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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

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.”

The release of the Defence White Paper in February reveals the Malcolm Turnbull government sees engaging in a regional “arms race” and securing its borders as far higher priorities than guaranteeing our healthcare system, quality public education, housing and welfare entitlements.

While this thinking is nothing new and continues the trend of successive governments — both Coalition and Labor — the Turnbull government added an extra twist, in quarantining the defence budget so that it is protected from cuts if revenue decreases.

The Victorian Environment Protection Authority is expected to file 12 air pollution charges against the Hazelwood power station operator, GDF Suez, over the Morwell coalmine fire.

The fire burned for 45 days in 2014, covering Morwell in smoke and ash. Residents were advised to leave by health authorities.

An inquiry found GDF Suez had failed to adequately prepare for the fire, which was sparked by a nearby bushfire, and that the fire probably contributed to increased deaths in the region.

Linc Energy will stand trial on five charges that it breached Queensland's environmental laws at its underground coal gasification site.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) has accused the company of wilfully causing serious harm at its trial site near Chinchilla on the Darling Downs.

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.

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.

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