When it was launched in September 2018 (Irish Times), the Irish Freedom Party (web | tw) found some support in at least one north Belfast stencilist. But murals and graffiti that don’t meet with universal approval draw public replies: “Irexit … is a shite ideology perpetuated by fascists. My 32 counties doesn’t do racism. No pasaran!”
Lady Shani is a masked Mexican wrestler, fighting for AAA (“triple-A”) promoters, and two-time Reina De Reinas in 2017 and 2018. In August 2018, she defeated long-time rival Faby Apache, who had to shave off her hair as a forfeit. Some lucha libre bouts have continued (without live audiences) during the coronavirus epidemic – here is Lady Shani fighting La Hiedra – but many fighters (according to the LA Times) are struggling to get by.
“Tu dieta no es solo lo que te comes…. Es lo que ves, lo que escuchas, lo que lees, la gente con la que te rodeas y las cosas con las que alimentas tu mente y tu alma. Ten mucho cuidado con las cosas que le das a tu cuerpo, emocional, espiritual y fisicamente”
[Your diet is not just what you eat … It’s what you see, what you hear, what you read, the people you surround yourself with and the things with which you feed your mind and your soul. Be very careful with the things you give your body, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.]
Previously on Extramural: Free For All – lucha libre on the Lisburn Road.
International Peace Day, 2020, falls on the same date as it did in 2011, namely September 21st. To celebrate the event, the Imagine mural from 2011 between the security gates has been extended in three directions. The new panels (printed by Alexander Boyd Displays (web) on aluminium) now take up the whole space between the gates, blocking out, on the left, Mark Ervine’s Global Commodity, on the right, (Manchester) United’s Big Lily, and below, a space used recently by Shankill graffitists to support Donald Trump and Israel and to attack the EU. Since the new panels are the usual whitewashing of history in favor of landmark buildings and people in black-and-white (i.e. before the Troubles), this is arguably a net loss.
The outline of parents and daughter running is used in the United States along highways near the US-Mexico border. The image was used in Belfast in 2015 in connection with refugees from Africa (see Qaxootiga Soo Dhaweyn) and now appears in Abbey Lane, Armagh. A family of Syrian immigrants last year had graffiti painted on their home in Alexander Avenue (Irish Post).
“Black lives matter”, a campaign against police brutality originating in the US, beneath a 32CSM (web | tw) tarp “Oppose British political policing”. The stencil is sponsored by People Before Profit (web | tw). Divis Street, Belfast.
100+ politicians, academics, and signed a letter calling for the release of some ETA prisoners during the coronavirus epidemic. This is only the first of the five demands (recalling the Blanket protest here) in this 32CSM poster from King Street, Belfast: “Support Basque political prisoners! Support the 5 demands! 1. The freeing of vulnerable prisoners and those who are coming to the end of their sentences. 2. To receive family visits. 3. Access to materials to avoid being infected (gloves, sanitisers, etc.). 4. Carrying out of Covid-19 tests on prisoners and jailers. 5. In the event of the death of family member, the possibility of a prisoner going to the funeral home to pay their last respects. Stop the torture!”
“Please, I can’t breathe. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. They’re going to kill me.” These were among the last words of George Floyd, killed on May 25th after Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. The killing has drawn universal condemnation. All four officer were fired immediately and Chauvin was soon charged with third-degree murder, (to which second-degree murder was later added.) The other three officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
“Black lives matter.” “Fight racism.” Every day since the killing protests have taken place in cities all across the United States and the world demonstrating against police brutality and racism (here is a collection of images from Saturday June 6th, 2020) Murals painted around the world, including the one above on the so-called “International Wall” on Divis Street (here is a Guardian gallery of George Floyd murals which describes the incomplete Belfast mural in rapturous terms).
As the in-progress shots show (below), Chauvin was originally painted with sunglasses on his head but these have been replaced by a MAGA cap. Two members of the Ku Klux Klan appear in the top right. Three officers with shaved heads and Minneapolis PD (“City of lakes”) badges are shown on the left in the poses of the three monkeys Mizaru, Kikazaru, and Iwazaru who hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
The title of today’s post is derived from a line in Seán O’Casey’s The Story Of Thomas Ashe (1917, under the name “Seán Ó Cathasaigh”; also later published as The Sacrifice Of Thomas Ashe): “You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea; you cannot put an idea up against a barrack-square wall and riddle it with bullets; you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell that your slaves could ever build.” Sometimes erroneously attributed to Bobby Sands, as in this 1981 mural.
Civil war continues in Yemen with 111 soldiers killed, allegedly by Houthi rebels, in a missile attack on a military mosque on January 18th (BBC). The country remains the country with the most humanitarian need: according to the UN, 24 million people, 80% of the population, are in need. The mural on west Belfast’s International Wall from April 2019 has been completed with the flags of Spain, Canada, and China being added to those of the US, UK, and France on the missiles raining down (now in two ranks) on civilians, blood dripping from cash-filled Saudi hands, and a UNICEF statistic included in our original post: “1 child dies every 10 minutes as a result of the war in Yemen”
Kashmir has remained a disputed territory since the partition of India in 1947. It remains under Indian administration, despite different groups rebelling since 1987, some seeking union with Pakistan and others an independent Kashmir. Indian forces have been accused of human rights abuses against Kashmiris. For the mural on the right, see This Is Our Republic.
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.