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Newsletter for 5 September 2017 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Roadside Demo - Big Banana Coffs Thursday September 7th 2:30pm
Next Market Stall - Bellingen Sat 16th September
Home Among the Gumtrees update
Reactions to Duttons latest cruelties

Roadside demonstration : Thursday 7th September. Coffs Harbour

Our next roadside demonstration  will take place on Thursday by the Pacific Highway in front of the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour from 2.30 until 4.00 pm
Please consider coming to join us. We are very keen to welcome new supporters, rather than be increasingly dependent on the small band of dedicated people who turn up so regularly and faithfully. If you can join us on what is forecast to be a sunny afternoon, we would be delighted to welcome you. We have lots of placards and banners to share, so let’s send a clear message to this heartless government that we will keep up our campaign until  a more compassionate and humane policy towards asylum seekers is implemented. If you feel disheartened by the continuing cruel policies toward asylum seekers spending an hour or so making a public statement will lift your spirits as you realise that there are so many in the community who support this cause.

Our next market stall: Bellingen market, Saturday 16th September from 9.00 am to 1.30 pm

Our next market stall will be at the Bellingen market on Saturday 16th September. A great opportunity to get together and to interact with market-goers. If you are able to help out for an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at:

Home among the Gumtrees update

We are delighted to let you know that  our group will be hosting a holiday break for a refugee family during the upcoming school holidays.  You might recall that the  visit was scheduled for the last school break, but had to be postponed because of ill-health. The family will be looked after by a group of volunteers who are planning a number of excursions and events for the family, and we hope that they will enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and will be able to relax for a few days in our beautiful region. We have been able to pay for their travel from Sydney as a result of our recent fundraising lunch and auction.

Reactions to Dutton’s latest cruel policy announcement

There has been an overwhelming national outcry following Minister Dutton’s recent announcement that some 400 asylum seekers living in the community are to be stripped of their benefits and evicted from their homes. The voices of protest grew even stronger after Dutton agreed with his favourite radio host that it is “un-Australian” for lawyers to get in the way of his plans to coerce asylum seekers to return to danger on Nauru, Manus or their county of origin.
Fiona McLeod, President of the Law Council of Australia, states: “There is nothing more Australian than ensuring people are subject to the rule of law and have their legal rights protected.  The Australian legal system reflects fundamental values, including the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right not to be subjected to cruel or inhumane treatment.”
The Rev Peter Catt,  Anglican Dean of Brisbane, responded by saying:  “I could not believe that Minister Dutton would resort to this level of cruelty... When the government is cruel, the community will be kind.”
Kate Galloway, a legal academic, writing in Eureka Street, says : “Removing support for vulnerable people with little notice can truly be said to represent our worst side as a society. When this action is taken by an agent of the state, we know that there are only two remaining lines of defence. One is the lawyer to prosecute any possible avenue for protection. The other is you and me.”
There will be a national campaign to overturn this latest in a long line of cruel and heartless policy decisions by Minister Dutton, and we hope to play our part.  At present there are two things that we can do:
Write to Minister Dutton to protest at this latest cruel announcement. His email address is:  You can find letters on the topic by clicking on our blog link at the bottom of this newsletter.
Donate to the  Asylum Seekers Centre by going to their website at:

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