McFadden died because of ordinary football rivalry withOLit the exacerbating influence of sectarianism. If McFadden was Asian and had been murdered because of his race. the crime w0u|d have been dealt with under the Crime and Disorder Act. That deals \vith crimes involving racist violence and allows for harsher sentenCing. It was created to show that racially motivated violence and harassment will not be tolerated and to ensure that perpetrators of hate-crimes would be Subiect to much higher sentences.

Gorrie has modelled his proposed legislation on these laws. hoping to redress the imbalance. iRachel Richardson).

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