Paramilitaries have no solution to drugs problem

Andrew Allen from the Waterside in Derry was shot dead on 9 February in Buncrana by the paramilitary group Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).  The shooting of Allen has brought the issue of paramilitary activity and anti-social behaviour into sharp relief in Derry.  

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, a community protest was called by Eamonn McCann and the family of Andrew Allen to express outrage at his shooting and to demand that the threats issued to other young people in the area are lifted. The protest was attended by up to 200 people who were clearly very angry.  In an emotional appeal, the family of Andrew Allen called for RAAD to “stop destroying our families, to leave our children alone and to stop these murders” and stated, “We want these death threats to stop. We want these death threats lifted.”

 

The family of Andrew Allen asked that the rally be ‘non-political’ but in reality the issue is very political.   The reality is that Derry has some of the worst unemployment statistics with young people particularly hard hit.  Poverty in many areas is grinding and there is a growing feeling in the city that there is no future, community services are slowly collapsing and that the traditional parties in the Assembly don’t give a damn for working-class communities.  A sense of alienation and desperation has begun to drive some young people to crime and some   people in communities have responded by seeking protection from paramilitaries.

The Socialist Party condemns the killing of Andrew Allen and all paramilitary attacks on young people who  they allege are involved drugs and  anti-social behaviour. They offer absolutely no solution and ignore the underlying issues. Socialists, community activists, young people and trade union activists must fight to force the Assembly to act immediately to create thousands of jobs in education, health and the other public services which are under massive strain because of previous Stormont job cuts.  Money must be ploughed into communities to ensure that they are fit to live in.  Young people must be listened to and given a future, otherwise anti-social activity and other problems faced by working class communities in poverty will worsen.  Working class communities must not allow themselves to be torn apart but must unite and fight to give everyone a future.

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