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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And The Cry Was “Keine Kapitulation”

The third (and surely not the final?) season of the popular UK drama Brexit is keeping people guessing. This week, it looks like Boris might betray the ever-loyal Arlene and agree a Northern Ireland-only backstop with EU before time runs out on October 31st. In Belfast, lower Shankill residents are not amused by this potential turn of events and have invoked the classic “No surrender!” catch-phrase from 1688’s Siege Of Derry, painted on the wall between the security gates dividing Catholic and Protestant west Belfast. (Just kidding, of course; this is serious stuff. But the twists and turns are worthy of a telenovela. As Belfasters have always said, “If you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on.”)

Other recent messages below the Imagine mural: Victory To IsrealYour Wall, Your Border

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Imagine There’s No Countries

No sooner had the pro-Trump message been blackened out (Your Wall, Your Border) than this graffiti appeared below the ‘Imagine’ mural in the neutral ground between the security gates on Northumberland Street: “Victory To Isreal [Israel]” with the Star of David.
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Your Wall, Your Border

US president Donald Trump followed a three-day state visit to the UK (London and Portsmouth) with a few days in Ireland before briefly stopping in France for D-Day commemorations. In London, protesters gathered in their tens of thousands and the ‘Trump baby’ blimp flew in Parliament Square (gallery of images at CNN) before making its way to Dublin (BBC) for the second leg of the trip. The Trumps were likewise met by protesters when they landed at Shannon Airport (Irish Times) where he met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and remarked “I think it [Brexit] will all work out very well [for the UK]. And also for you, with your wall, your border. We have a border situation in the United States and you have one over here, but I hear it’s going to work out very well.”
The besieged president would have been welcome, however, in loyalist west Belfast – the Israeli Star Of David and graffiti shown above were added below the Imagine mural between the security gates on Northumberland Street: “President Trump welcome in Belfast. No surrender.”
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Shankill Brigadistas

After the Nationalist coup in 1936, the UK and US continued to recognise Spain’s Republican government but did not intervene militarily. Individuals from these counties thus participated in the conflict by joining the British and Lincoln battalions of the XV International Brigade, fighting alongside Balkans, Belgians, and Cubans at Jarama, Brunete, and the Ebro river, among other battles. For background on Belfast socialism of the period see this article by Stevie Downes.
“International Brigades – Spanish Civil War 1936 – 39. Commemorating all those who served and died with the XV International Brigade in the fight against fascism including the following Brigadistas from the Shankill area: William Beattie … Bill Henry … William Laughran … Henry McGrath … James Isaac Hillen … Joseph Lowery … Andrew Molyneaux. No pasarán. Unveiled by Tommy and Freddie McGrath, nephews of Henry McGrath, and Baroness May Blood, trade union & community activist. International Brigade Commemoration Committee. Saturday 1st February 2014.”
Previously: Plaque to (Protestant) Beattie and (Catholic) O’Neill | Belfast Socialists marching at Bodenstown (though possibly those from the Shankill were excluded) | Derry Brigadistas | a bust to the International Brigade in Writers Square, Belfast. Also: Guernica | Derry Guernica.
The plaque is in the Shankill Road Library.
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UN 194

Tonight’s second round of performances in the Eurovision Song Contest sees the Irish entry take the stage. (The UK’s song has a bye into Friday night’s finals.) The competition is taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, which has prompted the BDS movement to urge a boycott of the event. Among those lodging a protest are Gael Force Art, who took to Sliabh Dubh last weekend with a large Palestinian flag. Article 11 of UN Declaration 194 asserts that refugees displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war should be able to return home.
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Stop The Genocide Of Yemeni People

The United Nations in February called the humanitarian crisis in Yemen the worst in the world (UN) with famine and cholera affecting 18 million people (WP). According to UNICEF, a child is dying every ten minutes (UNICEF). The crisis results from the on-going civil war. Saudi Arabia (with arms, training, and intelligence support from the UK (Theresa May on the left next to Union Flag headscarf), the US (Trump on the right next to US flag headscarf), and France (French flag on the lowest missile) has conducted an air campaign to restore Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was driven from Aden in March, 2015, by Houthi forces. The Saudi intervention has been criticized for killing citizens and destroying infrastructure (WP), shown in the mural above by bombs falling on a hospital and a school. Update: UK sales were found to be illegal by the Court Of Appeal on June 20th, 2019 (BBC).
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Freedom For The Basque Country

“Freedom for t[he] Basque country! Fucking bastards from Iruña.” Iruña is the Basque name for Pamplona, capital of Navarre, the district neighbouring the Basque Country and part of the greater Basque region but which has a majority pro-Spanish government.
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Solidarity With Palestine

éistigí (Saoradh’s (tw) youth organisation) expresses solidarity with the PFLP (Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine) by adding both their emblems to a Palestinian flag.
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text: X06370 Lecky Rd

We Shall Overcome

For the refurbishment and expansion of the Museum Of Free Derry, artist Locky Morris (web | ig) created in metal a soundwave of marchers on Bloody Sunday (January 30th, 1972) singing the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome (BBC-NI). The Bloody Sunday Centre and Museum Of Free Derry originally opened in 2006.
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