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20.9.16

Newsletter for 20 September 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Newsletter for 20 September 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Bellingen Market report
Next popup roadside demo - Thursday 22nd Coffs
Donations to Asylum Seekers Centre
New supporters
UN Human Rights Office calls for end to offshore detention

Bellingen Market Report
We had another very successful market in Bellingen on Saturday. The weather was beautiful, the crowds turned out and lots of people visited our stall to find out more about our campaign,  sign the petition, buy our asylum seeker merchandise and donate to the Asylum Seekers Centre. As always, many of the visitors to our stall expressed their dismay about our government’s cruel and inhumane policy of indefinite offshore detention. We  know that we are better than this, and that we must therefore maintain the pressure on both the Coalition and the Labor opposition to end the disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus. It’s worth remembering too that our government has spent more than $9 billion since 2013 on keeping our asylum seekers out of sight, in the hope that they will also be out of mind.
Our next market will be at Valla Beach on Saturday 1st October. This will be the final  opportunity to collect signatures on our petition before sending them to Canberra. Please put the date in your diary and think about coming to join us for a while.
Roadside Demonstration: Thursday 22nd September in Coffs Harbour. 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm. 
Our next roadside demonstration is just two days away. We will be by the Pacific Highway, opposite the Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, by the northbound carriageway. Please, please consider joining us, even for part of the time. We have lots of placards and banners to share, but we need at least ten people to make an impact. If you can join us, please email Robin at: robinhesketh@hotmail.com. A strong, visual presence does help us to get our message across.
Donations to the Asylum Seekers Centre

People have kindly continued to donate  to the ASC at our markets, and we have had good sales of our T-shirts, bags and tea towels. As a result, we have been able to make a second donation of $150 to the ASC to support their excellent work with refugees in Newtown.

New Supporters

We are delighted to tell you that our numbers continue to grow. In the past month, 24 new supporters have joined us. A big welcome to them all. We hope that you will consider getting involved in our activities in the months ahead. There are undoubtedly lots of people out there who would be interested to receive our weekly updates. If you know of anyone, please ask them to sign up by simply emailing us at: bellingen.rar@gmail.com.
 UN Human Rights Office calls on Australia to end Offshore Detention
The Australian Government’s continued support for offshore detention was strongly opposed this week in a report from the UN Human Rights Office.
The report reads “Australia must show political courage and end the indefinite detention of asylum seekers held on Nauru ”. This statement was made by the new Pacific representative of the United Nation Human Rights Office, Chitralekha Massey.
In an interview with Guardian Australia she said that Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Nauru “is an unsustainable violation”. The continuing reports of abuse, self-harm and sexual assault had created an alarming environment at the centre that Massey said needed be resolved. Massey encouraged the Australian government to bring an end to the detention of men, women and children on Nauru, where hundreds of asylum seekers languished in “not only prolonged, but indefinite” detention. “We have repeatedly reported our concerns around healthcare, around education and  access to justice,” she said.
Massey said that the asylum seekers held on Nauru had to be given the opportunity to resettle in Australia or another country if they had been found to be refugees.
United Nations General Assembly and a key migration summit hosted by the United States president, Barack Obama, will be held next week. The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, will be both be in attendance.
We await the outcome with concern. It will be interesting to see if international pressure has any influence on our present government’s  policy .
Marlene Griffin


​A beautiful day for the Bellingen Market stall.


Our blog is at http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au and includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians and newspapers

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