Posted on 4th October 2017
Total Eclipse of the s*n: “It could have been any group of fans”
This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
Back in July, FSF members voted to support a motion calling on supporters to take action against The Sun newspaper. Paul Collins from the Total Eclipse of The S*n campaign tells us more about the work they’ve been doing…
As most supporters will know the s*n newspaper, just 4 days after the Hillsborough disaster, printed a disgraceful, damaging yet untrue and totally discredited article headlined ‘The Truth’.
In that article the memories of 96 dead friends and family were tarnished and the reputation of an entire city was trashed.
It was alleged that fans ‘viciously attacked workers as they tried to rescue victims and police officers, firemen and ambulance crew were punched, kicked and urinated upon.’
A quote attributed to an unnamed policeman claimed that a dead girl had been abused and that the Liverpool fans were ‘openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead’.
These were calculated and damaging lies.
Although it was Liverpool fans that suffered as a result of the article, it could have been any group of fans.
It was an FA Cup semi-final. Lots of us have been there. Some never came home. Some survivors have had their lives destroyed.
Calculated lies like that cannot be accepted.
Supporters will know that the s*n has been boycotted on Merseyside ever since and that several half-hearted, mealy-mouthed apologies from the rag have not been accepted.
Kelvin McKenzie, the then editor, claimed that he didn’t mean his apology and that Rupert Murdoch had forced him to do so.
Many people involved will tell you that the families and the survivors’ quest for justice was significantly delayed by the article in the rag.
As a campaign, we exist to celebrate those shops, businesses, institutions and people who take a stand against the s*n ‘newspaper’.
And so many people do wish to stand against the rag.
To date we have:
- Nearly 300 newsagents (including approx. 40 major supermarkets) in Merseyside and Northern Ireland who do not stock the rag.
- 11 local councils across the North West and Ireland who have passed motions calling on newsagents in their area to cease stocking the rag.
- 76 taxis wrapped in our campaign message on the streets of Merseyside and Belfast. Those taxi wraps are paid for by member donations and the taxi drivers donate their cabs free of charge.
- Hundreds of businesses and individuals take a stance against the rag: pubs, cafes, institutions, barber shops, public bodies all display our literature.
- Five trade unions who have passed motions at national level barring the rag from union premises and meetings.
- Everton and Liverpool football clubs banned journalists from all club premises. They have been joined by Chester FC, Tranmere, and several other non-league clubs.
We were delighted that the motion at the FSF Conference was passed calling on fan groups to stand against the s*n.
We call on fan groups to have a look at our social media and to get involved. If your supporter group wants to take action at a local level, we’d be happy to help.
Can you take the conversation to your local meeting places, pubs, cafes, newsagents and ask them to take a stance against the s*n? Such places can put ‘s*n not welcome here’ flyers in their windows and publicise their stance on social media.
Would your group want to sponsor a local taxi so it can be wrapped in our campaign message which can incorporate a message about your group?
We believe in fan activism, we believe in fan solidarity. We are proud to be associated to the FSF which had made such progress on so many important issues.
To date we have campaigned outside Goodison Park, Anfield, Bloomfield Road, The Etihad, Prenton Park and The Stadium of Light.
Would your group consider joining us in campaigning outside your ground? This can be done when Liverpool or Everton visit or at any other time and sends a powerful message to onlookers about solidarity amongst fans regards the s*n ‘newspaper’.
Want to know more? Follow the Total Eclipse of the Sun on social media:
The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don’t necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn’t be attributed to the FSF.