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Newsletter for 30 January 2018 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Roadside Demo - Toormina Thursday February 8th 2:30pm
Next Market - Valla Beach Sat 3rd February
More refugees sent to the USA
Update on Manus Island 
Make use of our blog

Roadside demonstration report

Just four of us braved the hot sunshine last Thursday for the roadside demonstration in Coffs Harbour. We gave our new banner its first outing and received a lot of support from passing motorists, together with a number of negative gestures from others. There clearly is still much work to do to win the hearts and minds of many members of the public, but that’s what we are committed to doing, given the terrible suffering inflicted on innocent men, women and children trapped in indefinite offshore detention. Our next roadside demonstration will be on Thursday 8th February from 2.30 to 4.00 pm in Toormina. You will find us at our usual venue on Hogbin Drive, just down the hill from the fire station and opposite what used to be the Sawtell nursery. Now that the holiday period is behind us, it would be great to have a good crowd of supporters to help us get the message across about the government’s cruel asylum policy.

Next market: Saturday 3rd February at Valla Beach : 9.00 am to 1.30 pm

Our next market stall will be this Saturday, 3rd February at Valla Beach. We are looking for supporters to lend a hand between 9.00 am and 1.30 pm, so if you are able to help out for an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at: We have a new open letter to Bill Shorten for people to sign and it would be great if we could collect 100 signatures on Saturday. Our National RAR president, Marie Sellstrom, will be joining us at the market, so please drop by to say hello if you can. After the market, you would be most welcome to join us for a light lunch at 39, Rogers Drive Valla Beach from 1.30 pm. Please let Mike know in advance if you intend to join us for lunch. It will be a good opportunity to relax and enjoy one another’s company.

Another group of refugees flies to the US

In recent days 58 refugees were flown from Port Moresby for resettlement in the US. Another 130 refugees on Nauru have been accepted for resettlement and are expected to leave for the US in the coming days. This will bring the total to 242 so far, though it is more than a year since the Obama government agreed to take 1,250 refugees from Manus and Nauru. No Somalis or Iranians are included in these latest groups as they are banned by the Trump regime from travelling to the US. According to Natasha Blucher from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, there are still up to 2,000 people, including 150 children, in offshore detention, with no prospect of freedom. She states: “The US cannot be the only solution here. It is moving too slowly and people’s lives are being destroyed from the very moment they are stuck in this crushing system. We work with a huge number of people suffering from serious health issues, families who have been ripped apart, and people – including children – who have been living in mouldy tents on Nauru for over four years now.”
It’s surely time to bring them all here!
Malcolm Turnbull: (02) 6277 7700  or (02) 9327 3988
Bill Shorten: (02) 6277 4022  or (03) 9326 1300

Update on Manus: a personal story

Some of you may have read the heartbreaking story in The Saturday Paper by Imran Mohammad about the latest situation on Manus, now that the detainees have been moved into three different detention centres. It is a story of utterly cruel abandonment by our government and is well worth reading. In spite of the crushing hardship of life in limbo on a remote island, Imran tries to end on a positive note: “It may seem like a dream, but if we all dream together we may have a world in which everyone is born into security and freedom. It is my hope that 2018 will be the year of healing, peace and safety, and may there be many peaceful and happy years to follow for every citizen on this earth”. You can read the article by clicking on our Facebook link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Making use of our blog

Please have a look at our blog from time to time if you can, by clicking on the link at the end of this newsletter. You will find a range of information, including letters that have been published in the press or sent to politicians. You’ll also find regular updates from Our National RAR committee, which are always informative. If you write to politicians, or have a letter published in the press, then please forward it to so that we can include in on the blog.

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