“We were painting out political statements…”

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The North Belfast News provides an example from the New Lodge area in north Belfast of what happens when “the guerillas” become “the people in power”, and are “pilloried as ‘traitors’ by their young challengers”.

From the North Belfast News

The day after the clean-up fresh graffiti was daubed on the walls in the Carlisle area of the New Lodge.

The slogans included ‘Oppose British Internment’, ‘Free Marian Price’ and ‘Support the POWs’.

“We were painting out political statements and they started shouting abuse. They started accusing of us of being touts and scumbags,” said Paul O’Neill.

“Let’s be clear, we have no objection to people voicing their political beliefs, what we do object to is small, unrepresented groups holding the whole community to ransom.”

I think he meant unrepresentative.  Although the report also notes

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said he shared the sentiments expressed in the graffiti but daubing the message on walls was not the way to express it.

Really?!  All of them?

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  • Neil

    What’s the problem?

    The slogans included:
    ‘Oppose British Internment’
    ‘Free Marian Price’
    ‘Support the POWs’.

    Which one do you think Gerry should be supporting? British internment? Yeah that worked out really well last time. Freeing Marian Price he explicitly expresses support for. Support for POWs? Again, depends who you think is a POW. Is that support the dissies? Well no. It’s support for prisoners of war. Nothing to see here.

  • vanhelsing

    Maybe Gerrys sympathy for Ms Price was driven by nostalgia for the good auld days of mutual hunger strike:).

    But unless I’m mistaken Price is a member of 32CSM which is the political wing of the ‘Real’ IRA which I’m sure [although people here may correct me] think that the Shinners are sell outs to the British Colonial Imperialist Empire:)

    So as Peter says that makes Gerrys comments quite interesting…

  • Dec

    ‘North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said he shared the sentiments expressed in the graffiti but daubing the message on walls was not the way to express it.
    Really?! All of them?’

    Alas Pete, just the one, unless of course you place a higher premium on what the journalistsaid he said ,as opposed to what he actually said:

    ‘Marian Price should be released, make no mistake about that. But that is not the issue here, the issue is that people are trying to make a positive difference to the community and for them to be threatened in front of children is reprehensible.’

  • Neil

    But unless I’m mistaken Price is a member of 32CSM which is the political wing of the ‘Real’ IRA which I’m sure [although people here may correct me] think that the Shinners are sell outs to the British Colonial Imperialist Empire:)

    Does that mean SF should support arbitrarily imprisoning people who disagree with their point of view? No. Justice should be applied equally.

    But hey, don’t worry about failed UVF pogroms or murders in the street in broad daylight, ignore that minor side issue. Just bang the fenian up for holding a piece of paper.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    The Pensive Quill has a response from Paul O’Neill

    http://thepensivequill.am/2011/08/graffiti-on-wall.html

  • iluvni

    Couldnt they bring that bucket of paint to the top of the New Lodge flats? Its long overdue that those wick murals were removed …not sure if they are of the Hunger Strikers or Mungo Jerry and his band.

  • vanhelsing

    Ah Neil,

    Congratulations – whataboutery by the 4th post:)

    Also a bit of a cheap shot – most regular commentators know my stance on either republican or loyalist violence – I can condemn both unlike yourself….

    So the Droppin Well bombing, Omagh, the Greysteel Massacre, LaMon, the murder of Robert McCartney and Robert Hamill all the same to me..

    I don’t ignore any of the innocents murdered in Northern Ireland no matter what background they come from.. Pity you can’t do the same…

    My advice – stick to the thread and leave the whataboutery..

  • http://ardoynerepublican.blogspot.com/ ArdEoin Republican

    Over the past few months, members of Provisional S/F and their supporters have been involved in painting over and removing political graffiti and posters which have been erected in North Belfast and beyond.

    Given these concerns, maybe those who ‘attacked’ Paul O’Neill felt justified in tackling him and the other workers? I don’t agree with their tactics and wouldn’t tackle the issue in the same manner.

    Having worked alongside Paul for a few years, I know he’s been a great worker and ambassador for the New Lodge community. He and a number of other former Political Prisoners have helped lift the area from what it used to be and they deserve praise for their efforts.

    I don’t agree with his political views but disagree that dissenting Republicans should mistreat former comrades in this manner. Having been smeared and verbally abused by so-called Mainstream Republicans in the past. It is wrong and ALL Republicans should go about their business without engaging in such tactics!

    My suggestion would be for a wall to be set aside so that a political mural, poster can be erected whatever the issue is and that the rest of the community be left alone to get on without fear.

  • Munsterview

    Jeeze : From the Hills Of Munster it looks like a re run of FF and the Provos in the early seventies and again around the time of the Hunger Strikes !