What Is A Free Nation?

In the Workers’ Republic of February 12th, 1916, James Connolly posed the question “What is a free nation?” and, further, whether the Home Rule bill would make Ireland free in the requisite sense. “No” was his answer to the latter, and instead sovereignty would reclaimed, by force if necessary: “There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights; there can be no worthy Ireland whose children brook tamely such denial. If such denial has been accepted by soulless slaves of politicians then it must be repudiated by Irish men and women whose souls are still their own. … A destiny not of our fashioning has chosen this generation as the one called upon for the supreme act of self-sacrifice – to die if need be that our race might live in freedom.”

For the previous Connolly quote in this location see A Word Of Conjure With.

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United’s Big Lily

“Big Lily” is a giant (~40′ x 30′) Manchester United flag created by Whitehead man Keith Norris in 1999 as a gesture of friendship towards a fellow United fan from Belfast from the ‘other side’, Martin ‘Faceman’ Cleary. It has subsequently travelled the world – the flags shown are of Catalonia, Japan, Australia, England, the United States, Italy, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Brazil, Spain – uniting United fans and being used to raise funds for anti-racism charity Kick It Out and Unicef. The mural is situated in no-man’s land on Northumberland Street and features the Orange lily of unionism and the Easter lily of nationalism. (Carrickfergus Times | Belfast LiveSignBigLily.com)

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Hand In Hand

A small white hand within a larger black hand. Another piece from Lanark Way: You Are Not Of This World.

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Rojava Offensive

“In solidarity with the Kurdish fighters YPG/YPJ. Against ISIS, fundamentalism & patriarchy.” Turkey commenced its ‘Rojava Offensive’ on Tuesday (October 9th) with airstrikes along the border with northern Syria in the autonomous area of Rojava (Guardian). Its aim is to establish a “safe zone” 20 miles deep along the entire length of Kurdish-controlled Syria. Standing against them are the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), including YPG and YPJ units – Yekîneyên Parastina Jin are the Women’s Defense Units, an all-female militia from Rojava founded in 2013 (WP).

Not involved are US forces – US President Trump withdrew American forces in advance of the attack, a move decried by both Democrats and Republicans as a betrayal of Kurdish partnership in the campaign against ISIS, which took 11,00 Kurdish lives (WP). Trump added insult to injury by defending the move on the grounds that the Kurds “did not help us with Normandy” (Guardian). You would expect no less from the man who on Monday touted his own “great and unmatched wisdom” (tw).

The mural above, which reproduces a popular poster on social media, is on the International Wall.

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Dr. William Drennan

“Dr. William Drennan 1754-1820. Patriot & radical. Born in the manse on this site.” Drennan’s father was the minister at the First Presbyterian Church on Rosemary Street where Drennan was born in 1754. He co-founded the Society of United Irishmen in 1791 (and in 1810, Inst).

There is a mural to Drennan in New Lodge.

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The Retro Future

An outline, presumably by Leo Boyd (ig), from one of his tech heads pieces, which in this colour-scheme particularly reminds us of the Handmaid’s Tale tech head: She Is My Spy As I Am Hers.

Replaces the ‘This machine kills machines‘ posters for Hit The East 2017 in the alley off Bloomfield Avenue.

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Looking After Each Other

The former Ardoyne IRA memorial garden is now Ardoyne Youth Club’s ‘Garden Of Hope’, launched by Mayor John Finucane and actor Tim McGarry (‘Da’ from Give My Head Peace) on September 10th to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day – see second image, below.

“Be strong enough [to stand alone, smart enough] to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it” is a quote from financier Ziad Abdelnour (whose ‘strong’ promises of return on investment made him the subject of an investigation by the [US] Securities & Exchange Commission). It is used here in modified form in this anti-suicide mural encouraging Ardoyne youth (and others) to seek help for depression from Lifeline, PIPS, Samaritans, Lighthouse, Bridge Of Hope, Extern, Suicide Awareness And Support Group, .

The other quote – “I believe that the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other” – is from Fred Hollows, New Zealand-born ophthalmologist, initially famous for treating trachoma in Aborigines.

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Is This Our City?

The PPR, champions of the ‘Build Homes Now’ campaign, recently (2019-09-18) launched an updated mural on Northumberland Street (see previously 2018 | 2017 | 2016 ), demanding “safe homes for refugees” as well as the usual suggestions of sites on which to build: “Build homes on Mackies” – “investigate Hillview (which was zoned for commercial use – Belfast Live)”.

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FUTyoURES

“VaneMG” stand for VANEssa Moncayo González (web), a Colombian artist living in London, who visited for ten days in September to work with Beyond Skin in Belfast and Dungannon. She also got to paint the electricity box (shown above) at the junction of North Street and Church Street.

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You Are Not Of This World

“This world isn’t worth your soul”. Religious graffiti on Lanark Way, based on Mark 8:36.

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