Fanzines - voice of the ordinary supporter

We highlight Liverpool 'zine 'Through The Wind and Rain' - always a staunch supporter of the HJC and a voice that has kept alive and published articles on Hillsborough throuout the last 12 years. You can read all of their back issue articles about Hillsborough here

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The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
134 Oakfield Road
L4 0UG
Tel / fax : 0151 2605262


Through the Wind and Rain
PO Box 23
L30 2SA


Through the Wind and the Rain Fanzine Archives

So August 24th it is, then. Duckenfield and Murray are finally in the dock, and we are in the hands of the British legal system. Forgive me for being doom-laden - ten years of lies and obstruction tend to make you cynical - but I'm not building up any hopes for success. I will, as ever, be delighted to he proved completely wrong.

Since the last fanzine, the tenth anniversary has passed and the boycott of Hillsborough on May 8th was a success. Various figures were bandied about, but none above 2,000 - It even went as low as 1050. A few fans spoke In private of 'intimidation' by one or two boycott supporters; whilst obviously regrettable, It can hardly be responsible for the waves of empty seats on the day, and when you hear fans saying that they still managed to see the game you can understand why people get angry sometimes At has been very unfortunate that the Hillsborough disaster, the one thin that should bring 100% unity, has now started to split Liverpool supporters apart in a variety of ways. One hope for the coming season is that this can be rectified, but it's a rather srnall hope.

As stated in #42, the Support Group is now offering an associate membership whether this is a genuine attempt to achieve a broader-based campaign or simply a delayed reaction to the progress of the 'Justice' group remains to be seen. From a personal point of view, I would have liked some personal input on five aspects of the campaign so far;

ONE. the stance on terracing, which I feel played into the hands of 5 Yorkshire Police. Quotes like Trevor's "there is no such thing as safe terracing' simply brought a response like "so how can you expect the police to keep something safe that wasn't safe in the first place?" The massive Establishment incompetence before, during and after the fateful day was reduced by shifting blame onto an inanimate piece of concrete.

TWO: the approval for McGovern's 'Cracker', which still makes me feel queasy at the mere thought of it. if that led to the production of the worthier Hillsborough then perhaps it was worthwhile but I'm not the only one to feel the programme was more of a hindrance than a help.

THREE: it wouldn't have mattered if I'd had a vote about Trevor speaking to the 'sun' because he ignored a Support Group vote and spoke to the scum anyway. As a private Individual, and not as Chairman of the Support Group of course you can be forgiven for not understanding what difference that makes. Such ignorance of a fundamental part of Merseyside's fight back against media lies caused tremendous frustration and not a little anger. For me, the birth of a second Hillsborough group starts with this one massive error.

FOUR: accepting Stuart-Smith after his awful "turn up at the last minute "crack on day one of the Scrutiny. I was glad to see in the 'Echo' that Phil Hammond had voted for walking out on the judge, because I've always had a lot of time for Phil. Despite the odd disagreement and our obvious ignorance of the finer details, he's always been a perfect gentleman to me and Rex. I'm not being wise after the event with regard to Stuart-Smith - check the editorial around that time. I think we all knew from that point on that we were never going to get anything from that old bigot.

FIVE: the stance on the Boycott, which often bordered on the farcical.

Certainly there are numerous arguments against all five of the 'differences' above, and it won't make a shred of differ~ to the prosecution currently being pursued. It's just that a great many fans, through laziness (yours truly) or just over-pious respect, have spent the last decade reciting our 'if it's okay with the Families, it's okay with me' mantra A lot of people have also been intimidated by the sheer wealth of detail you have to plough through to gain even a speck of understand" on this most complex of Issues, but we can all play a part and the Boycott was a good example of that.

