Paras Fight Back

Petitions with over 100,000 signature must be debated by Westminster MPs. At 4:30 this afternoon MPs will debate (without voting) a petition to give British soldiers – and particularly paratroopers who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – immunity. Supporters of granting immunity are upset by recent reports on government policy (from Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt) suggesting that service in the North will not be included in any such bill (BelTel) and/because paramilitaries would also be included (Shropshire Star). See previously: Stop The Witch Hunt.
The poster above (at the top of the Shankill) from a group calling itself Northern Ireland Crown Forces Veterans For Justice, calls for people to rally in support of soldier. “We demand that the British Government must enact protective legislation, whilst they are engaged in the Defence of our Country and its People. This must cover Past, Present & Future deployments. We also demand that the British Government rescind the findings of the discredited Saville Inquiry, and the apologies made by Politicians, which were not made in our name.”
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UN 194

Tonight’s second round of performances in the Eurovision Song Contest sees the Irish entry take the stage. (The UK’s song has a bye into Friday night’s finals.) The competition is taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, which has prompted the BDS movement to urge a boycott of the event. Among those lodging a protest are Gael Force Art, who took to Sliabh Dubh last weekend with a large Palestinian flag. Article 11 of UN Declaration 194 asserts that refugees displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war should be able to return home.
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Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall

James Connolly was executed on May 12th, 1916. Both the (freshly painted) Connolly plaque shown above and the Martin Meehan mural on the adjacent wall paint the struggle of the republican prisoners and the Provisionals of the ‘Troubles’ as descendants of 1916’s Easter Rising. Several name-plaques have been added to (what is now officially titled) the ‘Republican Prisoners Memorial Wall’ compared to the number seen in September.
For close-ups of the door and sculptured rocks, see Father Time.
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11 Innocent Civilians

The inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre – the killings of 11 people from August 9th to 11th, continues, with testimony this past week from former Paratrooper Henry Gow (Irish News | BBC-NI). The image above shows Hugh Mullan being shot from Springmartin while going to the aid of a neigbour, Bobby Clarke; he is waving a white Babygro (BallymurphyMassacre.com). The Paratrooper is distinguished by his red beret.
The mural was originally painted by Risteard Ó Murchú in 2008 and displayed first on the Whiterock Road then around the corner on the Springfield Road; the location of the repainted board is at the Glenalina Road entrance to the area, in the spot of the former 1916 GPO mural (which had lasted seventeen years before being whitewashed in 2017).
“This plaque is dedicated to the 11 innocent civilians murdered by members of the British Parachute regiment in August 1971. Fr Hugh Mullan, Frank Quinn, Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly,
Danny Teggart, Joseph Murphy, Eddie Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr, Paddy McCarthy, John McKerr. Donated by the Frank McCann Cumann, Hamilton [Scotland] (Fb).”
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Nailed To The Mast

“For what died the sons of Roisín?” The Dogs of IRA D Company [second battalion, Belfast brigade] move around the corner from Northumberland Street (see Our Struggle Continues) onto the International Wall and encroaches onto the mural of native son and first blanket man, Kieran Nugent: Nugent is reported to have said to his mother, “If they want me to wear a uniform they’ll have to nail it to my back.”
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If You Listen Very Carefully, You Can Hear Her Breathe

Show Some Love is a campaign by non-profit Another World Belfast (web | Fb | ig) to collect toiletries and underwear for ‘Love Packs’. The organisation takes its name and inspiration from the last line of Arundhati Roy’s Confronting Empire (which was subsequently expanded into An Ordinary Person’s Guide To Empire (p. 86)): “Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.” (The last line actually appears to be “On a quiet day, you can hear her breathing.”) For her spring 2019 Hit The North piece artist Emmanlene Blake (web) portrayed author and journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot in the head in Creggan (by a gunman from the New IRA) on April 18th while observing a riot from behind police lines. She was taken to Altnagelvin hospital but later died. At her funeral in Belfast, Father Martin Magill was inspired to ask why her death was required in order to make politicians work together. He received a standing ovation (BBC-NI).
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They Said We’d Never Last

Ronnie’s hardware shop in east Belfast, vacant for many years and the site of Our Brave Defenders, was finally torn down last year and a pocket park created with murals commemorating east Belfast volunteers who died in the Great War and the UVF Regimental Band (tw), this year celebrating its 50 anniversary (video of the launch).
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Putting The Unity Into Community

By the end of today counting in the local council elections should be completed. Candidates in Belfast are vying for one of 60 seats on the city council, including former TUV but now independent candidate Jolene Bunting in the Court district. Will voters identify with her message of conservative values and feelings of persecution? This is the second selection of Bunting’s posters – see previously Not Politically Correct. (For ‘Soldier F’ see Stop The Witch-Hunt; for ‘IRA terrorists’ on the council, see Vote All Unionist.)
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Vote All Unionist

Polls close tonight at 10 pm in voting for the 11 local councils. According to this poster, Sinn Féin are “led by murderers” and are attempting to ‘rewrite history’, a case in point being North Belfast councillor JJ Magee’s (tw) refusal to call PIRA murders “criminal” – in the background is an image of the bombing of Frizzell’s fish shop on the Shankill Road, in which nine people died, plus one of the bombers. Register now to “take back city hall”!
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The Tears Of A Clown

Arlene Foster as a cross-eyed clown. Contemporary commentary on the current impasse in Brexit negotiations and the local executive (and perhaps the funeral of Lyra McKee) from TLO (web | previously on ExtrAct).
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