Advertisement

Large crowds turn out for 2nd B.C. convoy supporting Indian farmers

Click to play video 'Artist Jazzy B on why he and other British Columbians support farmers protests in India' Artist Jazzy B on why he and other British Columbians support farmers protests in India
Artist Jazzy B on why he and other British Columbians support farmers protests in India – Dec 4, 2020

Hundreds of people turned out on Saturday for a second protest in solidarity with farmers in India.

Demonstrators are supporting farmers, mostly from India’s Punjab region, who are furious about a trio of proposed new agricultural laws.

Click to play video 'Surrey to Vancouver car rally held in solidarity with Punjabi farmers' Surrey to Vancouver car rally held in solidarity with Punjabi farmers
Surrey to Vancouver car rally held in solidarity with Punjabi farmers – Dec 2, 2020

Farmers and their supporters say the legislation will end guaranteed grain prices from the government, opening them up to exploitation by large corporations.

Story continues below advertisement

Organizer Rob Kanwal estimated at least 300 vehicles were a part of the procession, and stressed that peaceful protest and social distancing were priorities.

“We have lands over there, we have families and relatives over there. We have the same feeling,” he said.

“We want to tell them we are all with them.”

Read more: Hundreds of vehicles join B.C. car rally in solidarity with Punjabi farmers

Protesters have camped out on highways in the Indian capital of Delhi for days. Last weekend, police used tear gas, water cannons and baton charges on protesters as tensions escalated.

Many participants told Global News they still have family in India and deep ties to the Punjab region.

“I come from a family full of farmers,” Avy Kaur said.

“If this bill actually gets put into action, it will negatively affect all the farmers there. They will not be able to have the freedom to be able to choose their own price, to be able to sell their crops, which would put all of these farmers in poverty and absolutely kill them.”

On Wednesday, hundreds of vehicles turned out for a similar rally.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'Sights and sounds of downtown Vancouver rally to support Indian farmers' Sights and sounds of downtown Vancouver rally to support Indian farmers
Sights and sounds of downtown Vancouver rally to support Indian farmers – Dec 2, 2020

 

Kanwal said the rally and many similar events being held across Canada this week were intended to raise public awareness of what was happening in India, and put pressure on the Canadian government to speak up.

“It’s only for the farmers,” he said.

“No farmers, no food. We need them to go back so they can feed the world and feed everybody.”

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was concerned about the farmers, prompting a response from the Indian foreign minister that Canadian intervention in the country’s affairs was “unacceptable.”

Read more: ‘Unacceptable’: India warns Trudeau his remarks on farmers’ protests may hurt bilateral ties

Story continues below advertisement

Saturday’s rally kicked off at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds at 11 a.m., before travelling by convoy to the Indian consulate in downtown Vancouver.

Surrey RCMP are warning drivers that it could cause congestion.

-With a file from Reuters