Token Prod

“Unionist trespassers will be prosecuted by the laws of QUB.” There are more Catholics at Northern Irish universities than Protestants. The main factors seem to be the roughly 60-40 split in the number of 17 and 18 year-olds and the fact that 34% of Protestants going from secondary school to university migrate to Britain, while only 23% of Catholics do so. The DUP said that the main reason for the latter (migration) is that the universities need to do more to attract Protestants instead of being “a home to republicanism”, a characterization the universities reject (2009 BelTel | 2011 BBC | 2016 News Letter).

The resentment persists to the present day, as can been seen from the graffiti written on the panels of the Wall On Wall installation (see Wall On Wall | Confrontier | The Green Line) on the Cupar Way “peace” line, in which the dividing lines around the world are labelled with the universities on one side and the “unionist kids”, “Protestant working class” (for whom migration is less of an option, perhaps), “token Prod”, and “Protestant manual labourers”, on the other. Deirdre Robb of Belfast Exposed expressed disappointment at the graffiti (Irish News).
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X06917 X06911 X06912 X06913 [X06914] X06915 X06916 X06918 X06919 X06920 X06921 X06922 X06923 [X06929] UCAS Magee College jordanstown mall queens

Armchair Generals

“UDA Out – ONH”. Óglaigh na hÉireann called a ceasefire in January, 2018 (BBC-NI) and largely disappeared from public consciousness. This recent graffiti, which is perhaps related to drug dealing (BelTel | BLiveBBC-NI | see previously Little Monsters), is at the top of Broadway.

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EU/PIRA

“Dublin hands off Ulster – EU/PIRA” For this Agnes Street muralist, the EU’s refusal to accept a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic make it bedfellows with the IRA.

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Spy Count

“700+ MI5 agents in Ireland.” Lasair Dhearg (twweb) and Red Section (Fb) stencils in Beechmount Avenue protesting the continued presence of British security forces on the island of Ireland. The 700 number comes from reports of additional MI5 agents in the wake of a New IRA car bomb in January (IntelNewsTimes | Irish Central).

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X06875 brits out britain out of ireland

You Are Not Of This World

“This world isn’t worth your soul”. Religious graffiti on Lanark Way, based on Mark 8:36.

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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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Wall On Wall

The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 but dividing walls all over the world still stand. Kai Wiedenhöfer’s Wall On Wall exhibition comes to Belfast later in the month (the launch is September 27th at 4 pm), placing images of dividing walls on Belfast’s own dividing wall, the Cupar Way “peace” line. Shown above is the image of the wall in Al Bayya (Baiyya) in the Al Rashid district, part of the 700 km of walls in Baghdad, Iraq (Browse Gallery), which was pasted onto the “peace” line as a trial for the forthcoming exhibition. As usual, it has been vandalised by tourists and their patronising slogans (and political statements: “Hong Kong is part of China!”). Wiedenhöfer’s image of the Occupied Territories was on Free Derry Corner in 2013 (Derry Journal) and three images of Belfast were pasted onto the Berlin Wall in 2013 (Irish Times).

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Hoods Will Be Dealt With

AAD [Action Against Drugs] circulated lists of alleged drug dealers in north and west Belfast in July (Belfast Live), and in August members brandishing a gun and a club posed beside graffiti in the New Lodge urging residents to ‘take back their community’ (BelTel); there have also been attacks on the houses of alleged anti-social elements (BelTel). However, in much of the graffiti, such as the piece above threatening “drug dealers, hoods, and house breakers”, “AAD” has been scored out, indicating community dissatisfaction with the vigilantes.

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Brexit OK

The UK –including Northern Ireland – will leave the European Union on October 31st of this year (2019), perhaps resulting  in the return of a border between Northern Ireland and Éire. The departure has support from Unionists, including this graffitist in Oakdale Street, east Belfast.

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X06565 brexit

Can The Centre Hold?

In 2017 the New Lodge anti-internment bonfire was removed by the Housing Executive based on concerns that it was too close to buildings (BBC-NI) and in 2018 community negotiations arranged for it not to be built at all, in exchange for tickets to a Féile concert (Republican News | IRSP). But the bonfire is back this year, built directly on Queens Parade, and with it the anti-social behaviour that is thought by some (e.g. Alex Maskey) to be the real reason for the bonfire. “Such is the lawlessness,” reports the Irish News (one | two), that youths minding the fire have been seen powering an Xbox from a lamppost. Also, four nights of rioting (NewsLetter | iTV). In response to the growing attention, the graffiti above (“Our wood goes, this centre goes”) has appeared on a wall of the North Belfast Family Centre, along with graffiti threatening Sinn Féin councillor JJ Magee (see image below; Magee commented on the 2016 bonfire dispute in this Slugger article) and against any contractors who might be hired to remove the materials. As of 7 p.m. last night, the bonfire was still in place. If it has not been removed (by the Department Of Infrastructure) it will be lit tonight.

For the phrasing, see previously: Our Wood Goes Your Windows Go in Longlands.
For threats against contractors, see previously: Masked Republican Mercenaries.

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X06739 X06743 X06740 [X06741] [X06742] “JJ we know your address”