Our British Identity

“[Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.] In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. [ – Winston Churchill, 1903] Our British identity is non-negotiable! UVF East Belfast Battalion.” Hooded UVF volunteers are shown in active poses (as compared to the cradled rifles in The Erosion Of Our Identity) ready to resist any compromise in the still-unresolved tension between Brexit and the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998.
For the piece on the right, see Clonduff Youth.
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McVerry & McElvanna

IRA volunteer Mickey McVerry was killed by the British Army during a bomb attack on Keady RUC station in 1973. Peadar McElvanna was killed by the British Army on June 9, 1979, outside Keady, south Armagh. The 40th anniversary commemoration this year drew criticism from the DUP as it was on the same weekend as a ‘time for truth’ rally in Belfast (BelTel). The memorial shown here is in Victoria

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The Erosion Of Our Identity

The current Brexit deal would unite Ireland, north and south, in various economic ways, while keeping Northern Ireland inside the UK politically. This east Belfast banner suggests that the UVF will take up guns to prevent this. Perhaps by attacking Boris Johnson and the Conservatives? Or perhaps customs officials checking goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain? It is not clear. “The prevention of the erosion of our identity is now our priority – East Belfast Battalion PAF – UVF – YCV.”

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X06878 [X06879] [X06880] [X06881] X06882 Other boards read “Our British identity cannot and will not be sacrificed to appease the Irish Republic” “In war you can only be killed once. In politics, many times. Our British identity is non-negotiable.”

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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