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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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.”

We Await In The Shadows

Ten years after ending its armed campaign, the Red Hand Commando in 2017 applied to be de-proscribed, on the basis that it had given up its arms in 2009 and transformed itself into an ‘old comrades association’ (see the emblem in the bottom left of the wide shot) (BBC | NewsLetter). According to this mural, however, B company is ready to reform in response to those who “play with peace”, fifty years later (or so – the mural claims the group was founded in 1970; other sources give 1972 (WP cites Peter Taylor).

“50 years has passed/We were forced to don our masks/Don’t play with peace/Or attack our land/We await in the shadows/B Coy Red Hand”

Replaces the ‘99.9% need not apply‘ RHC mural.

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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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Past, Present, For All Time

The North Antrim/Londonderry UDA has existed in the “Past, present, for all time”, or at least from 1972 to 2016 (and into 2019). “The blood our comrades shed shall not have been in vain. We honour Ulster’s dead and staunch we will remain.” The same quotation was used in Cloughfern. Carnany estate, Ballymoney.
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Ulster’s Present Defenders

This is the matching pair to Ulster’s Past Defenders from last week, which featured the B Specials and UDR. Ulster’s Present Defenders are the “undefeated” (“invicta”) UFF, who are shown here taking a sledgehammer to someone’s front door. The quotation on the rights is a modified version of the Declaration of Arbroath: “For as long as one hundred of us remain alive we shall never in anyway consent to submit to the Irish. For it’s not for glory, honour or riches we fight but for freedom alone which no man loses but with his life.” The gunman in the lower right is famous from a mural (M02474) – now gone – in the lower Shankill. Carnany estate, Ballymoney.
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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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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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