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Newsletter for 1 November 2016 - Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Report of roadside demonstrations
Next market stall - Bellingen market 19th Nov
John Morse returns his AM medal
RAR annual meeting and get together

Roadside demonstration report

Although the turnout for our roadside demonstration outside the Big Banana last Thursday was disappointing, we nonetheless attracted lots of attention, most of it very positive, from passing motorists. We continue to believe strongly that these events are very worthwhile, as they keep the issues alive in people’s minds. The terrible situation on Nauru and Manus will only be resolved by concerted action on the part of the many groups around Australia like ours.  Sadly, our politicians, both Coalition and Labor, will continue to look the other way for as long as they feel they can get away with it. Let’s keep up the pressure!
Our next demonstration will be on Thursday 10th November on the Pacific Highway adjacent to the Plaza shopping centre in Nambucca Heads, from 3.00 pm until 4.30 pm. Please consider coming along to support the asylum seeker cause. If you are able to join us, please email Mike at : to let him know.
Next Market stall: Saturday 19th November at Bellingen Market

Our next market stall will be at the Bellingen market on Saturday 19th November. We have our new petition to Luke Hartsuyker for people to sign and our aim is to collect 100 signatures on the day. John and Mike are looking for help from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm, so if you could join us for an hour or two, that would be much appreciated. The markets are always enjoyable events, and we get to meet a wide range of people who are keen to engage in discussion about the government’s asylum seeker policies. All profits form the sales of our merchandise go to the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown, and we are pleased to report that we sent them a third donation of $150 following our recent stall at the Coffs Harbourside market. If you can help out at the Bellingen market, then please let Mike know at:
John Morse AM of Bellingen, returns his medal in protest

Some of you may have seen the following letter to Luke Hartsuyker, which was published in last week’s Bellingen Courier Sun:
Luke: I and many fellow Australians  felt a deep sense of despair and shame after watching Four Corners last Monday. As someone who has worked hard to promote this country around the world as the CEO of Tourism Australia, I feel we have lost our way with the cruel inhumane treatment and persecution of these beautiful young people interviewed on the show. They could offer our country so much. I will be returning my Order of Australia medal I received in 2003 for services to tourism and indigenous tourism because of this. I am deeply ashamed to call myself Australian today. I hope you feel the same. Also, the Prime Minister’s comment that it is Nauru’s responsibility is pathetic in the extreme.
John Morse AM.
We applaud John’s courageous and principled stance on behalf of the refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru. It could not have been an easy decision to make, and his action deserves the widest possible support and publicity. You could consider writing to Luke Hartsuyker in support of John’s action. His address is: 39, Little Street, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450.  Tel 6652 6233.
Meeting and social gathering for our supporters: Sunday 20th November, from 11.30 am.

Our last get-together was way back in February, and since then there has been a lot of activity, and we have welcomed many more supporters to our group. We would like to hold another meeting, followed by lunch and social get-together, on Sunday 20th November. The plan is to hold a meeting between 11.30 and 12.30 to discuss progress and plan future activities, and then to have lunch and social gathering from about 12.30 pm. People are asked to bring a plate to share.
This is a great opportunity to meet one another in a relaxed setting and to contribute to discussion about where we go from here. Please put the date in your diary and try to come along. It doesn’t matter at all if you have not been engaged with our group up to this point. There is a first time for everything, and you will receive a very warm welcome!
The event will take place at : 39 Rogers Drive, Valla Beach. If you can come along, please let Mike know at : so that we can plan accordingly. Directions in next week’s newsletter.


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