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Newsletter for 3 May 2016 RAR Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next pop up protest is being planned for Pacific Highway in front of Plaza Shopping Centre Nambucca Heads        3-4:30  Thursday 12 May 2016

Dates have been planned  as follows

Thursday 12th May     Pacific Hwy. in front of Plaza Shopping Centre, Nambucca Heads.
Thursday 26th May     Dorrigo  Venue to be announced.
Thursday 9th June       Waterfal Way, Maam Gaduying Meeting Place in front of the Library, Bellingen.

If people could let Robin know if they are coming, once we have 6 he will confirm the date, car sharing is a good way to cut down the passenger miles too, he will coordinate that.

All times 3-4:30pm.Contact

02 6655 9254 (evenings)
0490 314 166

This newsletter has been stored here for archive purposes. To read complete newsletter click below

Pop up Protest at Urunga 28 April 2016 taken from our Facebook page

Another great effort from our Pop-Up Protestors at Urunga yesterday. Lots of support from passing motorists.
As our PM calls on Australian not to "get all misty eyed" over the plight of asylum seekers we can assure him that when his brutal government is dumped at the next election we will not be 'misty eyed."

Chilout Newsletter for April 2016

A copy of the Chilout Newsletter is on our blog
It contains a lot of information, please take time to read it.

Facebook for RAR Bellingen and Nambucca Districts for all the news

Some of it is copied to our Blog

Letter from Marlene to Nambucca Guardian on Facebook 1 May 2016

Afghan Refugees make new home in Goulburn Valley 24 April 2016

Fate of 28000 refugees living join our communities 13 April 2016

Illustrated talk on recent visit to middle east Palestinian refugees plight on Monday 16 May 2016 in Nambucca

The Nambucca Valley U3A  has a long-running course entitled Philosophers' Cafe, run by Michael Blockey, who is an active RAR member. At its next meeting, on Monday 16th May, commencing at 10.00 am in the Small Hall of the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre, situated next to the library in Ridge Street, Mike Griffin will be giving an illustrated talk on his recent visit to the Middle East. Mike spent time in a refugee camp in Beirut, visited Hebron, East Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem and the Jordan Valley to see first hand how the Palestinian people survive in exile or under military occupation. RAR members are invited to attend the talk and join in the discussion. Entry is by gold coin donation to cover the cost of refreshments and rental.

Next Market stall at Bellingen Saturday 21 May 2016
more detail closer to the event

Simon Tedeschi Recital:Sunday 12th June at 2.30pm
Nambucca Community and Arts Centre
Ridge Street, Nambucca Heads
Preparations are now under way for our fund-raising recital  by world-renowned pianist Simon Tedeschi. Tickets are now on sale from Helloworld Travel on Bowra Street, Nambucca Heads, or from The Alternative Bookshop, 2/105, Hyde Street, Bellingen. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults and $5 for children under 14. If you are able to sell some tickets for the recital, please contact Mike on 6569 5419 or email him at,  and he will provide them for you.
In last week’s Newsletter, we published a list of tasks that we need help with. If you can help in any way, please contact Mike as soon as possible. We are looking for a team of people to make the concert a success, and so far we have been underwhelmed by the offers of support!
Attached to this week’s newsletter you will find a sheet of flyers for the concert. If you could print off a few and distribute them to your friends and around the community, that you be greatly appreciated.
Please do get involved and support this important fund-raising event. A wonderful opportunity to listen to an outstanding pianist.

Manus Island Detention Centre Declared Illegal -  letter to Nambucca Guardian 

We have news this week that the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea has declared the Manus Island Detention Centre illegal and we now understand that it is set to close. Malcolm Turnbull and his government now face a dilemma. What is to be done with the 905  detainees on Manus 482 of whom have been assessed as genuine refugees ? 

Could the decision of the Supreme Court of PNG help to shift public opinion and  in turn is this likely to change the government’ s policies on the whole issue of offshore detention ? As an election looms it is unlikely that the present government’s policy decisions will shift on these issues but public opinion could well shift and influence election outcomes. 

Gillian Triggs in an interview on Radio National on Thursday 28th April reiterated that offshore detention is ‘unsustainable’.  It has long been pointed out by doctors, social workers, teachers and others with direct experience of working in offshore detention facilities that conditions there are indefensible in terms of morality, humanity , economics and legality. 

Another question to ask is “How does Australia look in the eyes of the International Community ?  Is it defensible to continue to “shift” the refugee problem elsewhere ? Our government should be working in collaboration with other countries to explore solutions to this worldwide crisis. Australian Government policy on these issues has never “stopped the boats” the boats have just been diverted elsewhere. 

The asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus are our responsibility. Those found to be genuine refugees should be resettled in Australia. 
These recent events give our RAR group an increased impetus and urgency to press on even more vigorously with our protests, market stalls and determination to do whatever we can to make our views public and hopefully to shift political opinion. 

Marlene Griffin
28. 4. 16  

Michael Blockeys letter to editor of Nambucca Guardian

The PNG government has ordered the Coalition to remove the 850 refugees from the Manus Island detention centre.  But where to send them? They could go home, they could go to PNG or they could be resettled in a 'third country' like Cambodia. Or they could be transferred to Nauru and Christmas Island to rot in indefinite detention 
All four 'solutions' are inhumane. The only one that is sustainable -  legally, morally and financially -  is to bring them to Australia. 
The Coalition rejects this. It says the people smugglers will launch an armada of refugee boats and hundreds of women and children will drown as a result. It's thinking is as follows: i) the Rudd policy states that boat people can't be settled in Australia, ii) this policy stops the people smugglers plying their trade, ii) because the 850 'Manus men' are boat people they can't, under the Rudd policy, be settled here, iii) temporarily suspending the Rudd policy to 'bring them here' will see the boat trade resumed, simply because the 'door' that previously stopped the people smugglers, the Rudd policy, is now open!
All three points are true. This frightens the Coalition. It believes it will lose the election if it suspends this policy so it can bring the 'Manus men' to Australia. 
There is a way of bringing the 'Manus men' here without being swamped with refugees. It involves a co-operation between Australian and Indonesian governments. It means standing up to the people smugglers, using  a particular strategy to counter them. 
The strategy?: i) the Coalition temporarily suspends the Rudd policy, ii) the 850 men are flown to Australia, iii) in response, the people smugglers resume the boat trade, iv)  our Navy detects the refugees  and transfers them  to Indonesian ships that return them to Indonesia, v) when the evacuation is finished, the Coalition restores the Rudd policy, vi) the Indonesian government informs its people that the Rudd policy is restored, vii) this news filters through to people smugglers and refugees and the boat trade stops.
The Coalition and Labor are so fearful of people smugglers, and have made us so fearful of them, that our refugee policy is dictated by them, eg the Rudd policy and turn back. It need not be. Australia and Indonesia, acting co-operatively, can counter the people smugglers!

Dr Michael Blockey, Scotts Head


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