The Crawler

Adolphe Smith accompanied John Thomson as he travelled around Victorian London in the 1870s, interviewing the subjects in order to provide background for Thomson’s photographs, their combined efforts published as  Street Life In London (pdf from LSE). The entry accompanying this image (in unmodified form) is entitled “The Crawlers“; Smith describes them as “old women reduced by vice and poverty to that degree of wretchedness which destroys even the energy to beg”. The DUP’s Ian Paisley Jr. was recently seen in the House Of Commons apologising for failing to disclose two all-expenses-paid holidays for him and his family to Sri Lanka (Irish Times). His colleagues suspended him for 30 days and withdrew his salary for a month for this failure and for acting as a paid advocate for Sri Lanka’s human rights record (Colombo Telegraph). If 7,543 of his constituents sign a recall petition, he will face re-election. The election poster combining the two is (presumably) by TLO.
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Loyalist Ballymacash

Ballymacash estate, now part of Lisburn, was once a village around the location of Drayne’s Farm, with a school at the junction of Glenavy, Brokerstown, Ballymacash, and Nettlehill roads. Lisburn.com has a history of the area. Today it is famous for its enormous 11th night bonfire (see Ballymacash Bonfire (also Skull & Crossbones | Death & Life).
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So They Go To Meet The Death

“The hunger in the ghetto is terrible. Nothing can be bought. … Because of hunger and suffering people go to the Umschlagplatz by themselves. The Judenrat hang posters saying that “volunteers” will be given 3 kg of bread and 1 kg of marmalade. There are some who think it better to die by the bullet than from starvation. So they go to meet the death.”
These crumpled paper figures show Jews being rounded up and the cards bear descriptions of conditions in the ghetto. “What has happened to us, people[?] I watch a policeman dragging a young man as if he were an ox led to slaughter. For a butcher this is a way of making money … But this one fights against his own destruction and you, a Jewish policeman fight to subdue him and drag him toward death – you are a common murderer!”
Bogusław Lustyk (web) is a Polish artist specialising in paintings of horses. This “crush art” piece about the Judenrat and Jewish Police in the Warsaw Ghetto is something of a departure in both theme and medium. Crush art “is a language of expression whose essence is destruction”. Nowy Swiat, Warsaw. (Previously from Warsaw: The People’s Guard | Solidarity?)
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Bad Road Transport

“Sub-standard BRT discriminates against residents, traders, the disabled and their carers.” The new Belfast Rapid Transport has begun testing (BelfastLiveBelTel) in preparation for the official launch on September 3rd, with routes from the city centre to east and west Belfast and a “Citi” loop. To facilitate the new “Gliders”, a lane of traffic is being dedicated to the service from 7 am to 7 pm (also open to other public transport, cyclists, and taxis). Some are worried about traffic congestion (Talking Retail) and one business in west Belfast has closed because of the loss of street parking (Irish News). Another concern is that the new transport hub is not integrated with BRT – its stops for the West and East routes will be 380 and 500 meters away (BelTel).
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text: X06020 Falls Road

Ulster First Flute

This vintage piece is next to Linfield Gardens, off Sandy Row. (For the mural all the way back in 1997, see M01330.) Ulster First Flute (Fb) shares the emblem of the other UFF – the Ulster Freedom Fighters – a red first (with or without the drops of blood). See also: Gareth ‘Big Henry’ Morrison on Loyalist Avenue.
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Solidarity?

Polish trade union Solidarity was formed in August 1981 and the youth section (Solidarność Młodych) in December. June 4th, After years of protests and strikes, 1989 saw elections in which Solidarity was allowed to stand in 35% (= 161) of the seats in the Sejm (lower house) and in all 100 seats of the recreated Senate. It won every seat – except for a single Senate seat, which was won by an independent – leading to the collapse of the Communist government (WP). “Wybraliśmy wolność” – “We chose freedom” – is a celebration this year (2018) including an exhibition of photos from 1989 by Krzysztof Miller. In the years that followed, Solidarity lost its role as a political party and became a standard trade union. At Warsaw Centrum (metro station), ticket kiosks block the historical mural.
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The Blind Eye Sees All!

A poetic allusion to the blind prophet Tiresias (from Oedipus Rex) or to security cameras? This graffiti is in the tunnel under the (recently repainted) Harkness Parade shipyard workers.
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The Keys To Freedom

Here is a vintage mural still hanging on in St James’s in west Belfast. It was painted in 1995 (by Andrea Redmond?) and dates back to the peace process and the “Green Ribbon” campaign to secure the release of political prisoners: the dove carries the keys to set them free. The graffiti on the keys, however, reads “IRA” and “FTQ” (“Eff the Queen”), and in the upper wing, “UTP” (“Up the Provos”).
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They Sleep Beyond Ulster’s Foam

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again/They sit no more at familiar tables of home/They have no lot in our labour of the day-time/They sleep beyond Ulster’s [originally, England’s] foam.” New boards with verses from Laurence Binyon’s For The Fallen and a new poppy gate have been added to the WWI memorial garden in Mount Vernon (see the wide shot, below). Three details of the metalworks are also included, showing scenes from the conflict and a map of the area around Messines (photoshopped in red).
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The People’s Guard

Gwardia Ludowa (the People’s Guard) was an underground communist force formed in 1942 to resist German occupation. They made two attacks on the “Germans only” Café Club in October 24, 1942 and July 11, 1943. The attacks are commemorated here in a mosaic by Władysław Zych on the site of the former club (now a book store).

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