A 1986 article from Class War describing mass resistance to heroin dealers and the police in Liverpool.
Fighting Back in "Smack City"
Fighting Back in "Smack City"
Liverpool has recently been dubbed by the media as "smack city" due to the fact that Merseyside has become the most heroin-saturated area in Britain and where anyone can buy smack anywhere (in pubs, in the street, etc...) for about a fiver. News of armed police raids on the homes of suspected pushers is becoming more and more common in the local papers, as is the news of heroin-related deaths, Tory Bastards shouting for the reintroduction of everything from national service to capital punishment and Labour Party Jerks calling for the return of full employment, etc., in vain attempts to stop the growing tide of heroin abuse.
Heroin availability in Liverpool is, and is becoming more so, a life-and-death situation for many predominantly young and unemployed people who, instead of fighting back against those who have swept them aside as "surplus", are opting for oblivion as an easy way out from the all too obvious problems of being working class in Britain today. In one area in particular, Croxteth, the use of heroin is becoming common, everyone knows somebody who's doing smack or doing time for smack.
The police have not made any significant attempt on, or had any effect on, the smack dealing - we wonder why!! Ignorance, due to community distrust, and as speculation goes, links between top pigs and top dealers? Sadly, most of the community, despite the police's inaction and attitude, are still prepared to leave the ever-worsening problem in their hands.
So much for the bad news!
Vigilantes force smack dealers out
Out of the most saddening items of news from early August was the death of 14 year old Jason Fitzsimmons from a heroin overdose. He lived in Croxteth, an area of Liverpool with a well-known heroin problem. Croxteth is now often in the news as the smack trade increases, however due to police activity many dealers are getting scared and are moving out. But in one area, they are no longer tolerated and may well have a lot more to fear.
On the night of Friday 10th August, a gang of 150 youths besieged two houses in Smithdown Road, Toxteth. The occupants were trapped, missiles were thrown, the gangs broke in and the houses were trashed. Both were the homes of known heroin dealers. Later that weekend, the gang, now 250 strong and calling itself "the Anti-Smack Squad" trashed two more houses; the pushers were attacked and one hospitalised. In each case, local residents refused to give evidence against the attackers.
The vigilantes received much support from local residents and Liverpool's black community as a whole. A spokesman for the squad, speaking through the Liverpool Black Organization, asked for all information on smack dealers to be passed on to the L.B.O. who will ask pushers to stop. "If they ignore the warning then we will move in and drive them out. They will know they are at risk. We don't want to wait till one of our kids is dead before doing something. The heroin problem is not rife in Toxteth but these people are moving from Croxteth. We want them out."
Merseyside's Assistant Chief Constable, John Burrows, said "Taking the law into their own hands can only lead to public disorder and thereby deflect the police from the task of arresting those responsible." Fuck off John! We know what you really mean by your "public order" and your "police... tasks" - and we want nothing to do with it!
Local press coverage was poor, the Daily Post chose instead to concentrate on how the Drugs Squad is to be enlarged, how successful the customs officers have been, and the latest idea to combat heroin, a string of parent committees to work with the police and collect information.The community isn't likely to cooperate with a force which spends half its time intimidating them. The information has always been there - the police's will to act never will be. At one level or another, they're part of the system in which smack dealing thrives.
The gutter press landed themselves in the shit recently when digging for dirt about heroin in Toxteth. They asked a number of local youths where heroin was sold and the youths told them that the main local dealer was a shady geezer called Panama. The Fleet Street sheep went ahead and printed the full "EXCLUSIVE SHOCK HORROR STORY" only to discover that Panama is actually one of the most well-respected elderly members of the community who neither drinks or smokes.
The heroin problem increases, the number of teen addicts increases, and the number of deaths will increase. But here in Toxteth, smack dealers have been physically forced out, and hopefully these actions will scare more away. The Anti-Smack Squad demonstrates how a community can very easily help itself, without interference by the pigs or authorities. Smack dealers will no longer be tolerated in Toxteth.
VICTORY TO THE ANTI-SMACK SQUADS!!!!
"THIS IS TOXTETH, NOT CROXTETH. STRICTLY GANJA... NO H." (local graffiti.)
Liverpool has recently been the scene of an ever-increasing number of incidents where local people have "taken the law into their own hands", gone on the offensive and increased the fight-back against both the pigs and the so-called "socialist" Militant-controlled council bureaucrats. By far the largest, most volatile and potentially riotous situations was the siege of of Admiral Street pig station in Toxteth, (the scene of the largest Liverpool riots in '81) on the night of Friday, August 30th, when hundreds of local kids, some armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles, laid siege to the local pig station for over four hours, building barricades, smashing pig station windows, pig cars and pigs' private cars (who, apparently, will receive no compensation 'cos they were parked "at owner's risk"), at the back of the station.
When the mob entered the station, forcing the pigs to lock themselves in their cells and offices for protection, (unfortunately, only one pig was injured), a large amount of wine, beer and spirits which were destined for the bar at the top floor of the station, was stolen, as was the book which contained all the names, addresses and 'phone numbers of the pigs who were based at the station (no doubt to be used at a later date!) While a number of kids roamed around the station, playing reggae music and breakdancing, with even more waiting around or doing the same outside, a group of "community leaders" with the mother and the solicitor of Stephen Nicholls, the arrested man, negotiated with the pigs to release the man on bail, which, having got the go-ahead from the Merseyside Chief Constable, Ken Oxford, they did, thus avoiding, in the words of Stephen Nicholls' solicitor, "a potential riot situation."
However, in a press statement, police chiefs said that "The release of Stephen Nicholls was not giving in to mob violence." According to some reports which have been verified by a source close to the police, Instant Response Unit reinforcements with riot gear were prevented from getting to the scene by a caravan which was dragged to the entrance of the station, overturned and then set on fire.
Other encouraging news is that, while all this was going on and many pigs were otherwise engaged, a supermarket in Park Road, nearby, had its windows smashed and was extensively looted.Some not so encouraging news, however, was the fact that the police and establishment arse-lickers, the so-called "community leaders" and a non-community and unsympathetic solicitor were allowed to muscle in on the situation and negotiate for the local kids and community (both community leaders and the solicitor praised the pigs, and were praised themselves by the pigs for "cooling down and defusing a potentially riotous situation".) Most of this information was obtained by talking to local people themselves and from a reliable source who is close to the pigs who were involved and who told us a great deal, (not knowing that we were anarchists and that we were going to publish his statements). Most local and national radio and newspaper reports, as usual, either played down the situation or just ignored (or were not told about) certain facts and events, e.g. the looting of the supermarket, the theft of the station book and drinks, the burning of the caravan, etc...
Let's hope that people can learn from both of these actions and gain confidence from them so that, eventually, working class communities can defend themselves against any attack, be it smack dealers, pigs, fascists, or anyone.