Heroin: The unseen imperialist tool

The following article was written for FRFI by a youth from one of Scotland's council estates. Heroin is circulating freely in all of the urban working class areas of Scotland and England. At £5 a 'shot' it is cheaper than alcohol or can­nabis in the length of its effects - and much cheaper than a cinema trip for two. Heroin deadens the young unemployed to their plight, turning them to anti-social crime against their own families, friends and neighbours, and even­tually bringing prison, illness or death.

The article speaks for itself of the effect of heroin on the working class youth of Britain; however the title chosen by Vini is truer than he knew. As well as being a weapon to kill the spirit of fightback in the ghettoes of Britain, heroin is a major weapon against the oppressed peoples.

It is one more useless crop - whole areas of arable land are devoted to the poppy fields which yield heroin for traffic to the Western nations at high profit.

In the Guardian of 4.1.84 Paul Brown revealed the cynicism and hypocrisy of 'freedom loving' Reaganites and Thatcherites. Whilst they laud the 'freedom fighters' in Afghanistan they are quite aware that these reactionaries' guns are bought by trade in heroin grown in the border areas of Pakistan. Some 3 million refugees from the Afghan war, enjoying the 'protection' of Zia's fascist government, provide the cheap labour for the tending and harvesting of the poppies. This relieves both the Pakistan government and the western promoters of the Afghan war of any expense for the refugees' plight which they and they alone are responsible for. Two other benefits accrue to the im­perialists:

1.   They do not have the expense or potentially embarrassing exposure of personally buying and supplying the weapons needed to turn the clock of progress back in Afghanistan. Thus the reactionaries can be painted as ‘independent freedom fighters' and not a stooge army for imperialism; and

2.   The heroin which the weapons are traded for flows freely in the 'trouble spots' of Britain, deadening minds and devastating lives and giving the police, courts and prisons easy pickings.

The article shows a growing class consciousness and awareness among the youth about the cynicism of our rulers and the need to unite with all those forces fighting imperialism if their barbarities are to be fought.

Heroin is the solution which the British state offers them and yet by joining with the progressive forces around the world with all of the oppressed in Britain they will become an unbeatable force. In the words of a young FRFI supporter from the area 'The choice is either Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! or smack' -the anti-imperialist, anti-racist struggle or heroin addiction and despair.

Maggie Lindsay

KIDS NATURALLLY experiment with ways in which to become high from an early age.., The desperate need and method comes from a harsh reality.

Generally, kids brought up in 'middle or upper class' areas have less of a need to escape their realities. When they are younger, money is plentiful and many develop hobbies and interests which will take their minds from their reality. Whereas, working class kids rarely have an abundance of money, in fact they have more an abundance of social problems (inadequate housing, youth clubs etc) so mostly, they hang around chip shops, pubs or street comers.

Kids living in council estates seem to have a reputation for trouble so inevitably they receive police harassment which quickly leads to resentment for all authority.

The kid who causes trouble in class, who can fight well, who will do anything for a dare (especially if it is illegal) is looked up to by his friends. Whether this kid is in a gang or not there is an unseen pressure to prove to those around him that he is hard and afraid of nothing and no-one.

And so it starts, cigarettes, alcohol, hash and pills; apart from the escape given by the drugs he has proved himself 'afraid of nothing'.

When teenagers leave school and go out into the world to try and find jobs, they have to prove themselves yet again. But jobs are almost impossible to find so most of them are totally rejected by society and to have that feeling of rejection at sixteen is hard to live with.

Hanging around the streets without money, still dependent on parents who can ill afford it, for support. Nothing but depression, decay all around. They might well wonder what they have done to deserve such a fate.

Some will try the ultimate escape: heroin. Heroin creates a euphoric trance-like state. All worries, all responsibilities and all boredom are lifted from the 'user' ten seconds after sticking the needle into his or her arm.

And so they tell friends, who also try it and so the plague is spread. It is contagious, being passed on from friend to friend like a disease infecting the unemployed youth -and not only the unemployed and the poor, but these are the people who are most at risk.

They begin to mix with junkies who talk of big money through stealing and of being stoned and feeling great. They do not mention withdrawing, prisons, hepatitis and death from overdose - just the 'good points', if that's the right words. It all seems so easy, so exciting and it beats being bored all the time. No-one believes that he or she will become enslaved to heroin.

Heroin at the same time as creating a euphoric state creates apathy - for anything that is, except heroin. It is a very selfish god.

Most working class kids are of the opinion that there are poor people and rich people and that's the way it shall always be. They see no point in joining political parties who will change things for the better in the future. The need is there now, for help to relieve the strains of seemingly having no future, but the need is being satisfied with drugs, drugs which keep the youth of this country apathetic. Apathy hangs over the working class youth like a cloud keeping them in darkness to the possibilities within their grasp.

It seems to suit governments, creating apathy amongst the working classes because apathy will stop any change, or revolution better than any army or police force could ever do.

It makes me wonder why when there is an explosion in the amount of drugs being consumed in this country, why the government has cut back on custom control - ie it is becoming easier all the time to get drugs into Britain. In any of the council estates of Edinburgh it would take a junkie less than 15 minutes to 'score' heroin. In times of economic difficulties, governments have always had wars to slim down the working class and keep them in check. Now with the advent of nuclear weapons far too much would be lost. Now there is a new weapon to keep the working class in check 'in their place'. Boredom and apathy which has infected the youth like a plague. Not that I believe the government spread this plague, but it is certainly taking no steps to cure it. The children of today are the people of tomorrow -and with a plague like this, tomorrow will be cancelled due to lack of interest.

IT'S DUMB

Graffiti written on a stair

People walk by, they don't care

Glue sniffers, junkies everywhere

People walk by, they don't care

Kids with no jobs, kids with no money

Being poor, it's not very funny

Living in slums, they steal and fight

And there's no-one there to help their plight

So they go out and get high

Some get addicted, some get high

Some get married, settle down

Move to another part of town

Bring up kids, living in a slum

And it starts again - it's dumb

Vini F

Edinburgh

 

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