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Stupidity reigns in Derry drugs campaign
The PSNI have begun to compete with Republican Action Against Drugs in the stupidity and ignorance of their ani-drugs raids. Plus: simpering about the Queen...
Eamonn McCann, 20 Jun 2012
They all might seem at daggers drawn, but when it comes to drugs they stand together – the cops and RAAD, mainstream Republicans, community organisations and the local press.
Their competitive hype has become a threat to the peace.
On May 31, armed police stormed into Trash, a rock memorabilia shop near Derry city centre with a small sideline in legal highs. The across-the-counter trade in highs has collapsed – probably everywhere – the concoctions being now freely (and legally) available on the internet.
Everything on Trash shelves is legal. So shouldn’t the PSNI be protecting the premises, not bursting in with drawn guns? If employees didn’t previously need protection, they certainly need it now. Republican Action Against Drugs will feel challenged to match the cops in their efforts to put Trash out of business.
Ray Coyle, who ran Red Star, about 100 yards from Trash, also faced an armed squad which burst into his shop in 2010 and shot him three times. He now lives away from Derry under credible threat of death.
The PSNI and RAAD outdo one another in estimates of the size of the drugs problem, so as to advertise the extent of their concern. RAAD are the main beneficiaries. Fear of drugs was the rationale for their formation four years ago.
RAAD will have been pleased as punch, too, by a story telling that the IRSP had “recovered” 500 tablets said to be worth £3,000 and passed them to a local community centre. The find was “deeply worrying,” said a spokesman for the centre. “The impression we have is that it’s an Ecstasy-type drug.
“If [it is] similar to ‘Blues’, then we are talking of something with the potential to kill. Apart from being directly responsible for… deaths in Belfast, they also caused serious mental health problems which, in a number of cases, resulted in young people taking their own lives.”
The “capture” of the tablets ensured that “the death dealers don’t have the opportunity to poison our young people.”
The fellow clearly hadn’t a clue what the tablets were, nothing to substantiate the claim that pills of this sort had caused the deaths of young people. But then, putting the frighteners on the community is the name of this game.