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Bello Nambucca RAR Newsletter 21st January 2020

Roadside demonstration report

Bellingen market report

Letter to the Prime Minister

Update on Bomana prison, Port Moresby

New open letter

Roadside demonstration report
Our demonstration in Bellingen last Thursday attracted hugely positive responses both from passing motorists and from people walking by. Whilst it is understandable that, after six years, people might grow weary of feeling the need to stand regularly at the roadside to remind the public about our government’s heartless and cruel asylum policy, there are two powerful reasons for continuing with our campaign. Firstly, our government has been forced to respond to this kind of public pressure about the treatment of refugees: there are now no children detained on Nauru, and the Manus island detention centre has closed. Secondly, it is intolerable that so many refugees – including some 220 men in PNG - remain in limbo, and in poor health, after being detained since 2013. We simply have to keep up the fight for their freedom. Please consider joining us at our roadside demonstrations to help maintain the pressure.
Our upcoming demonstrations are as follows:
Thursday 30th January: Big Banana, Coffs Harbour
Thursday 13th February: Opposite the base hospital, Coffs Harbour
Thursday 27th February: Waterfall Way, Bellingen
Thursday 12th March: Big Banana, Coffs Harbour
Thursday 26th March: Opposite the base hospital, Coffs Harbour.
All the demonstrations run from 2.30 to 4.00 pm

Bellingen market report

Bellingen has received some much-needed rain in recent days, which resulted in the organisers cancelling Saturday’s market, so we have nothing to report!
Our next market stall will be at Valla Beach market on Saturday 1st February from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm. If you are able to help out for an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at:

Letter to the Prime Minister
This week we finally sent off the open letter to the Prime Minister, signed by 575 supporters at our market stalls, calling on the government to end the practice of issuing Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to refugees who have been found to be in need of protection under international law. The normal practice across the world is for refugees, once their asylum claims have been investigated and validated, to be given permanent protection, so that they can rebuild their lives in a new country. The current policy, reintroduced by the Abbott government, leaves refugees in a permanent state of uncertainty and anxiety. It is driven by political rather than humanitarian considerations. You can find the letter on our blog letters page.

New open letter
We have a new open letter to the Prime Minister, which we had planned to launch at the Bellingen market, but which we will now launch at the Valla Beach market on 1st February. The focus is very much on the plight of the asylum seekers and refugees who remain in limbo in PNG, and who our government is keen for us to forget about. You can view the open letter on our blog letters page. If you would like a copy of the petition, so that you can collect signatures from family and friends, then please email Mike at: Just think, if 50 supporters each collected just 10 signatures, that would really boost our efforts!

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