Rojava Offensive

“In solidarity with the Kurdish fighters YPG/YPJ. Against ISIS, fundamentalism & patriarchy.” Turkey commenced its ‘Rojava Offensive’ on Tuesday (October 9th) with airstrikes along the border with northern Syria in the autonomous area of Rojava (Guardian). Its aim is to establish a “safe zone” 20 miles deep along the entire length of Kurdish-controlled Syria. Standing against them are the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), including YPG and YPJ units – Yekîneyên Parastina Jin are the Women’s Defense Units, an all-female militia from Rojava founded in 2013 (WP).

Not involved are US forces – US President Trump withdrew American forces in advance of the attack, a move decried by both Democrats and Republicans as a betrayal of Kurdish partnership in the campaign against ISIS, which took 11,00 Kurdish lives (WP). Trump added insult to injury by defending the move on the grounds that the Kurds “did not help us with Normandy” (Guardian). You would expect no less from the man who on Monday touted his own “great and unmatched wisdom” (tw).

The mural above, which reproduces a popular poster on social media, is on the International Wall.

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The Men And Women Of Violence

“Saoradh salute the men and women of violence.” Namely the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation, the women of the 1970s IRA, and modern “dissidents” with home-made weapons. Soaradh currently (mid-late 2019, in the wake of the death of Lyra McKee) no longer has a web site or Twitter feed, and the Belfast and Derry section’s Facebook pages are non-existent (other section’s pages are still up, including Tyrone, Dublin, and Munster).

On the same wall as the Larry Marley plaque.

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The Shadow Of A Gunman

Lyra McKee was killed observing a riot in Creggan, Derry, in April. The (New) IRA apologised for the consequences of the gun attack on police but did not suggest an end to violence (Guardian). The (presumably unfinished) stencil to McKee’s memory on Ardoyne Avenue (below) is now in the shadow of the “IRA” and assault rifle cut-outs (shown above) on the lamp-pole opposite.

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Weapons Of The UVF

The YCV WWI mural in Kitchener Drive has been removed and replaced with the modern weaponry above (with two small WWI boards on adjacent walls). For more on the UVF reasserting itself in the Village as it is redeveloped, see one | twothreefour | five | six.

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The Rifles Of The UDA

South East Antrim UDA, 1st battalion, mural, complete with assault rifle, next to the Youth & Community Centre at the Diamond in Rathcoole. Two men from the area were convicted in December (2018) for attempting to purchase Glock pistols from PSNI officers posing as ‘dark web’ sellers (BelTel). Fears of a feud continue (Belfast Live).
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Scotland, England, Wales

After almost fourteen years the long-standing Rising Sons Flute Band mural off Newtownards Road (at the old Bright Street) has been replaced with a mural to the (modern) YCV, the youth division of the UVF. The vine of flowers in yellow includes the shamrock, thistle, and Tudor rose (but not the daffodil of Wales, which is named along with Scotland, England, and the YCV battalions of east Belfast extending to Newtownards and Bangor) .
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Unfinished Revolution

When this mural was first painted in October, 2016 there were calls for its removal on account of the re-appearance of a hooded gunman with RPG (Irish News | BelTel), in the style of IRA murals from before the peace (e.g. most similar to this 1989 mural but see also these other examples). It was still present in November of 2018. The “unfinished revolution” is that of the 1916 Easter Rising, represented by the Easter lily.
The mural is next to Junior McDaid House – the offices of the IRPWA (web | Fb) and Saoradh (web) – in Chamberlain Street, Derry – see previously Victory To The Republican Prisoners.
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North Down West Belfast

Here are two UDA/UFF “North Down – West Belfast” boards, one in Clandeboye Road, Bangor (above) and the other in Lenamore Park, Newtownards (below). The UDA in North Down is split into two factions, one associated with the Shankill (west Belfast) UDA and the other with the East Belfast UDA. The former is based primarily in Newtownards, but not exclusively, as the board above shows. It is also remarkable for its use of hooded gunmen in “active” poses.
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Boom

Three members of the Miami Showband were killed in 1975 at a fake check-point set by members of the UVF’s Glennane Gang. The explosion during the incident did not kill the musicians (as the graffiti on the poster above in loyalist east Belfast suggests); they were shot. Rather, a bomb exploded prematurely as it was being planted on their van, killing two of the attackers – see Boyle & Somerville – prompting the shooting spree (WP) that left three of the five band-members dead.
For the mural in the background, see Please Pay Here.
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South Belfast Volunteers

The main panel (shown below) is a tribute to soldiers in the Great War (1914-1918), with a border of poppies and silhouetted soldiers reflecting over helmets on crosses. To the side, however, is the modern UVF volunteer (shown above), with balaclava and assault rifle.
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