I believe the Support Group came out of that badly. I'm not even going to try and wade through some of the murkier side Issue (the difficulties surrounding St Georges Hall and whether Sheffield Wednesday really were offering the Families money or not) ~ their 'anti' stance is enough to be going on with. I went to a council meeting on Hillsborough in March, and after the HJC reps had mentioned the boycott several times 3 of the Support Group stormed out. -They've never stayed away before - why should they start now one shouted. I honestly think this displays the genuine view of the families on Liverpool supporters going to that dreadful place, and they mirror my own views (see back page, #42).

And yet their official line on the boycott was "serves no purpose", "ridiculous "etc etc. WHY? This was in stark contrast to the news of the memorial. Despite being a long way from the place where our fellow fans died, despite it's very clear motivation (to fend off a costly boycott) and despite being TEN YEARS TOO FUCKING LATE, Sheffield Wednesdays version of 'better late than never" was accepted - Liverpool fans' own "better late than never' was not being accepted. I couldn't help but feel snubbed by this, and I know I wasn't the only one

In the end, the boycott was definitely a success. This was despite the odious ejection of the boycott banner and it's carriers at the Spurs game, in marked contrast to the nice 'n' easy response of Blackburn's police and stewards. Liverpool VC doing it's bit for 'customer relations' yet again! The Support Group got a bit of a black eye because of it's stance. Little things started to mount up. Mackrells disgraceful views in 'The Big Issue' were preceded on the same page by Phil Hammond calling the boycott "ridiculous" Not his fault of course, but it didn't look good.

When Hillsborough's match day superintendent callously spoke on May 1st about fans not turning up without a ticket, the silence from the Families win deafening (maybe their response just wasn't printed?). When Trevor commented on the low attendance of Liverpool fans, not only was he quoted as saying 2-3,000 turned up (not quite he spoke about it being an unimportant end-of-season game The portrayal of Liverpool fans as people who won't show up if them isn't a trophy involved was also prominent in some of the right wing rags' match reports - so If that's the kind of people Trevor wants to align himself with, then feet free. The rest of us, especially the 8-9,000 Reds who turned up for the equally unimportant Blackburn game, may want to align themselves elsewhere.

I don't suppose this will make much difference when the request for legal funds is made. There's been talk of another concert and a charity match, and it is worth pointing out that the same fans who felt slighted during the boycott campaign will be the same ones being asked to cough up now. During the Granada revelations, I noticed Phil Hammond making a request for part of that money to go towards the Families' legal costs. It's a wonderful idea, and a chance for the club to make up for all the indifference of the past, but I wouldn't bet on it. As stated in the editorial, I think that moneys already been spent - but once again I would love to be proved wrong and the feel-good factor for the club would be considerable if they were to do it.

And what of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign? They can be proud of their campaigning for the boycott, because it made a considerable contribution to the overall result. Where do they go from here? They haven't been too slow in letting us know up to now, so keep an eye out for those leaflets and I'll no doubt he printing more of their letters in the future. Perhaps they too are waiting for the verdict on Duckenfield and Murray?

One thing is certain. Guilty of not guilty, the Hillsborough 'campaign' will still have to go on. We are at war with the media and the authorities all the time. You only have to look at the press reactions to the likes of the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4 (you know the sort of thing - 'oh they were ad guilty really, they just got off on a technicality) to know that they are NEVER going to let us off the hook. Well, if they want a fight we'll just have to give it to them won't we let's just say that I don't think the learn is playing at Hillsborough on the opening day of the season because of a fluke in the fixture list.

They think we're stupid. That doesn't mean we have to prove them right.


96 Lies - A Million Lies

It's 3.55 on the 15th of April 1999. I've just watched the ceremony on the telly Frankly, I feel very guilty for not being at Anfield, but I no longer live in Liverpool and thought proudly wearing my Justice t-shirt and scarf may do more to influence those down here who are currently (permanently?) Scurnbrainwashed. No doubt many of the points I am about to make will be made by others in this or past fanzines, but here goes.

