Merdeka

Merdeka! Independence! West Papuans live under Indonesian rule since 1962 when United States, in the guise of the UN, “entrusted” the territory to Indonesia in exchange for a captured CIA pilot (WP). Leader-in-exile Benny Wenda is shown here against a backdrop of the flag of (independent) West Papua, the Morning Star, shown here hanging vertically.

The adjacent mural expresses solidarity with the Syrian Kurds – see Rojava Offensive.

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Barack O’Bama

Former US President Barack Obama with a Tricolour lei. Spotted in an upstairs window in Ireton Street.

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Reject Brexit

Sinn Féin is using the threat of a “hard border, job losses, food shortages” due to Brexit to encourage people to vote (at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote). The next Assembly elections are scheduled for 2022; a Westminster vote might come somewhat sooner.

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X06848 cláraigh chun vótáil anois

An Tusa An Chéad Laoch Eile?

Padraig Pearse was a schoolmaster (at St Enda’s in Dublin) and wrote about the importance of education to the character of the nation. He described the English education system in Ireland as a “murder machine“. In a pamphlet of that name he writes, “Education has not to do with the manufacture of things, but with fostering the growth of things. And the conditions we should strive to bring about in our education system are not the conditions favourable to the rapid and cheap manufacture of ready-mades, but the conditions available to the growth of living organisms – the liberty and the light and the gladness of a ploughed field under the spring sunshine.” on which the Irish above might possibly be based (though he wrote about 50 pieces on education): “Is é an tsamhail a bheirim don oideachas, ní rud a dhéanfa ar líne chóimeála i monarcha ach bláth i ngairdín a chothaíonn tú le mórchuid grá agus cúraim.” [I take as a likeness of education not something that is made on an assembly line in a factory but a flower in a garden that you nourish with great love and care.] For some background, see Pearse The Educationalist. Pearse’s likeness and philosophy of education are posted at the entrance to Coláiste Feirste.

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Close Yir Een An Remember Me

“Aye ready they stood, aye ready they fought, through conflict, blood and tears, loyal to the end, every one, the Scottish volunteers.” “Aye ready” was the motto of the 59th Scinde Rifles of the British Indian Army (and later of the Canadian Navy) but is best known from the label of Camp Coffee, in which a Highlander was served a cup of Camp by a Sikh servant (nowadays, they both have a cup of their own). In this new mural and plaque at the newly-christened “Scots Corner” (see final image), a Scottish soldier plays the pipes over a list of the “Battalion Of The Dead”, Scottish volunteers from the (modern) UVF. The list is led by William “Big Bill” Campbell, who has had a small plaque in his memory at this spot since (at least) 2014. Preacher and DUP politician George Seawright (see A Crown Of Life) is also included – he was born in Glasgow in 1951.

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The Jokers

Stephen Mulhern of ITV’s game show In For A Penny was filming in Belfast in early September (Belfast Live) and a mural to mark the occasion was attempted in Stephen Street – perhaps sarcastically, as he is named “Steve Mulhon” which sounds like “mo thóin” [my arse] (not to mention the “What a massive cock” graffiti). In any case, the mural has quickly been replaced by a work by Visual Waste (tw | ig) who did the Joker and Derkz (tw | ig) from Windsor, Ontario, who did Cat Woman.

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Thoughts Awe Hame

This contemplative WWI soldier is the mural part of a new memorial commemorating fallen UVF volunteers from Scotland. On the shutters of the Pizza Cabin on the Shankill.

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Parkside

The new homes in Parkside Gardens were completed in March 2018 (in the same style as the award-winning houses in Parkend), but the security fencing separating Newington from Mountcollyer remain. The “park” in question is Alexandra Park, believed to be Europe’s only park with a “peace” line running through it (BBC) – see previous posts from 2011 and 2013.

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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 have to be 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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X06833 Marty Lyons Global flag of friendship. United’s Big Lily. Manchester United FC, Stretford end on tour