Monday, May 14, 2012

Rough Justice

Vigilantes have conducted a campaign of shootings and beatings  in the past year have forced more than 200 young men out of Derry. Derry-based John Lindsay, author of "No Dope Here", a new book on the violence, said: "On average there are about four young men being forced out of the city by Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) and other vigilante groups per week. Some RAAD members are ex-Provisionals. Others in RAAD are connected to the Real IRA

At least 85 men have been shot over the same period in "punishment" attacks by Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD).  The families of those under attack, including the mother of a RAAD victim who was murdered in February, say they are existing "in a city of fear".

Eamonn McCann said RAAD and others were exploiting a "drugs panic akin to the Salem witches hysteria". McCann said: "If you look around the Bogside or the Creggan area and so forth there are a huge number of people in Catholic working-class areas, or indeed Protestant working-class areas, who feel they have been left behind by the peace process. They are told all the time that Belfast is buzzing, that Derry is going to be the city of culture, that everything is on the up and up, that sunshine is in prospect. Actually life is not getting better for them. In many cases it is getting worse".

Martin McGuinness, the Provisional IRA ex-chief of staff and now deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, called upon the public in his native city to inform on the republican paramilitaries responsible.
He said: "I think it is quite obvious the community is beginning to rise up against this and as a result of that it is quite clear that RAAD are about to make the biggest mistake of their lives. They are about to bite off more than they can chew because if the community in Derry turns against you then you are going absolutely nowhere.And I think they [RAAD] do need to be going somewhere and they need to be going to prison."


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