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Newsletter for Tuesday 14 November 2017 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Roadside Demo - Hogbin Drive Toormina Thursday November 23rd 2:30pm
Next Market Stall - Bellingen Sat 18th November
RAR annual get together Sunday 3rd December
Manus Island standoff

Roadside demonstration report
A great turnout for last Thursday's roadside demonstration, and lots of positive responses from passing motorists. Sadly, the weather gradually deteriorated and our soggy crew had to finally call it a day a short time before the scheduled finish time. Our next roadside demo will be on Thursday 23rd Novemberfrom 2.30 to 4.00 pm on Hogbin Drive, Toormina, opposite what used to be the Sawtell nursery. Please come and join us if you can.
Next Market: Bellingen, Saturday 18th November
Our next market stall will be this coming Saturday at the Bellingen Community market, from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm. As usual, we'll be handing out leaflets, encouraging people to sign our petition and selling our merchandise. If you can join us on the stall for an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at:
Meeting and social: Sunday 3rd December from 10.30 am.
A reminder (see last week's newsletter), that we are planning a meeting and social get-together on Sunday 3rd December at 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach, starting at 10.30 am. The event is open to all our 500+ supporters, and we do hope that we will get a good turnout. We'll discuss what we've achieved in 2017, plan what we'll do in 2018, and then enjoy one another's company over lunch. It would be helpful if you could bring a plate to share. If you are planning to attend, then please let Mike know by email at:
Manus island stand-off
At the time of writing, more than four hundred detainees continue to refuse to leave what remains of the detention centre. The PNG government is determined to remove them to the three East Lorengau facilities, whilst our government continues to blame everyone but itself for this humanitarian catastrophe. In recent days, the Doctors For Refugees organisation has sent a detailed letter to every member of parliament, setting out the realities of the terrible state of affairs, and making clear that is the government's responsibility to care for the refugees and asylum seekers. They say: "On the evening of 4th November 2017, a man with a suspected heart attack in the former RPC (refugee processing centre) sought assistance in the Lorengau hospital. This man was discharged from the facility without having an ECG or blood tests....Thirty six hours later these essential investigations still had not been performed. With this level of medical support, it seems there is little hope for any refugee who becomes seriously unwell on Manus island, whether they are in the former RPC or relocated to East Lorengau."  The letter goes on to point out:" The situation is a direct consequence of the government's arbitrary, indefinite incarceration of hundreds of innocent men in a hostile environment on a remote island in a poor country, unequipped in all respects to look after them. It must finally take adequate responsibility for the welfare of these men."
The full text of the letter will be available shortly on our blog. Please consider phoning politicians to protest at this ongoing catastrophe of our government's making. 
Telephone numbers:
Prime Minister Turnbull: (02) 6277 7700 and (02) 9327 3988
Opposition leader Shorten: (02) 6277 4022 and (03) 9326 1300
Minister Dutton: (02) 6277 7860 and (07) 3205 9977
Luke Hartsuyker: (02) 6277 4482 and (02) 6652 6233

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