Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Sun Jan 30 22:18:35 MST 2000

Jim M said that in Ireland both the republicans and the Socialist Party
opposed the decriminalisation of drugs.  I am not sure this is correct.
The Converned Parents Against Drugs group, in which SF played a leading
role, was sympathetic to addicts and to legalising dope, although I can't
remember if SF ever adopted a policy position on the issue.  But what SF
and CPAD were campaigning against in the 1980s was primarily heroin, which
was quyite widespread in a number of working class areas of Dublin.
Indeed, in the South the largest number of Aids cases were IV drug users,
not gay men.  SF and CPAD attempted through direct action to drive pushers
and drug lords out of these areas, and were wuite successful in this.  They
also, for quite some time, had a policy of non-cooperation with the cops
and the state, ie it was working class  communities themselves which
organised, independently of the state, to deal with problems *within* their

By the end of the 1980s, however, both SF and CPAD had somewhat moderated
their views, and became less hostile to the cops and the state.  This was
part of SF's 'reconciliation' to the southern neo-colonial state, which the
Adams cabal was increasingly coming to see as a force for progress in
Ireland, rather than the obstacle to freedom which republicans had viewed
it as from its establishment.

Philip Ferguson

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