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Newsletter 15 July 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Hi Everyone

This newsletter is stored here for archival purposes. You can read it by clicking on "read more" below

Coffs Harbour Market.   THIS Sunday 19th July from 8.00 am until 1pm
We have booked a stall for the Coffs market and as usual we are looking for volunteers to help on the day. As you will all know, we have had successful stalls at Bellingen and Valla markets for the past year, and we intend to continue with these. This will be our first stall at the Coffs Harbour market, and we are hoping to reach out to a new group of people and to sign up more supporters to our group. 

If you can help out for an hour or two on the day, then please email Mike at :  or phone him on 6569 5419. The markets are a great opportunity to meet people and to demonstrate  that we continue to stand up for the plight of asylum seekers, especially those imprisoned  on Manus Island and Nauru. Our government, with the support of the opposition, is doing all it can to  maintain a blanket of secrecy around its activities in offshore detention centres, which is all the more reason for us to be out there explaining as best we can what is actually being done in our name. 

Inaugural Thursday Picket of Luke Hartsuker MP's office TOMORROW Thursday 16 July  

The picket will kick off between 10 am and noon this coming Thursday the 16th of July. Bring a placard supporting the rights of asylum seekers as we seek to keep the pressure up on the government over this horrendous policy. Luke's office is at 39 Little St Coffs Harbour. We hope to make this a weekly event. Coffs Growers market is on at the same time so give our MP a message and then go an support our local producers.

 Our local member of Parliament continues to uncritically support the indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru. He is a senior member of a government which seeks to shroud its asylum policy activities in secrecy and which now threatens doctors, nurses and other support workers with imprisonment if they speak out about the abuses which they observe in these gulags. It’s time to let Mr Hartsuyker know that we are enraged by his government’s actions and that we will continue to make our feelings known. 

To that end, we are planning a new action, namely to hold a peaceful picket outside the office of our Federal Member each Thursday morning, provided that there is support amongst our membership to get the idea off the ground. 
One of our supporters, Robin Hesketh, is very keen to organise the picket and is looking for support. If anyone can make a commitment for a couple of hours on a Thursday morning to support this action, then please email Robin at : You might want to commit to just one session a month, or whatever you feel that you can manage. If a number of people are prepared to do a little, then it can add up to something significant. On behalf of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus,  please support Robin if you can.

NBN television coverage of protest at Big Banana on Saturday 11 July 2015

Health workers staged a protest against the new laws that attempt to stop them reporting on abusive treatment of Asylum Seekers in detention.

Both the government and the opposition have sought to play down the threat of prosecution of health and other support workers who disclose evidence of abuse in detention centres. Unfortunately they are being economical with the truth, as the excellent article in the Guardian of 8th July by George Newhouse explains. You can read the article at the following link 

It is clear that doctors and other health and support workers have very good reason to fear prosecution under the new Border Force Act

Information from RACS - the following link will take you to the full document.

This is a very informative document as the following headings show

RACS Telephone Advice Service - vital with the new Border Protection Laws
What doesn't make the news
creations of temporary protection visas
creation of fast tracking process
release of children from detention


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