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Newsletter for 27 September 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Roadside demo report
Next popup roadside demos
Next market stall - Sat Oct 1st Valla Beach
A few facts and figures
Upcoming Helfgott concert

Roadside Demonstration Report
Last Thursday's roadside demonstration in Coffs Harbour was a great success. We had a great turnout of fifteen supporters, which ensured  that we were a very visible presence with our banners and placards. As usual, there was lots of support from passing motorists who waved, gave us the thumbs up and sounded their horns. These roadside demos are an excellent way to help get our message across about the urgent need to bring Australia's cruel offshore detention regime to an end.
Why not consider joining us for our next demo which will be in Toormina, on Hogbin Drive, opposite the fire station and in the direction of the Sawtell Garden Centre?  Date and time: Thursday 13th October from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pmIf you can attend, please email Robin at: to let him know.

Programme for roadside demonstrations
Thursday 13th October in Toormina, opposite the fire station on Hogbin Drive.
Thursday 27th October outside the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.
Thursday 10th November on the Pacific Highway in Nambucca Heads, adjacent to the Plaza shopping Centre.
Thursday 24th November in Bellingen on Waterfall Way adjacent to the public library.
All the demos start at 3.30 pm and end at 4.30 pm.

Our next market stall: Saturday 1st October at Valla Beach
A reminder that our next market stall will be this coming Saturday at Valla Beach. We are looking for supporters to join us between 9.00 am and 1.30 pm. If you can come along to help for an hour or so, please email Mike at:  The market stalls are always pleasant occasions: the opportunity for us to get together for a chat, interact with market goers and, most importantly, to get our message out there about the dreadful treatment of asylum seekers languishing in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island.

Refugees: a few facts and figures from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
·        There are now 65.3 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced. Of these, 21.3 million are recognised as refugees. This figure of 21.3 million comprises 16.1 million who come under the umbrella of the UNHCR mandate, and 5.2 million Palestinian refugees who are the responsibility of another UN agency, UNRWA.
·        The UNHCR budget rose to a record $5.3 billion in 2013. The Agency currently works in 126 countries, helping to care for 16.1 million people. By contrast, the Australian government has spent $9.6 billion since 2013 creating utter misery  for a few thousand asylum seekers in order to prevent them, and deter others, from coming to Australia.
·        According to UNHCR, Australia is ranked 25th overall in its resettlement of refugees. On a per capita basis, Australia ranks 32nd, and on a GDP comparison basis, ranks 47th. These statistics have remained constant for the past decade.
·        Just three countries in the world account for 54% of the refugee total. They are Somalia (1.1 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Syria (4.9 million).
·        Approximately 86% of the world's refugees are hosted in poor, developing countries. These include Jordan (664,000), Ethiopia (736,000), Iran (979,000), Lebanon (1.1 million), Pakistan (1.6 million) and Turkey (2.5 million).

Upcoming concert
There is to be a concert, in Bellingen at the Memorial Hall, next month in support of refugees. It is to be given by David Helfgott. There is also going to be another pianist playing with David.

The concert is on Sunday 27th November at 2pm. It is $70 a ticket and you can contact Mark Hallam at Sanctuary Australia Foundation (6652 2127). 

A good turn out at the Coffs popup demo last week.

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