I am very tired tonight, so you are getting a post that is mostly pictures and not words. Not everything is going to be a complete sentence. I took these photos yesterday, on August 5th.
The Protestant and Catholic areas of Belfast are segregated. Less than 10% of Northern Irish children even go to integrated schools.
Protestant area in Belfast… they celebrate William of Orange taking Ireland.
Memorials to dead militia members… the most violent murals were taken down, so it’s striking to me that these memorials (which openly depict guns) remain.
A to Z of Shankill road (the main protestant drag). The photos with text might look odd. I had to up the contrast greatly to make them readable.
A side street off of the Shankill road. The Protestant parts of town hang English flags.
The gate on the peace wall. The peace wall divides Protestant and Catholic areas. The gate still closes every night. Our tour guide said that without the gate, there might be trouble.
The peace wall. There are 40 miles of peace wall in Belfast.
Memorial to the first interned hunger striker to die… “Gaeolgeoir” means speaker of Gaelic.
Murals on the Catholic side of the peace wall. Belfast Catholics strongly empathize with the Palestinians (both groups feel they are discriminated against in their own homeland).
More Catholic murals.
“Friend of Ireland” Nelson Mandela
For a long time, Gaelic was outlawed in Ireland. This mural reads, in part, “language rights are human rights.”
Calling for the end of the peace walls.
I should admit that I sympathize with the Catholics, being raised Catholic. The murals on the Catholic side are really about ending any sort of oppression… below is a killer mural about black oppression and civil rights in the US. This mural is pretty dope; I recommend looking closely.
It was kind of weird walking through the Protestant side of town and thinking that I wouldn’t be allowed to live there.