Andrew Cairns

Andrew Cairns of the UVF was chased and beaten by about a dozen people before being killed by a single shot to the head (BBC). The killing took place next to the burning Boyne Square bonfire and the memorial (shown below) is on the other side of the bonfire site. Sutton attributes the killing to the UDA (Sutton); the Sunday Mirror reported that the killer was rejected by the UDA and was a member of the LVF (Free Library); see also BelTel | Guardian. One of the accused (Irish Times) was later UDA South East Antrim chief (BelTel).

Cairns was included in an old UVF mural, also in Wellington Green.

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IRA Army Council Demands

“The Parachute Regiment betrayed by the government to satisfy IRA Army Council demands.” The charges of murder and attempted murder against Soldier F were originally lodged (CNN) and pursued in 2019 (Guardian) but in 2021 the PPS decided to drop the charges . Five months ago that decision was quashed (BelTel | Guardian). The charges against Soldier F concerned two specific victims, William McKinney and James Wray, though witness testimony involves F in at least four of the deaths (Irish Central | Village). In response to the original charges, the Movilla UDA added the framed tarp shown here to their ‘hooded gunmen’ board in Georges Street, Newtownards.

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We Will Never Stop

A rally is planned for 1 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday 13th) at Belfast City Hall in support of the family of Noah Donohoe and in protest at a request by the police to use PII (Public Interest Immunity) certificates to redact portions of three police files. (The primary source is a paywalled article in the Sunday Independent, which both the Irish News and Belfast Telegraph reported on.) Visual reminders of the case are all over the city and many have been featured on this site previously. Today’s post collects those not previously featured. In order, they are from Beechmount; University St; Duncairn Gardens (replacing the board seen in Between The Lines); Rossville St, Derry; the Markets.

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Families Beyond Conflict

PUL areas all over Belfast have their own version of this tarp celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee; the one shown today is in the upper Shankill: “Tennent Street would like to thank her majesty Queen Elizabeth II on devoting 70 years of service to our great nation. God save the Queen.”

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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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A Tale Of Two Protests

While 17,000 people in red t-shirts – many of them young (see image below) – were marching for an Irish Language Act (Acht Gaeilge) (BBC | Belfast Live | BelTel | youtube video | organised by An Dream Dearg tw), a dozen grey-hairs were outside city hall protesting the 2022 meeting of the World Economic Forum (which ends tomorrow in Davos). Among the … hypotheses … presented: “Zi great rezet needs war” (a German-ised – and thus more sinister – version of The Great Reset (WEF video); “Pfizer knew their vaccine would kill” (a headline from The Light newspaper); a cashless society will mean a social credit score; devices on the internet of things will be hooked up to a “5G monitoring system”; UBI is “Austerity”; an end to privately-owned businesses; an end to single-family homes; a global government, currency, central bank, and military; an end to all privately-owned property (more threateningly put as “You will own nothing and you will be happy” (meme) at the barrel of a gun).

Today’s post is bookended by two images of the emblem of An Dream Dearg – a white ring or fáinne on a red background – flying over the top of the ‘Rock and on Sliabh Dubh.

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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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Was This Lawful?

A 2021 command paper that proposed a statue of limitations and amnesty for so-called “legacy” killings included the claim that ‘the vast majority of security force killings were lawful’ (BelTel) and the comment has been attributed to NI Secretary Brandon Lewis (Pat Finucane Centre). (For background see e.g. this eamonnmallie.com piece.) The claim is used against him in this tarp commemorating Stephen McConomy was hit by a plastic bullet forty years ago this month, on April 16th, and died three days later: “Stephen McConomy (11) shot dead by Lanc. Corp. from Royal Anglian Regiment – April 1982. Was this ‘lawful’, Brandon Lewis?” Speaking at the memorial service, surviving family-members vowed to continue resisting the proposed limitations (Derry Journal).

There is also a plaque to McConomy in Fahan Street where he was shot (this one has since been replaced) and long ago there was a mural on Rossville Street.

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Play Spaces Should Be Safe Spaces

“Factory Residents’ Rights – How could any play park be worse than this?” The playground in the Factory area of Larne (Ferris Park) was closed in early 2021 because the surface was deemed unsafe. The local residents held a protest in April aimed at getting the attention of Mid- & East-Antrim council (Fb) and in October the council voted to build a new park some time in 2022 or 2023 if funding is available (NI World). As of mid-February, 2022, the playground is still in disrepair but – as can be seen from these images – it is being used by children.

For the murals on the long wall in the background of the second image, see Ad Vera Petenda.

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Though Absent You Are Ever Near

“Talents have been robbed by addiction, suicide, mental illness” – the shoes of the dead form part of an installation on Stewart Street, around the perimeter of the Markets. The RNU banner off to the right contains the numbers for Pieta House, PIPS, Samaritans, Teen Line, Lifeline, and Breathing Space.

“I am here – a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, partner, lover, cousin, friend, grandfather, family. Why, why, why??? Are you okay? Our love[d] ones. Every day in some small way memories of you come our way. Through [sic] absent you are ever near, still missed, still loved, and ever dear.”

“The families[‘] pain continues!! They continue to struggle in silence: each loss has had a ripple effect throughout our community! Through the travel of time the pain remains the same!!!”

“It’s OK not to be OK – mental health illness is an invisible illness – breathing space – open up when you’re feeling down”

Below the shoes: “Dream big – smile – be thoughtful – respect – caring – love – be you – support – family”

The final image is from the nearby Friendly Street: Believe in yourself – Be kind – Something inside so strong – Positive mental well-being

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