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May Day this year in Spain was not built as a special mobilisation against austerity, poverty and unemployment, and did not coincide with a general strike. Despite that, this was not a ritualistic May Day.
Tall Man Written by Angela Betzien Directed by Leticia Caceres La Mama, Melbourne Despite the cold I ventured out to La Mama - a small, quirky and iconic theatre in Melbourne to see Tall Man, a new work by the infamous Melbourne theatre posse Real TV – the partnership of writer, Angela Betzien and director Leticia Caceres. Within seconds I was transported into the hot, seething heart of the Australian bush, deep in the Dee Ranges of Central Queensland.
There’s a new president in Latin America, and his name isn’t Nicolas Maduro. The election that brought him to power was called by an illegitimate regime following a coup d’etat, and his name isn’t Porfirio Lobo. He’s a wealthy, conservative businessman, and his name isn’t Sebastian Pinera. His party ruled for over 60 years, and his name isn’t Enrique Pena Nieto.
It would be hard to find somewhere that celebrates May Day more enthusiastically than Venezuela. But this year celebrations were marred by claims made in a document that could easily be mistaken for a lift-out from a UFO enthusiasts' magazine.
When East Timor won its independence from Indonesia in 1999, the country's medical infrastructure in rural areas was almost non-existent. When then-Cuban President Fidel Castro heard about the problem at a regional summit, he offered to send Cuban doctors free of charge — as many as were needed. So began the largest Cuban medical assistance program outside Latin America. In 2010, after a six year program of study in Cuba, the first of nearly 500 East Timorese medical students graduated and took up their posts in East Timorese villages and towns.
About 40 protesters rallied outside the University of New South Wales main library on April 30 to oppose the planned opening of a Max Brenner chocolate store on campus, and call for UNSW to adopt the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid.
In an article in the Australian on April 20, Adam Creighton asserted that: “Teachers’ unions in Australia and worldwide have been astonishingly successful at hoodwinking the public into thinking smaller classes matter.” As a teacher with over 30 years’ experience and a member of the Australian Education Union, I can say articles such as that display ignorance about what it is really like to be a teacher in front of a class.

Economic forecasting agency BIS Shrapnel has reported that engineering work, spurred on by the mining boom, would be about $128 billion in Australia this financial year. It may be easy to suggest that, despite the rumours, the mining boom is set to continue long into the future. However, the report was quite downbeat. ABC Online said BIS Shrapnel predicted that a "slowdown in mining investment and its related infrastructure is expected to reduce activity by 5.4% next financial year … engineering construction will be 20% below this year's peak by 2016-2017."

New South Wales’ peak advocate for housing justice, Shelter, held a conference in Sydney on April 18 to look at the challenges in housing assistance facing policymakers and decide what key steps need to be taken to improve housing outcomes for disadvantaged people. NSW Minister for Community Services Pru Goward opened the conference. She said the housing situation in NSW is grim due to housing being more expensive, less plentiful and inadequately funded. People who require housing also have more needs, she said.

Moreland Council is proposing to install more CCTV cameras in response to concerns about safety after the murder of Jill Meagher last year. The expansion of CCTV cameras, already a civil liberties concern, would do little to make women safer on the streets at night.

Social justice and anti-deaths in custody organisations around Australia formed a new national coalition on February 10. The new group will allow for national actions to be organised when a death in custody occurs that requires a national response and coordinated action. The organisations involved include the Indigenous Social Justice Association and the Deaths in Custody Watch committee. Groups in other states and territories have expressed interest in joining the coalition.
Years of campaigning and mass protest have culminated in another round of victories for the worldwide movement for equal marriage rights. In the past month, a further three countries have voted to allow people of the same sex to marry. A vote in Uruguay’s parliament on April 11 made it the second country in Latin America to allow marriage equality, joining Argentina, which changed its law in 2010. New Zealand’s parliament was the site of a moving scene on April 17 when galleries packed with supporters burst into song as the parliament passed the Marriage Amendment Bill.