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Sydney University is attempting to downgrade the status of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS). A university spokesperson said they were “currently considering the possible transition of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies from a centre into a department”. The spokesperson claimed the move followed an external review of the viability of the centre, raised because of a decline in student numbers.

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian campaigner and spoken word performer of such immense power that she demands to be heard.

Thousands of people are turning out around Australia for Palm Sunday marches to welcome refugees. Here are photos and reports from the rallies around the country including Wollongong, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide, Sydney and Armidale. Perth Photos by Marziya Mohammedali
Freedom of speech in Turkey is deteriorating at a rate of knots. This week, a British academic was deported from the country with no trial and three academics were arrested, all accused of disseminating terrorist material. Earlier this month, Zaman — a widely-read newspaper critical of the regime — was seized and placed under control of a board of trustees by an Istanbul court.
An important conference for activists will be held in Sydney on May 13 to 15. “Socialism for the 21st Century” will focus on deepening the discussion about the theory and practice of the socialist movement today. Conference organiser Susan Price told Green Left Weekly that the conference would discuss the challenges of building movements for radical social change while taking the struggle into capitalist institutions, such as parliaments and councils.
Ahead of United States President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba on March 20 — making him the first sitting US head of state to visit the island in 88 years — Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez called for an end to the 55-year-long US blockade.
Swastikas and white power slogans were sprayed onto a number of Indian-owned and other stores and restaurants in West Footscray, Melbourne, in the early hours of March 5. However, within hours a team of volunteers appeared to scrub out Nazi symbols and slogans such as "white power" and "niggers must die" from Barkly Street shop and restaurant windows and fences. Brett Long, who organised the clean-up, said he wanted to send the message that the local community overwhelmingly supported the businesses and those who ran them.
A broad coalition of forces continues to challenge anti-protest legislation tabled in the Western Australian state parliament. If passed, the broad powers of the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill will make it a criminal offence to be in possession of an unnamed “thing” or to disrupt "lawful activities". The bill also threatens two year’s jail and $24,000 fines for impeding lawful activity. Widely criticised by environmental, social justice, and legal campaigners the law smashes free speech and criminalises peaceful protest.
Amnesty International Western Sydney University students hosted a forum at the Parramatta campus on March 15. Speakers included James Arvanitakis, Debra Keenahan, Luce De Buitleir Andrews and Sev Ozdowski. Keenahan spoke about how refugees had become “dehumanised” since former PM John Howard said: “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.
In the face of the brutal and immoral reaction of the European Union to the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Europe from wars and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa, Barcelona council has taken the initiative to set up a network of Mediterranean city councils prepared to welcome and house asylum seekers. Barcelona is already part of a broader network of European cities welcoming refugees.
Smiling NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is showing himself to be yet another ruthless political gangster for the billionaire class and a wide range of people are uniting in resistance to his assaults on democracy. On March 13, contingents from all around NSW joined in protest against the state Liberal government's attempts to remove the democratic rights of local communities by forcing amalgamation of almost half of the state’s local councils, reducing the number of councils from 152 to 112.
Hundreds rallied and marched in Sydney and Melbourne on March 12 to protest the federal government's "review" of the Safe Schools program. They were there to show support for the program, which aims to promote acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and addresses issues of bullying and vilification of young people who may be confused about or questioning their sexuality or gender identity. About 500 schools around Australia have signed up to the Safe Schools Coalition, which is convened by the Foundation for Young Australians.