For decades political murals, slogans and graffiti have been part of the political and cultural landscape of republican areas and particularly West Belfast, a tradition that mainly arose to counter mainstream media refusal to cover republican views.
Recently stencils from groups like éirígí and the Republican Network for Unity have appeared where previously slogans supporting SF or the Provisional IRA would have been.
These and other markers normally remain in place for extended periods of time – apart from the quick painting over carried out by the RVH.
Recent days have been a bit different. While the scrawled ‘Fuck you and your pizza. Brits out’ has remained since Monday within yards of SF’s head office, some industrious souls have been the length of the Falls Road badly painting out slogans declaring SF and Adams in particular as ‘touts’. No other graffiti was touched during the enterprise.
The graffiti removers haven’t sought to return walls to original states, they’ve just blocked out the letters in household paints to hand including brilliant white and magnolia.
This immediate response to graffiti is a first. I wonder when they get round to removing some of the longstanding eyesores? – ‘Denise B’Mont’ scrawled the length of the road in massive letters certainly didn’t attract the attention of these hard working painter-overs.