In 1789, Olaudah Equiano published a memoir to 311 subscribers describing his early life in west Africa, his kidnapping, transport via Barbados to enslavement in Virginia, then in London, England, and then in Montserrat in the Caribbean. He bought his own freedom in 1766 and went back to England and joined the burgeoning abolitionist movement. His memoir detailing the treatment and conditions he had experienced made him famous. He toured Britain and Ireland in support of his book: “I found the people extremely hospitable, particularly in Belfast [in 1791-1792]” (BBC Sounds 17m 58s). He stayed with Samuel Neilson, a founding member of the United Irishmen (Clifton Belfast | WP | see also yesterday’s post on Belle Martin). Ten years after his death in 1797, the trans-Atlantic slave trade was abolitioned in both the UK and the States.
The mural in Joy’s Entry, by London artist Dreph, is based on a portrait painted by William Denton and engraved for the book by Daniel Orme (Dreph | National Portrait Gallery).
In his Letter From A Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr wrote, “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The marchers portrayed in the poster above carry placards supporting immigrants (“No human is illegal”), the poor (“Poverty is the worst form of violence”) and Palestine. The poster calls for participants in the annual march, which retraces the route taken on the fateful day in 1972, beginning at Creggan shops and proceeding to Free Derry Corner. Yesterday’s march concluded a week of talks and other commemorative events. Today – January 30th – is the fifty-first anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Derry.
On May 20th, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Harbour Grace in Newfoundland hoping to be the first woman to fly single-handedly across the Atlantic and make it to Paris. It didn’t go entirely to plan. Fifteen hours later, however, she landed in Robert Gallagher’s farm in Ballyarnett, forced down by bad weather and technical problems. The farmer’s wife recorded her recollections of the event, three years later (youtube).
“This work was designed and executed by Tom Agnew, Ceramic Artist, for Leafair Community Association (Fb) as part of the re-imaging communities programme funded by the Northern Ireland Arts Council – 2010.”
Here are various IRPWA (tw)/Saoradh (web)/Éistigí (Fb) statements in Derry’s Creggan and Bogside.
Above, in Iniscarn Road, “Irish republican prisoners still interned within British Gaols in Ireland”. Below that, two from Central Drive, “Support our hunger strikers in Ireland” (explained in Are You On The Side Of The 2020 Hunger Strikers?) and an aging “Disband the rebranded RUC” (seen previously in 2019).
“Britain in Palestine & Ireland” The Balfour Declaration of November 1917 is seen as a pivotal moment in the history leading to the what is formally known as the State Of Israel, as it made the UK the first major government to endorse the idea of a homeland for Jews (WP).
The poster (for a talk in Cultúrlann) is in Allworthy Avenue; the board is on Northumberland Street. The latter draws parallels between Ireland and Palestine: homelands partitioned for British imperialist interests, struggles for freedom met with British barbarism … forbidden from speaking their native tongue, faiths outlawed … . About 650 former RIC members were recruited to the “British Gendarmarie” that would police what was called “Mandatory Palestine” (Palestine Studies | Irish History) after WWI.
The League Of Nations mandate putting the UK in change of the Palestinian territory was replaced (in 1947) by a UN plan for partition, which triggered an internal war between Jews and Arabs, and when the UK ended the mandate and evacuated from Palestine in May 1948, Israel declared independence and neighbouring Arab states entered the conflict. About 700,000 Arabs were displaced during the fighting. Key48 (tw) advocates for the right of return and uses as a symbol the keys that householders took with them when they fled.
Creggan sports centre opened in October 2009 (Leisure Opportunities) and part of the architecture was to cover the brick exterior with five plain-white panels along Central Drive. These have been taken over by Saoradh/IRPWA, this year to protest the extradition, internment, and treatment of republican prisoners, commemorate the 1981 hunger strikers, support Palestine, and threaten drug dealers.
“… but we must not be defeated.” Racists graffiti was added to the Maya Angelou mural in Dundela Avenue shortly after it was painted last July (Belfast Live). The repairs got rid of the graffiti and restored the lettering but the face was not restored to its original condition. The mural has remained intact since then and the yellow background provides an ideal surface for the Ukrainian flag and words of support: “We stand with you, Ukraine!” and “Slava Ukraini – heroyam slava! [Glory to Ukraine – to the heroes, glory!]”
Today’s post shows a small sample of pro-Ukraine flags in PUL areas, including the Shankill (above, over the Bayardo Bombing memorial; something similar was seen in Ballycarry) and (below) the Village, and on the CNR side, a Russian and Soviet flag flying from Divis tower (final image).
Topical commentary from East Belfast graffitist Hallion: Above, “к черту Путина”, in the blue-and-yellow of Ukraine, is Russian for “To hell with Putin” (or something a bit stronger); below, “Thran rights nai” – “thran” is an Ulster-Scots word meaning “stubborn” or “contrary” (entry for thra – the related verb – at Hamely Tongue) but perhaps here standing for Ulster-Scots in general and commenting on the tortured history of what is now (as of May 2022) the ‘Identity & Language’ bill (BBC) covering Irish/Gaeilge and Ulster-Scots/Ulstèr-Scotch in Northern Ireland. “Hallion” is itself is a Scots/north England word, meaning a scoundrel or rapscallion (MW | etymonline).