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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Sydenham For Jesus

“This is a neighbourhood watch area”, says the small sign sandwiched between the UVF East Belfast battalion flag and the “Jesus is alive” placard.

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Loyalist Prisoners Of War

This UVF LPOW mural in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, probably dates back to the years after the Agreement, when the release of prisoners from both sides was being implemented between 1998 and 2000. That would make the mural about 20 years old.

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Give Sectarianism The Boot

There have been various ‘give sectarianism the boot’ campaigns over the year. This one is not an appeal to bring players from both sides together using sport but criticism of Belfast City Council’s decision to remove a portacabin from the grounds of East Belfast FC (Fb | tw) due to lack of planning permission, as well as perceived inequality in funding compared to clubs in nationalist communities (Facebook).

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Sharing Space

A trio of youth-focused pieces in the “Albertbridge Community Garden” by (presumably) Blaze FX.

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Squeak Seymour Memorial Parade

The East Belfast UVF memorial parade primarily commemorates hitman Robert ‘Squeak’ Seymour, who killed the IRA’s James Burns in his own home in 1981. He was killed by the IRA in 1988. Here is video from the 2019 parade. Seymour’s portrait is included in Ballymacarrett (see Standing Guard) and in London Road (Ulster’s Brave).

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Brexit OK

The UK –including Northern Ireland – will leave the European Union on October 31st of this year (2019), perhaps resulting  in the return of a border between Northern Ireland and Éire. The departure has support from Unionists, including this graffitist in Oakdale Street, east Belfast.

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UVF Band 50th Anniversary

The UVF Regimental Band (tw) this year celebrates its 50 anniversary with a banner in My Lady’s Road. For the 50th anniversary mural, see They Said We’d Never Last. See previously: 40th anniversary banner at the site of the mural– Belvoir Bar. The view is from Roseberry Road.
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Masked Republican Mercenaries

The Strategic Policy and Resources Committee of Belfast City Council decided on the 8th to remove two east Belfast bonfires built on council-owned land, carparks at the Avoniel leisure centre and in Ashdale Street, after staff arriving for work reported being threatened (BBC), perhaps by bonfire-builders reacting to the removal of tyres in Lismore Street (ITV) (see A Vote For The IRA). In response, builders of the Avoniel pyre removed its tyres, lowered its height, and moved it further away from buildings, but the Council affirmed its decision. A crowd of about 400 gathered to protect the site on Tuesday evening (BBC) and barricaded the site. The graffiti shown above appeared, calling contractors “masked republican mercenaries” and vowing that if they interfered they would “Attack loyalism at your own risk!!!” On Wednesday (1oth) the Council committee again affirmed its decision (Ailerain) but expressed concern over information of possible UVF involvement (Belfast Live) supplied in a letter from the PSNI (Mark Simpson).  (The mural is the background is a UDA one. See Northern Island.) The barricades were removed on Wednesday (as the image below shows). A contractor hired to remove the fire pulled out (BBC) on Wednesday evening. A “cultural celebration” was held throughout the night (BelTel).
The Ashdale Street fire was moved to a different location, near the Oval (BBC) and was set alight last night (BelTel).
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A Vote For The IRA

1,800 tyres were removed from the bonfire in Lismore Street this week by contractors in “armoured Land Rovers” (according to by Robert Girvin, East Belfast Cultural Collective, to the BBC; see this gallery of images at Belfast Live) working for Belfast City Council. PUP councillor John Kyle spoke out in favour of their removal (twitter | Belfast Live). Local residents have interpreted his comments as treasonous, with three pieces of graffiti painted in the area, one on Roseberry Road next to Young’s fish and chips (above), one on London Road (below), and at the bonfire site on Lismore Street (final image): “A vote for John Kyle is a vote for [the] IRA.” The graffiti has been criticised by unionists – PUP | DUP – though Jamie Bryson suggested that the Council was pushing unionists and the PSNI into conflict.

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