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Newsletter for 19 December 2017 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Market report for 2018
Next Roadside Demo - Bellingen Thursday January 11th 2:30pm
Update on offshore detention
Wrap for 2017

Market calendar for 2018

We have now finalised our markets for 2018, and we thought that you would like to make a note of them so that you can join us from time to time. We would welcome supporters from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm for an hour or two. As we’ve said so often before, the markets are a great opportunity to interact with the public, to get our message across about the current cruel, bipartisan asylum policy , and to enjoy one another’s company for  while.

The dates and venues are as follows:
Saturday 20th January: Bellingen
Saturday 3rd February: Valla Beach
Sunday 18th February: Coffs Harbour
Saturday 17th March: Bellingen
Saturday 7th April: Valla Beach
Sunday 22nd April: Coffs Harbour
Saturday 19th May: Bellingen
Saturday 2nd June: Valla Beach
Sunday 17th June: Coffs Harbour
Saturday 21st July: Bellingen
Saturday 4th August: Valla Beach
Saturday 15th September: Bellingen
Saturday 6th October:  Valla Beach
Sunday 21st October: Coffs Harbour
Saturday 17th November: Bellingen
Saturday 1st December: Valla Beach

Next roadside demonstration: Bellingen, Thursday 11th January

Our first roadside demonstration in 2018 will be on Waterfall Way in Bellingen on Thursday 11th January from 2.30 until 4.00 pm . You will find us by the roadside opposite the entrance to the golf club, adjacent to the Yellow Shed. Please make a note in your diary and join us if you can. Subsequent roadside demos will be held as follows:
Thursday 25th January: Coffs Harbour, opposite the Base hospital
Thursday 8th February: Toormina, opposite the former Sawtell nursery.
Thursday 22nd February: Coffs Harbour, at The Big Banana.

Update on offshore detention

In recent days it has been announced that a second group of refugees from Nauru and Manus has been approved for relocation the the US. There may be up to 150 of them, which is great news for each and every one of them. The indications are that the refugees will fly to the US in the coming weeks. For the remaining 1800 or so refugees and asylum seekers, the indefinite suffering continues and the veiled threats directed at the New Zealand government  for its repeated offer to accommodate 150 refugees per annum from our offshore hell-holes have been reinforced in recent days by Barnaby Joyce. Only we, the voters, can change the bipartisan stance adopted by the Coalition and Labor which has resulted in so much suffering in our name. In an article in  The Saturday Paper at the weekend, Richard Cooke  spells it out: “ The situation cannot continue. The humanitarian disaster on Manus is now unignorable and unsupportable. No person of conscience can vote for it, and those who call themselves humanitarians have to vote on the basis of policies, not platitudes”. You can read the full article on our Facebook page.
All the more reason for us to continue to apply pressure on the Labor Party to finally assert that this has gone on for far too long, to declare that it will end mandatory detention if elected, that it will close the camps and that under no circumstances will it reopen them. That was the thrust of our recent open letter, signed by 535 people, to Shayne Neumann, the Labor Shadow minister for immigration. At the time of writing, we are awaiting his response.

That’s it for 2017!

This is our final newsletter of 2017. Our next newsletter will appear in your inbox on Tuesday  9th January. A big thank you to all of you who have supported our work in 2017 by helping at the markets, attending our roadside demos, coming to our meetings and fundraisers, writing letters and emails, making phone calls, writing to the press, and much more. We are a strong and active organisation and we are undoubtedly helping, by our collective efforts, to shift the national thinking about the cruel treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. Let’s keep it up next year, for as long as it takes to bring this shameful chapter in our nation’s history to an end.

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