“Rotten And Corrupt: Christopher Little (39) entered guilty pleas to nine charges at Belfast Crown Court last month – including attempting to have sex with a child. [Irish Times] 20 officers shared racist, sexist and misogynistic messages including texts and images which mocked Arabic and Islamic people. [Spotlight programme] Six PSNI officers all had hearings for an array of alleged offences. PSNI revealed they themselves had dismissed 11 police officers amid claims of over 130 misconduct cases throughout the force. [Belfast Live]”
It’s not clear who is behind these flyers in north Belfast; the harpist on the electical box is by Kerrie Hanna (ig).
The UVF 1st East Antrim Battalion is “Still ready & willing to defend the people of Ulster against all foes” including the British government that – even as Northern Ireland marks its centenary – has “deserted” it over the NI Protocol that involves checks on goods moving between Britain and Ireland (whether north or south) but no (new) checks on goods moving between north and south (gov.uk). The “still” goes all the way back to 1912, when the British government of the day proposed (for a third time) “Home Rule” for Ireland and the Ulster Volunteers were formed – though the original “deserted” postcard and previous murals show the date as 1914.
These are new IRSP (web) boards along the Falls Road, opposite the leisure centre and below the IRA memorial garden, highlighting two of the organisation’s most pressing concerns: the PSNI and housing.
“The deadly web of corruption: Funding Scams, Sectarianism, MI5 Special Branch, Internment by Remand, Diplock Non-Jury Courts, Political Policing, Public Interest Immunity Certificates, Collusion/Coverups”,” “Defund – disarm – disband”
“Drop the rents – west Belfast demands affordable housing and an end to landlord exploitation.”
“96% of Divis residents do no support the PSNI” was seen previously – see For A Socialist Republic – and “Divis ’81” replaces the 40th anniversary hunger strike board.
Irish-language rap group Kneecap (web) played in Falls Park on Friday night, sharing the stage with Imelda May and Damien Dempsey in a concert that Féile entitled “Irish Voices“, but before that they revealed a mural in Hawthorn Street showing a PSNI land-rover on fire next to the phrase “Níl fáilte roimh an RUC [The RUC is not welcome]”. Outraged responses to the mural have come from all quarters. The line comes from their song C.E.A.R.T.A. (youtube), about making sure the police don’t find the satirically enormous array of drugs – “cóc, speed, Es, agus moll marijuana” to name only a few – they hope to take at a party: “Seans ar bith go bhfaighidh siad mo mhála MD/Mar tá cóisir ann anocht ‘s níl fáilte roimh an RUC”. The Kneecap party and the middle Falls are the latest in a long line of places where the PSNI is not welcome, not just Ardoyne, Divis, and the Bogside (Derry) but also the Village, the Shankill, Carrickfergus, Millbrook (Larne), the Caw (Londonderry), and Tullyally (Londonderry).
These INLA pieces – including armed volunteers among a graveyard of Celtic crosses – are in Meenan Square/Durrow Park in Derry’s Bogside, next to the bonfire site. The “serious trouble” board on the electrical pole (“RUC, Council, Sinn Féin – if this wood is removed there will be serious trouble”) is not from this year and there was not much happening yet in terms of collection for this year’s so-called “Assumption” bonfire when these images were taken last week. For more information, and images of last year’s controversial bonfire, see Fire In The Sky.
Here is a selection of anti-Protocol placards from the Caw, Londonderry and Newbuildings. Above: a PSNI officer with a Sinn Féin badge – “PSNI – destroying the loyalist community since 4th Nov. 2001. In the pocket of Sinn Féin.” (November 4th, 2001 is the date the PSNI was created.) For the farmer’s wife protecting the farm, see Deserted, well I can stand alone. Below: “Newbuildings says No to Irish Sea border”, “Loyalist Newbuildings will never accept a border in the Irish Sea”, “The Belfast Agreement has been broken – the deal’s off”, and “Our forefathers fought for our freedom and rights/No border in the sea or we continue the fight”.
The Lasair Dhearg board takes the “poster officer” from the 2021 recruitment campaign and puts them against a backdrop of riot officers firing plastic bullets. “17 people have been killed by plastic bullets, including 8 children.” “It is believed that the PSNI retain a stockpile of over 50,000 deadly plastic bullets.” The British state does not use plastic bullets anywhere but occupied Ireland.” “The PSNI is not a normal police force.” Here is the 2021 Amnesty report on the use of water cannon and “Attenuating Energy Projectiles” in the north. In November, relatives of Carol Ann Kelly went to Stormont to call for an end to the use of plastic bullets (BelTel).
“Belfast Pogroms 1920-1922.” Against the backdrop of the first Dáil, the War Of Independence, and the debate in Westminster over the fourth Home Rule bill (it would be passed in November 1920), northern Protestants began to assert their de facto independence from the rest of Ireland – both in economic and in military terms.
On July 12th, 1920, Edward Carson spoke to a crowd in Derry and, addressing the government in Westminster, said “if you are yourself unable to protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin, and you won’t take our help; well, then, we tell you we will take the matter into our own hands.” (Treason Felony). Nine days later, the “clearings” of Catholics from Belfast shipyards and mills began, with about 5,700 Catholics and 1,850 socialists (“rotten Prods“) being expelled from Workman Clark and Harland & Wolff yards, and in total 10,000 workers from yards and mills over the next two weeks (History Ireland). In combination with the straitened economic circumstances of the time (post WWI) thousands (23,140 according to this mural, which reproduces a flyer derived from the Irish News of October 6th, 1920 – via The Irish Story’s account of the start of the “Belfast Pogrom”) were on relief.
Militarily, in October, 1920, the Ulster Special Constabulary was established (drawing on members of the Ulster Volunteers, which had been reconstituted in June 1920, and the 21,000 members of the Ulster Imperial Guards (WP)) as an alternative to the Royal Irish Constabulary in fighting actions by the IRA in Belfast, Derry, and elsewhere in the north. On March 23rd, 1922, two officers of the Specials were killed in Belfast city centre by the IRA. In reprisal, two Catholic civilians were killed in the Short Strand, and in the early hours of March 24th, a party of five men, four dressed in RIC uniforms, burst into the home of Catholic businessman Owen McMahon and shot McMahon, his six sons, and one of his employees – only two of the sons survived. District Inspector John Nixon of the RIC was suspected of leading the attack on the McMahon household – see The RIC Murder Gang and Pat And Dan Duffin. (The headlines are from the Freeman’s Journal of March 25th, 1922 – see Joe Baker’s 80-page account of the murders of summer 1922; the photograph of the McMahon corpses that is reproduced in the mural can be seen at Slugger.)
This is the first half a new mural in Ascaill Ard Na bhFeá; the “1922” part will be presented tomorrow.
“Belfast Expelled Workers – How Carsonism has disgraced Belfast – Help from all quarters of the globe for victims of sh[a]meful pogrom – Drain on Ex[p]elled Workers[‘] Relief Fund. Total number of expelled workers registered – 8,104; Applications for registrations yesterday – 500; Average number of persons receiving relief daily – 23,140.”
“Belfast Butchery – Horrif[y]ing story of massacre of McMahon family – Dying man[‘]s declaration – Murderers dressed in police uniform and spoke with Belfast accents.”