The Endless Ways In Which We Rob Ourselves Of Ourselves

The phrase “your silence will not protect you” comes from the essay “The Transformation Of Silence Into Language And Action” (pdf), in which US feminist and civil rights activist Audrey Lorde describes the damage to the self wrought by silence in response to fear and encourages us to find a perspective on fear that gives us strength: “I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior.”

A week of speaking out from the Museum Of Free Derry/bloodysunday50.com and ArtsEverywhere begins today (June 13th) at 6 p.m. with the launch of an art exhibition entitled ‘From Bloody Sunday To Brexit’.

A graffitist at Amelia’s on Foyle Road has also found their voice: “50 years, no justice”, as the wrangling over the prosecution of Soldier F (and others) continues (Guardian).

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Men Are From Earth, Women Are From Earth

A draft of the up-coming decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn ‘Roe v. Wade’ was leaked by Politico magazine on Monday but this ‘Venus’ symbol for ‘female’ on Sliabh Dubh is a response to a decree by powers closer to home, namely the assertion by a west Belfast priest that Catholics should restrict themselves to Aontú or the DUP when choosing whom to vote for, because their platforms forbid abortion (Belfast Media | Sunday World).

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” is attributed to comedian George Carlin.

Previous uses of the ‘venus’ symbol: Abortion Rights Now | We Too Are Strong | Lenadoon Women In Struggle

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Women’s Hall And Cost Price Restaurant

Eight-time hunger-striker Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation Of The Suffragettes [ELFS] provided a cost-price restaurant to provide meals to the poor in the “Women’s Hall” at the back of the house at 400 Old Ford Road in response to the inflation in food prices at the onset of WWI (Inspiring City | East End Women’s Museum).

In the top left, with the “Votes For Women” sign, is Christabel Pankhurst, one of Sylvia’s sisters, a co-founder of the Women’s Social And Political Union – motto “Deeds, not words” – and editor of The Suffragette. (Charlotte Despard – featured previously – was also a member of the WSPU.)

(The third sister, Adela, was founder of the WSPU’s yet more radical sub-group the ‘Young Hot Bloods’ (WP). Their mother was Emmeline Pankhurst, who had founded the WSPU in 1903 (WP); she is featured in a mural on Belfast’s Donegall Road bridge – see Those Days Are Over.)

In the top right (shown in close-up in the third image), Sylvia speaks in 1912 from a small platform outside the WPSU office in Bow Road, before the WSPU and ELFS split in 1914.

The mural is by Ketones6000 (ig) in 2018 on the side of the Lord Morpeth pub which was frequented by Pankhurst and the east London suffragettes (web). The pub is at 402 Old Ford Road and the mural thus overlooks the site of the women’s hall.

Copyright © 2011 Peter Moloney
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Bread For All And Roses Too

“A woman’s place is in her union! We fight for bread but we fight for roses, too. Join the IWW [Industrial Workers Of The World (web)] OneBigUnion.ie.” The titular phrase comes from a 1910 speech by American suffragist Helen Todd, who later explained that votes for women would mean “helping forward the time when life’s Bread, which is home, shelter and security, and the Roses of life, music, education, nature and books, shall be the heritage of every child that is born in the country” (American Magazine LXXII p. 611)

Rossville Street, Derry

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The Joy Of Our Hearts

The Newington tribute to Bobby Sands and the other deceased hunger strikers of the 1970s and 80s (see previously: Mol An Óige Agus Tiocfaidh Sí) has been augmented with four plaques to republicans from the area who died in the Troubles: (l-r) Martin McDonagh, Rosemary Bleakley, Colm Mulgrew, and Sean ‘Maxi’ McIvenna.

Unbeknowst to her parents (Lost Lives), Bleakley had joined Cumann Na mBan at 18 and was four days short of her nineteenth birthday when she and McDonagh were killed in a premature bomb explosion in the North Street arcade (Victor Patterson image of the blast), along with civilians Ian Gallagher and Mary Dornan (Sutton); 20 others were injured (Fortnight). Bleakley was not buried in the republican plot (in Milltown) but coincidentally in the plot adjacent to Dornan (BBC).

Bleakley was portrayed in the old New Lodge Volunteers mural.

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Charlotte Despard

Today’s images come from London but there is an Irish and a Belfast connection. Charlotte Despard was a novelist, suffragist, socialist, pacifist, vegetarian, and Sinn Féin advocate in the years around the Lock Out, the Rising, and the War Of Independence. She moved from London – where she worked to alleviate poverty among the children of the Battersea area – to Dublin after WWI and was classed as a “dangerous subversive” by the Irish Free State. The image above (which is a panel from a mural celebrating political radicals of Battersea, below) reproduces a photograph of Despard addressing the crowd at an anti-fascist/Communist rally in Trafalgar Square on June 11th, 1933 – four days before her 89th birthday. At the end of a very long of activism, she moved to Whitehead, County Antrim, where she died in 1939, and was buried in Glasnevin (WP).

A Battersea street is named after her – Charlotte Despard Avenue; the plaque is 177 Lavender Hill – the offices of the Labour Party in Battersea.

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#BreakTheBias

Crossed arms are the symbol of the #BreakTheBias campaign, which is the theme of this year’s International Women’s day (IWD) and people all around the world are striking the pose on social media to show their support (e.g. tw) including this large mural in Belfast, which has been painted off Corporation Street.

By Visual Waste (web | ig), with support from Children In Crossfire (web) (see previously Derry Lama).

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Solidarity With Palestine

The Dome Of The Rock with its golden dome and octagonal walls (WP) provides a background to Palestinian protesters in this Ard Eoin/Ardoyne board expressing solidarity with Palestine (seen previously in 2021-11). Éistigí (Fb) is the youth division of Saoradh (web), and IRPWA (tw) is its prisoner-of-war organisation.

This is a printed board but even so the artwork is in a different style to what has been previously seen, with the two female characters drawn in a cartoon/animation style. (See, e.g., End Maghaberry Torture previously in this spot, or Leave Our Kids Alone around the corner in Ardoyne Ave, or The Rising Of The Moon in Derry.)

For the current Kickham’s mural in the background: see The Heart Of Our Community.

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A Woman’s Place Is In The Revolution

2021 is the 110th anniversary of International Women’s Day (web). In 1911 it was observed on March 19th, but since 1914 it has been held annually on March 8th. Free Derry Corner (Visual History) was changed to mark the occasion. In the background Bernadette Devlin is seen “inciting a riot” during the Battle Of The Bogside – as the charges against her read; she served six months.

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You Know Full Well As I Do The Value Of Sisters’ Affections

Students Coláiste Feirste, from Bechmount, west Belfast (tw), and Ashfield Girls’ High School, from Sydenham, east Belfast (tw) were involved in the exhibition Idir Dhá Aigne in Cultúrlann in 2014 and the two schools again combined their artistic talents to produce these five collages of inspirational women: Katie Taylor and Noelle Ryan (by students from Coláiste Feirste), and the Brontë sisters, Ellen Degeneres, and Rosa Parks (by students from Ashfield Girls’).

With sponsorship from the Northern Ireland Executive and Féile An Phobail. The mural is on the shoulder of the “peace” line, where North Howard Street meets Cupar Way, between This World Isn’t Worth Your Soul and Sinn Feins Stradgey, and above A Dialogue On The Nature Of Art.

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