Pubdate: Mon, 25 Oct 1999
Source: This Is London (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Cited: Resource-Net:


There were angry scenes when the US drugs czar visited a south London
college with his British counterpart Keith Hellawell today to launch a new
anti-drug website.

When General Barry McCaffrey and Mr Hellawell, the UK's drug co-ordinator,
arrived at Goldsmiths College, in New Cross, they were surrounded by
protesters shouting "Go home CIA Nazi scum" and calling them hypocrites.
The demonstrators, who included students from the college, claimed that the
American government was responsible for flooding inner-city areas with
cheap crack cocaine.

Shane Collins, drug spokesman for the Green Party, said he was knocked down
two concrete steps by an American plainclothed security man as he tried to
ask the general a question.

Mr Collins, 38, who is running for election to the London Assembly this
year, said: "I was knocked down the steps by an American security guard.
I've got a couple of cuts to my hand.

"When they turned up there was a bit of a scrum to ask them questions but
then loads of American security men were manhandling people out of the way."

The 20-strong group of protesters was made up of members of the Green
Party, the Socialist Workers Party and Legalise Cannabis campaigners.

General McCaffrey was visiting the college to help launch an initiative to
stamp out drug abuse. He and Mr Hellawell unveiled the new UKP120,000
anti-drugs web page.

ResourceNet is a glossary of information for people who educate children
about drugs.

The Department of Health has funded the initiative and claims it will
provide a comprehensive list of anti-drugs resources such as books, videos
and CDs, for police officers, teachers and social workers.

Mr Hellawell, speaking in a packed computer room in the college, said: "I
am delighted to launch this service. It is essential that everyone involved
in drugs education and prevention is able to make an educated choice about
the many resources on offer."

Department of Health officials hope the website will become the country's
most comprehensive list of drug education aids. They also hope its forum
page will be used to promote discussion and education.

As the general and Mr Hellawell prepared to leave, protesters started
shouting slogans and jostled them.

Mr Hellawell ignored the protesters but the general joked: "You can tell
this is a democracy."

As the two men, surrounded by security guards, were bundled down a flight
of stairs, a library bookcase was knocked over.

A student photographer fell to the ground as a security guard tried to move
him out of the path of the general's departing car.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake