On zoos’ brutality and inhumanity


“ On holiday recently, I was persuaded by my family to visit a marine theme park that bombards you with messages of preserving marine life. We spent the afternoon seeing seals and penguins that looked to be in varying stages of depression before taking in the dolphin show, which meant watching a two-minute video about saving dolphins, and a 10-minute demonstration of how the park has managed to enslave them and get them to perform tricks ”

Romesh Ranganathan, ‘Zoos are prisons for animals – no one needs to see a depressed penguin in the flesh’, The Guardian


On conspiracy theories and political lies


“ In the longer term, the feedback loop of lies begetting rumor will threaten the foundation of democracy. Democracy requires trust — including the fundamental trust that losing an election does not mean losing power forever. Not only do conspiracy theories feed on mistrust of authority, they also promote mistrust ”

Paul Musgrave, ‘Democracy requires trust. But Trump is making us all into conspiracy theorists’, The Washington Post

On the shattering effects of the Syrian War


“ The conflict has taken a devastating toll on the mental health of Syria’s children. More than 70% of Syrian children interviewed by ‘Save the Children’ showed symptoms of toxic stress or post-traumatic stress disorder, with symptoms including bed-wetting, loss of speech, aggression and substance abuse. The same report said that 59% of adults knew children and adolescents who had been recruited into the conflict ”

Kate Hodal, ‘Syrian children pushed to the brink after worst atrocities since war began’, The Guardian

On required change within Podemos


“ But this should not be confused with maintaining an anti-pluralist culture that only superficially integrates minorities in the executive leadership. Without shedding any tears for Errejón and his cronies, who led the party with cold and relentless authoritarianism, we must still mount a strong defense for internal plurality, for the right of minorities to participate in the elected bodies, and for democratic respect for the diversity of opinions and position ”

Josep Maria Antenas, ‘Power in Podemos’, Jacobin Magazine

On South African inequalities


“ A black-led government presides over an economy that is white-dominated, and which frequently ranks among the most unequal in the world. Economic inequality is said to have exploded after the end of apartheid, with the wealth of the top 10% growing by 64% in the first 17 years while the poorest 10% have seen no financial growth at all. It is not insignificant that the recent violence comes at a time when calls for radical economic transformation, which specifically includes land redistribution, have grown louder from factions within the ANC and opposition parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters ”

Panashe Chigumadzi, ‘Why is South Africa still so anti-black, so many years after apartheid’, The Guardian

On how anti-immigrant policies hurt women


” The truth is that anti-immigrant policies are much more likely to hurt women than help them; look no further than the undocumented woman in Texas who was arrested while seeking a protective order against an abusive partner. Or how immigrant and refugee women across the world are at an increased risk for sexual assault and rape ”

Jessica Valenti, ‘Don’t let feminism get hijacked for racist ends’, The Guardian