1916-1982/Break Thatcher’s Back

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Here is a 1982 image of the Break Thatcher’s Back mural in Rockmore Road, Belfast, showing a blanket man with outstretched arms demanding “status now”, framed by a large “H” and surrounded by barbed wire, Tricolours, and the Starry Plough. In 1981, there was a Sean O’Casey quote on the left, rather than a lily and the year of the Easter Rising — 1916.

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Copyright © 1982 LC “free belfast”

O’Casey/Break Thatcher’s Back

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The quote on the left is from Sean O’Casey, not Bobby Sands MP: “You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea; you cannot put an idea up against the barrack-square wall and riddle it with bullets; you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell that your slaves could ever build.”

On the right, an H-Block blanketman is on his knees, protesting for (political) “status now”, surrounded by barbed wire and two flags on halberds: the Irish Tricolour and the Starry Plough.

Rockmore Rd, Belfast

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Copyright © 1981 LC

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger For Justice

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Three images of a mural on the Whiterock Road, Belfast, showing a blanketman/hunger-striker and a uniformed volunteer on a tricolour cloth at the feet of an angel holding a banner reading “blessed are those who hunger for justice“. Above are the words “Their hunger, their pain, our struggle“. The shields of the four provinces of Ireland and two shamrocks complete the mural. The third image shows the mural in progress, and it looks as though it has already been vandalised.

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Copyright © 1981 LC

Victory To The Blanketmen POWs

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An advertising hoarding on the Springfield Road (just before the Whiterock Road), Belfast, is taken over by a republican artist: “H” and “A” for the H-Blocks and Armagh Women’s Prison, with the names of four hunger-strikers (Bobby Sands Patsy O’Hara, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh) and two tricolours.

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Copyright © 1981 LC

Until The Last Prisoner Is Free

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There is a lot going on in this image: pedestrians pass in front of a row of boarded-up shops, above them is written “Until the last prisoner is free we are all imprisoned” with posters of the hunger strikers, an Irish tricolour and “If they die, you die”; on the left “No, not a dog, but a POW” and a version of the five demands, concerning prison uniforms, work, association, parcels, and remission. Ballymurphy shops.

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Copyright © 1981 LC