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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.


Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah on stage with Phil Monsour, with whom she is touring Australia's in late March and April.

We Teach Life
CD & Australian tour
Rafeef Ziadah & Phil Monsour
http://www.rafeefziadah.net

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.

Unicef representative in Yemen Meritxell Relano said on March 17 that the death toll from a Saudi air raid two days earlier had reached 119.

The Morning Star said on March 18 that the Saudi strike on Mastaba in the north-western Hajja province also wounded 47 people. The dead include 22 children.

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.

Slick Water: Fracking – and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry
Andrew Nikiforuk
Greystone Books/David Suzuki Institute
2015, 350 pages

The fracturing of rocks to mine more fossil fuels was born with the oil business, writes the Canadian journalist, Andrew Nikiforuk, in Slick Water.

During the world’s first oil boom in Pennsylvania in the 1850s, highly volatile nitro-glycerine and other explosives were used on sluggish wells with lethal risk, to turn them into gushers by creating new fractures to channel blocked oil to the surface.

Although many readers are watching voting results in the United States with baited breath, it is worth taking a look at Germany's partial state elections on March 13. They are far from pleasant, but important all the same — and not just for Germany.

Only three of Germany's 16 states voted, with national elections not due until 2017. But if the present trends continue, watch out.

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.

LGBTIQ activist Sally Goldner was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll on March 7. The Honour Roll acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding achievements of Victorian women.

Goldner is the first trans woman to be inducted into the Honour Roll. She said: “It’s really affirming for myself and for trans and bi woman that this recognition has happened. To be in the company of such a diverse range of women is very empowering.”

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