Political Grafitti in the Innocent Tunnel

The Innocent Tunnel is part of a former railway that runs under a corner of Holyrood Park. The railway is now a cycle path, and the tunnel has become a hot spot for street art and grafitti (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).

The Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway used to run from Newington to Brunstane to the east of Edinburgh. Opened in 1831, the line was built to bring coal in to the city. It started to carry passengers as well, and became very popular. It was known as the Innocent Railway because the trains were pulled by horses. It was quickly overtaken by steam-powered railways though, and closed to passengers in 1847. It stopped carrying goods in 1968, and reopened as a foot and cycle path in the 1980s. The Innocent Railway Tunnel runs for 517m under Holyrood Park and is popular with grafitti and street artists. The entire length of the tunnel is covered with tags, murals, and slogans, and some of it is political.

Trans rights should not be controversial, but unfortunately trans people are facing increasing discrimination and attacks in contemporary society. The trans flag is a symbol of defiance as well as acceptance (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 caused in international outpouring of solidarity (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
‘Slava Ukraine’ means ‘Glory to Ukraine’. It is a patriotic slogan that has gained international recognition over the last year. It looks like the slogan in this piece has been covered up and replaced at least once (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
This mural has also been at least partially covered up, but it is still possible to make out the Palestinian flag under the white paint on the right hand side of the image. Somebody has sprayed “Free Palestine” on top of the white paint, just in case the original message “Scotland stands with Palestine” isn’t clear (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
I feel like this one is fairly self-explanatory (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
ACAB is a well-known acronym amongst radicals and activists. It stands for All Cops Are Bastards (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
‘Cymru Rydd’ means ‘Free Wales’. I have seen slogans for the Welsh Independence movement relatively often around Edinburgh. It makes sense that there would be solidarity between the various UK Independence movements (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/03/2023).
This one isn’t exactly political, but I like to finish on a positive note! (Photo: Hannah Awcock, 12/02/2023).