Community Policing

“The face of community policing?? Not in our name. Reject all forms of British political policing in Ireland.” The 32 County Sovereignty Movement lost its Facebook page this month, but its poster campaign against harassment and imprisonment of members continues.

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Free Kashmir

Kashmir has remained a disputed territory since the partition of India in 1947. It remains under Indian administration, despite different groups rebelling since 1987, some seeking union with Pakistan and others an independent Kashmir. Indian forces have been accused of human rights abuses against Kashmiris. For the mural on the right, see This Is Our Republic.

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Death Dealers

“Say no to death dealers”. Saoradh sticker on Divis Street, west Belfast, against

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Gegen Rechts

St Pauli is a Hamberg soccer club with a wide following due to the “gegen Rechts” [against the right] philosophy of its fans. Supporters clubs can be found in places as far-flung as Belfast, Liverpool, Bilbao, Stockholm, San Francisco, and (naturally!) St Paul (Minnesota, USA). This sticker was in a Cultúrlann bathroom in west Belfast. See also: FC Sankt Pauli sticker in 2010.

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Political Status

Republican Sinn Féin and Provisional Sinn Féin were formed in 1986, when Sinn Féin split over the issue of taking Dáil seats. They reject the Belfast Agreement and support the use of force; the poster above calls for political status for prisoners, the same issue that led to the blanket protest and hunger strikes. (Their web site is in fact republicansinnfein.org; they are also on Twitter.)

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Same Aim

Lasair Dhearg (Fb | tw | web) next week (Thursday 30th) will have three speakers on the theme of Political Policing & Oppressive Legislation, starting at 7 in Conway Mill. The poster above (with Red Section) is on Divis Street, west Belfast. “RUC – PSNI: Different name, same aim”.

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Spud U Dislike

“Vote Dodds [Nigel Dodds of the DUP] – Vote Mr. Potato Head – Spud U dislike”. Poster on the Antrim Road from the recent electoral campaign. Dodds lost his Belfast North seat to Sinn Féin’s John Finucane. Jacket potato restaurant Spudulike closed all of its stores in August 2019 (Guardian) but opened again under new ownership in eight locations in October (iNews).

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Dumbest Ulster Prods

“Vote Dumbest Ulster Prods – Red Sky, RHI, Brexit & IRIS.” Red Sky was a maintenance company that, due to complaints from residents about shoddy work, caused a dispute between the DUP and the NIHE (WP). The RHI [Renewable Heat Initiative] was a scheme, overseen by the DUP’s Arlene Foster, to encourage the burning of eco-friendly pellets but in fact allowed users to make a profit outright (WP). Iris Robinson, DUP member representing Strangford at both Westminster and Stormont, sat on the committee that awarded her 19 year-old lover the franchise over a Castlereagh Borough restaurant and secured a 50,000 pound loan for him of which she then received 5,000 pounds (WP). The poster above (ironically) encourages a vote for the DUP in the December 2019 Westminster election; the DUP lost seats in Belfast North and Belfast South, and failed to capture North Down upon the retirement of independent unionist Sylvia Hermon.

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Ireland’s Brexit Solution

“Ireland’s Brexit solution: a united Ireland, a workers republic, a socialist Europe. Spoil your ballot – write Workers Republic! www.socialistdemocracy.org” Although it’s not clear from the poster above, the desired position is for a federal (“United States of”) Europe rather than EU membership in its current form. 

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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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