Recently people from Belfast and further afield have been angered by a Department of Social Development decision to paint over a non-sectarian mural in memory of Radio DJ John Peel which includes lyrics from the Undertones’ debut single – Teenage Kicks.
It was painted by the East Belfast T.D.S Graffiti Crew in 2004 on the Bridge End flyover and has been a constant symbol of the alternative cultural scene in Northern Ireland. People went on social media to vent their frustration on the issue. There is now a Facebook campaign supported by high profile members of the local music scene such as Terri Hooley (The Godfather of the Belfast Punk scene who originally released Teenage Kicks), members of Stiff Little Fingers and Duke Special.
The response from the local politicians from both Sinn Fein and Alliance have been nothing but ridiculous who when faced with opposition to the decision have only supported the compromise of funding a replacement cross community mural painted by children from the local area. Although I do not oppose the painting of cross community murals Socialist Youth think that the mural should be restored fully because it is part of the cultural history of Belfast and more importantly it shows an example when young people used music and culture to oppose sectarianism and mindless bigoted violence!