27 February 2006

Residents to hold series of pickets


Residents are planning to stage the first of a series of pickets this morning in Twinbrook in opposition to drug dealers who are trying to sell ecstasy and cocaine to schoolchildren. The protest which will be supported by local representatives will be held in a towpath near the Summerhill Road across the road from St Colm’s High School.

The path is frequently used by dealers to pressurise children and young people into buying drugs on their way to schools and local shops.
West Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Michael Ferguson said that the targeting of young people by local drug dealers was unacceptable.

“We cannot allow drug dealers to peddle their poison and death to our children and young people.

“We cannot simply sit back and watch while these dealers skulk in bushes, laneways and alleyways exploiting the vulnerable as they make their way to our youth clubs, schools and shopping areas.”

Concerned residents have videoed alleged drug dealers confronting youths and have distributed pamphlets warning of the threat posed to children.
Cllr Ferguson encouraged the community to help remove drug dealers from the Twinbrook area by showing their support for the picket that is taking place at 8.30am.

“It is incumbent upon my colleagues and I as elected representatives to protect our community and the most vulnerable against these predators and we expect their families and anyone who knows them to join with us in this protest in defence of our community and to make them leave.

“I am also calling upon the British Direct Rule Ministers for Education and Health to invest in our schools, youth clubs and community sector to help us with strategies of prevention and intervention,” said Cllr Ferguson.

Journalist:: Staff Journalist

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