As The Stars Are Known To The Night

William McFadzean won a VC for sacrificing himself on the morning before the Battle Of The Somme (in WWI) and is commemorated in several murals. He shares a plaque here with “Vol W Miller”, who is perhaps the (modern UVF) volunteer Billy Miller from Donegall Pass who was killed in an RUC ambush in 1983 (Long Kesh I/O). The two names on the newer plaque are unknown on-line, perhaps having survived the Troubles and recently deceased.

The title of today’s post comes from the Laurence Binyon poem For The Fallen.

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In Bloom

Work by emic (web | tw | ig) at the Vault Artists’ Studios (web | tw) (previously the Met College) in east Belfast.

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Everything Is Going To Be OK

Sylvester’s (Fb | tw) on the Antrim Road at the Waterworks had its shutters painted with a positive message during the Coronavirus epidemic. “Stay safe”.

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Not All Heroes Wear Capes

“Go raibh maith agaibh/Thank you – Ardoyne + The Bone applaud NHS and all essential keyworkers”, “Stay home, stay safe”. The keyworkers (including shop servers and hospital janitors) all wear masks and gloves. 

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Speak Friend And Open

A gate was installed in the Alexandra Park “peace” line in 2011 (see this image from that year) which is opened daily to allow pedestrian traffic between Mountcollyer and Newington. During the pandemic, however, the gate has been closed for weeks and there is confusion over the reason  – originally it was said to be due to staffing issues but anti-social behaviour has also been mentioned (Irish News).

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Making A Difference

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” The saying is said to be an African proverb, used by the current (14th) Dalai Lama. The mural is by Danni Simpson (web | ig) at the Chester.

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Thank You NHS

Link 47 (in the Crescent Link Retail Park, London-/Derry) is currently only doing take-out and delivery but the mural on its side wall supports the NHS workers who have been going to work daily during the coronavirus pandemic. The mural is by UV Arts (web | tw), who also did Someone To Watch Over Me in Creggan.

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Resolve

“Support. Future. Community. Justice.” Resolve NI (Fb) is a community-based restorative justice group, based in east Belfast, focused on non-violent resolution and restoring community relationships (their offices were featured previously). The mural is by Blaze FX (web | Fb) in Lord Street (at Beersbridge Rd), with sponsorship from Greenaway Auto Electrics (Fb).

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You Cannot Put A Knee Upon The Neck Of An Idea

“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.

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 divis street marty lyons mickey doherty sponsored by Féile an Phobail Fáilte Feirste

Build Communities

Time to get digging! The FGB (Francois Got Buffed | web | tw | previously on Extramural) sig is behind the clump of weeds. “Build communities” is part of FGB’s support for the campaign to Save The Cathedral Quarter.

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