All Ulster’s Soldiers

“We support all Ulster’s soldiers.” The UDA and the UDR brought under the same umbrella of “Ulster’s defenders” in Charles Drive, Ballyclare. The UDR was established in 1970 to relieve the RUC and B Specials of military operations and was disbanded in 1992, in part because it was only 3% Catholic and 5-15% of members had links to loyalist paramilitaries (Irish News). 

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Better To Die On Your Feet

UDA volunteers in balaclavas stand ready to defend Erskine Park (Ballyclare) against forces from the south. “South East Antrim Brigade – “Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees in an Irish republic.” (A slogan from Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.)

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Argyle Street, Ulster

Argyle Street, Ulster, next to the locally-named Thiepval Street and Passchendaele Court.
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Token Prod

“Unionist trespassers will be prosecuted by the laws of QUB.” There are more Catholics at Northern Irish universities than Protestants. The main factors seem to be the roughly 60-40 split in the number of 17 and 18 year-olds and the fact that 34% of Protestants going from secondary school to university migrate to Britain, while only 23% of Catholics do so. The DUP said that the main reason for the latter (migration) is that the universities need to do more to attract Protestants instead of being “a home to republicanism”, a characterization the universities reject (2009 BelTel | 2011 BBC | 2016 News Letter).

The resentment persists to the present day, as can been seen from the graffiti written on the panels of the Wall On Wall installation (see Wall On Wall | Confrontier | The Green Line) on the Cupar Way “peace” line, in which the dividing lines around the world are labelled with the universities on one side and the “unionist kids”, “Protestant working class” (for whom migration is less of an option, perhaps), “token Prod”, and “Protestant manual labourers”, on the other. Deirdre Robb of Belfast Exposed expressed disappointment at the graffiti (Irish News).
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Still Support Brexit

The lower placard comes from left-wing party People Before Profit (web), attacking Sinn Féin for their vote on welfare reform (in 2015 when the Assembly was still functioning – BBC | Guardian). The upper placard has no fine print asserting its provenance, and PBP has alleged that such placards were put up by Sinn Féin (Irish News). “People Before Profit . .. still supports Brexit”. See previously: Hard Border.
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No Shame

“S[inn] F[éin] IRA – No Shame” in reference to Shankill bomber Sean Kelly (on the right) campaigning for SF Belfast North candidate John Finucane (on the left) on Lanark Way and Cupar Way. See Steeped In Blood for more. Voters go to the polls on Thursday (December 12th).
With “patronising slogans” by tourists from around the world: “Peace for everyone”, “Stop the walls”, “Can’t you all just get along?”, “Share love – help one another”, and “Impeach Trump”.
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The Green Line

When the negotiators for Israel sat down with counterparts from each of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt after the Arab-Israeli war to draw the ceasefire lines between their countries, they did so in a green ink, after which it got the name “the green line”.
The line ran through the town of Baqa and in 2004 (and still part of the border between the West Bank and Israel) Israel built a wall dividing the community. The image above (from Kai Wiedenhöfer’s Confrontier collection of dividing walls and pasted onto Belfast’s own ‘green line’ in Cupar Way) shows a Palestinian back garden butting up against the wall, with a Banksy-style ‘hole-in-the-wall’ view of the other side providing an alternative.
For more images of the Wiedenhöfer exhibit on the “peace” line, see Confrontier and Wall On Wall. This piece is in the spot where Kevin Killen’s ‘Face’ was.
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Sinn Féin IRA’s Golden Boy

We are now a week away from Westminster elections (December 12th). John Finucane is standing for Sinn Féin in Belfast North but this banner is at the top of the Shankill, intended to stir up animosity towards Sinn Féin, and support for DUP candidates, in all constituencies.

The same banner was hung in Tigers’ Bay, York Street, Antrim, and Ballymena, though the Tigers’ Bay one was removed because it was on council property (News Letter).

The banner presents a gallery of Finucane’s relatives John Snr, Dermot, Seamus, and Pat: “The real Finucane family  – human rights abusers – steeped in the blood of our innocents.” The (former) IRA involvement of the three uncles is well documented. Controversially, Sean O’Callaghan (in the Daily Telegraph) alleged that father Pat Finucane was in the IRA, contrary to the findings of the de Silva report into collusion: “Pat Finucane was first and foremost an IRA volunteer, and he exploited his position [as a solicitor with access to prisoners] ruthlessly to wage his war on the state.” The source of the claim that Finucane is the chosen candidate of the PIRA Army Council is unknown. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called the banners “dangerous” (RN). The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Shankill banner was ordered by an alleged planner of Pat Finucane’s assassination, Jim Spence of the UDA (BelTel).

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Our Ship Yard

Harland & Wolff shipyard workers occupied the premises for nine weeks this (2019) summer in response to news that a sale by owners Dolphin Drilling was falling through. The unions called for the yard to re-nationalised, as it was from 1970 to 1989 before being sold into private hands (BBC). The UK government declined to intervene. Ultimately, the yard was sold for 6 million pounds to InfraStrata, an energy company based in London. The deal included continued employment for the remaining 79 employees (BBC). The poster above is in the window of McDowell’s chemists on the Newtownards Road. 
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No Fouling

Neither the Greens and Sinn Féin are contesting the Belfast South seat, leaving a clear path for the SDLP’s Claire Hanna to make up the 2,00o-vote margin of the DUP’s Emma Little-Pengelly, which she seems likely to do in a constituency that voted 68-32 for ‘remain’ (BBC). Unlike in Belfast North (see Steeped In Blood | The Anti-Brexit Candidate), the UUP is fielding a candidate (Michael Henderson) which, along with the Alliance party, provides an option for liberal unionists. Henderson is against the current proposal for an Irish Sea economic border. The banner shown above refers to campaigning in North Belfast by Shankill bomber Sean Kelly (WP).
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