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Newsletter for 9 August 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Valla Beach Market Report
Popup demonstration: Thursday 11 August Coffs
Chasing Asylum - Movie - Sawtell screening
Nauru Report
Valla Beach Market Report

A big thank you to our volunteers who turned out to help with our market on Saturday. The weather was kind, the crowds arrived, and we had a very successful morning, with more than 100 people signing our petition and a number of new supporters signing up for our weekly newsletter. As always, lots of positive interactions with visitors to the market, and very strong support for our efforts to keep the issue of asylum seekers in the public eye.
Our next market stall will be at the Coffs Harbourside market on Sunday 28th August. Why not put the date in your diary and come and join us for an hour?

Pop-up Demonstration: Thursday 11th August at the Big Banana, Coffs Harbour  3.00pm to 4.30 pm

A reminder that our next roadside demonstration is this Thursday, 11th August outside the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm. We urgently need supporters to join us for this demo. If you can help, then please email Robin at : We have lots of placards and banners, but of course you may prefer to bring your own. It would be great if some of our Coffs Harbour supporters could join us.

Chasing Asylum: the film the government doesn’t want you to see

This important film will be shown at Sawtell Cinema, First  Avenue, Sawtell on Monday 22nd August, from 6.30 to 8.00 pm.
The film exposes the real impact of Australia’s detention policies and explores how “The Lucky  Country” became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights. Chasing Asylum explores the mental, physical and fiscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions hidden from media scrutiny, destroying their lives under the pretext of saving them. Please come and join us at the Sawtell cinema to watch this important film. Book your tickets NOW online at:  Let’s have a great RAR turnout to show that we care.
If you are not able to attend on 22nd August, then you can see the film on other days, starting on 14th August. Check the Sawtell cinema website for details.

Yet another report condemns Nauru detention centre

A recent investigation by Amnesty and Human Rights Watch confirms yet again what we already know about the brutality of offshore detention. This latest investigation shines a light on the atrocious treatment of men, women and children – including routine neglect and at times the denial of medical care by the main health services company hired by the Australian government. Anna Neislat, Amnesty’s most senior investigator, reveals that the Australian government has “designed a system of deliberate abuse” to deter people seeking safety who arrive by boat. Many suffer from serious mental health problems which are inadequately treated and exacerbated by the appalling conditions in which they are forced to live. Anxiety, self-harm and suicide attempts are frequent, with children as young as nine speaking openly about wanting to end their lives.
As one of the refugees described the situation to investigators: “People here don’t have a real life. We are just surviving. We are dead souls in living bodies. We are just husks. We don’t have any hope or motivation.”
Will we have to wait for a Four Corners investigation with graphic video footage, before the government is finally spurred into action? And will those responsible then queue up to tell us that they are deeply shocked, and that they had no idea that this abuse was taking place?

​Valla Beach Markets RAR Stall.

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