Here's God?

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:06


The question of how to respond to religion, and the fact that a lot of working-class people (particularly in the so-called “developing world”) hold religious beliefs, has been a tricky issue for revolutionaries for... well, forever really.

Karl Marx famously described religion as an “opiate”, comparing it to a drug that people take to make themselves feel better rather than actually dealing with the root causes of their problems. He said that it promised people a “heart in a heartless world” but only provided an “illusory happiness”. We think that was pretty much spot-on then and remains

A young person's guide to Israel/Palestine

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:02


The national conflict in Israel/Palestine has been one of the most consistently high-profile conflicts in world politics for many years. It inspires enormous passion and controversy on all sides; anyone who’s ever attended a meeting about the issue may have experienced some of that first hand. But not everyone — including some of the people who’re most passionate! — have a genuine understanding of the roots of the conflict.

While the issues are undoubtedly complex, one immediate dynamic is simple. One state, Israel, which has a first-world economy and one of the most powerful militaries on

Stop locking up children!

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:56


Despite the government’s pledge to end the detention of child migrants, no definite plan has yet been proposed to make sure that the powers currently being used to detain children are abolished. Children are still being locked up!

A recent report by the Medical Justice Network provides details on dawn raids used against families, issues of malnourishment in detention centres, reports of violence and assault on detainees and the development of severe psychological trauma and physical health problems amongst child detainees.

The statistics are a real horror story; 79% of children were

Why we walked out

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:51

"On 20 October, when the spending review was announced, there was a negative attitude in our Sixth Form common room. People were beginning to realise that the next five years weren't going to be easy. The scrapping of EMA, which helps many students at our Sixth Form, was not greeted kindly, especially after the Conservatives had previously promised to keep it. However there was a much greater sense of anger towards Liberal Democrats who were supporting these ruthless cuts that they had once so passionately opposed. We felt majorly let down. Why did we deserve these cuts? We weren't the bankers

Get that animal off me!

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:43

A lot of the press coverage of the student struggles has focused on the “violent” aspects of our actions (smashing a few windows at Millbank, a few folk going a bit nuts and kicking in a bus-stop or two, a police van getting a little battered and spray-painted, a few others bits and bobs getting broken).

barricade reckons most of this was perfectly legitimate (especially the Millbank stuff), and the stuff we wouldn’t condone (whoever lobbed the fire-extinguisher off the roof at Millbank should definitely have stopped to think first) was hardly representative of any significant proportion of

Students, workers: unite and fight!

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:38

The struggles in response to the Con-Dem tuition fee increase and abolition of the EMA have inspired us all.

Together, we’ve mobilised hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have never been involved in political action before.

School students and sixth-formers have been at the forefront.

Many actions have been organised and led by women.

Our protests have been ethnically diverse.

We’ve dared to do more than just polite A to B marches or lobbies of councillors and MPs; we’ve organised walk-outs, sit-downs and occupations. We have, in short, sent a message to the rest of our class; we do

The end of an era

Published on: Wed, 08/12/2010 - 09:09

Daisy Thomas

For many readers and film enthusiasts, it will be the end of an era when the much-loved characters of the Harry Potter series grace the screen one last time in the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

On a superficial level, the Harry Potter series might seem simply a story of good vs. evil. Voldemort is a villain that everybody loves to hate, and that seems a good basis for a story. However, J.K. Rowling goes deeper, using a fantasy setting to explore class structures. She makes parallels to supremacist groups in the way the magical folk lord it over the Muggles. When inside

What is 'barricade'?

Published on: Fri, 10/09/2010 - 12:29

Welcome to barricade, a new socialist zine for young people produced by members, supporters and friends of Workers' Liberty, a revolutionary socialist organisation active in working-class struggle in the UK. barricade is a space where young people can learn about socialist ideas and the history of working-class struggle, but this isn't a political theory textbook or a history book. It's a place where young people who're involved in activist politics – or who want to become involved in activist politics – can share, discuss and debate ideas. Every issue will feature reports of ongoing campaigns

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