Probably the most crucial times for me In the past few weeks were during the various one minute silences, with more to follow at the weekend. You would expect 15,000 who have purposefully come for a tenth anniversary service to respect the minute silence, but I was very impressed by the behaviour of Everton fans and Leeds fans in recent weeks. I can't stand Everton and I'm not much impressed with Leeds, but their impeccable silence before our games with them really does put petty squabbles about goal celebrations into some sort of perspective. I contacted several Leeds fanzines via the internet (no, I'm not a speccy American type teenager) thanking them for this tribute, and was greeted with several wishes of good luck in the fight for Justice. Here's hoping that the Saturday minute of silence around the country is treated with the respect they would expect if their fans had been the victims.

It was a great speech made by Trevor Hicks at the ceremony today, even holding back from mentioning THAT newspaper something I certainly couldn't have done. There was no mention of the boycott on May 8th either. I certainly won't be going, and 1 hope no-one else does. Reading this in the glorious August sunshine. you will all know how it turned out, but I hope it doesn't backfire; even if only one seat is left empty for the match that's a good £20 not going to their greedy, sick, twisted, selfish bastard board who fought tooth and nail for ten years against a memorial for the 96 men, women and Children who also paid to get into their ground.

When listening to Hicks' words, I hope Paul Ince felt thoroughly ashamed of himself. Nothing short of a lorry-load of £50 notes being handed over to the Justice campaign will ever excuse the behaviour of this overpaid, over-hyped Scum-reader 'uninformed` as he was. Talking of other Murdoch yes-men, I never saw the boy wonder today. I suppose his leg hurts -still, he did send a fax! I don't know the reasons for Kenny not attending, but no manager in the world could have worked harder in the months following the disaster than he did. No, not even the charming Mr Sunness.

Liverpool Football Club is a family club, not a business like the plc, and must never be floated. Today's ceremony wouldn't take place anywhere else, not without a £10 ticket (plus booking fee). We are the best supporters in the land, and must continue the fight for our 96 FRIENDS. I always thought it was a shame that John Lennon wasn't alive in the wake of Hillsborough. Someone with Lennon's respect could have brought far more attention to the issue of Hillsborough, more than a million leaflets to the government - and worldwide, too. Lennon was another Scouser taken from us by an idiot, but at least his killer was brought to trial and punished. I dread to think where we'd be without the funds frown the concert and the likes of the Manics Space, the Lightning Seeds and the Beautiful South (not to underestimate the work of the Families, mind you). Hats off to the lot of them.

There is nothing we can do to bring the 96 back but we can do something to protect their memory and support their loved ones…………………

Whilst reading tile articles in TTW&R #42 about Hillsborough the memories came flooding back for me. It brought back the shock and fear that I felt on that day, and it still brings a shudder to my family who agonised for hours over my safety. Some liken the Bereaved's fight for Justice with the plight of Stephen Lawrence's family, and I agree they are fighting the same cause. It is the same establishment, the same institutionalised prejudice. How many times do we go to a football ground and there they are; the police, sometimes in full riot gear, herding us here there and everywhere. We're subjected to searches in and around the ground, and life is made difficult for us in terms of access and match times. You can also count the number of times you see grown men and women told to shut up, sit down, go here, go there - just like naughty school children. You are subjected to the wagging finger, or the looks and insinuations (sometimes even words) to the effect that you must be a moron if you want to follow football. Oh yes, this is something we black folks have to put up with every day of our lives. Footie fans only get it on a match day. Still, the similarities are uncanny.

Here's hoping for Justice very soon. For me, it will be too late. I visited Hillsborough for the very next Liverpool game after the disaster, and I vowed never to go back again. Ten years later, I would struggle to even step foot inside Sheffield.

Name withheld

The irony was certainly heavy at Ewood Park. After the Kidd-inspired "you Manc bastard" the lad by us was heavily reprimanded for his racist remarks! How this copper could hear this one lad say 'black' while thousands were singing something else I'll never know - and would he be told that he'd got hold of the wrong end of the stick? What do you think?