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B.C. farmers hold New Year’s Day convoy to show support for protesting Indian farmers

Click to play video: 'B.C. farmers organize New Year’s Day convoy to show solidarity' B.C. farmers organize New Year’s Day convoy to show solidarity
Dozens of farmers took part in a New Year's Day convoy Friday, showing support for farmers protesting in India who say the government's new rules threaten their livelihood – Jan 1, 2021

Hundreds of B.C. farmers took part in a convoy on New Year’s Day to show solidarity for farmers protesting in India.

The farmers gathered at Bear Creek Park in Surrey Friday afternoon before the car convoy left for downtown Vancouver.

Participants say the new year brings a new style of ways they can show their support.

Read more: Online censorship claims shadow Indian farmer solidarity protests

“With the other ones before, you had a lot of chanting with Khalistan or you had different slogans that were being said or yelled out through the microphones — either in support of the farmers or the religious beliefs — but this one is just going to be more praying,” participant and volunteer Kuljinder Singh Gill told Global News. “There won’t be shouting this time.

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“Everybody will be following the COVID guidelines. Messages have been given out for the COVID guidelines and they will be covered, they’ve been covered.”

Rallies to show support started in B.C. on Dec. 5 and this is the 34th day something has been happening locally.

Click to play video: 'Claims of ‘shadow banning’ and censorship of the India farmers protest online' Claims of ‘shadow banning’ and censorship of the India farmers protest online
Claims of ‘shadow banning’ and censorship of the India farmers protest online – Dec 18, 2020

Supporters say they will not give up until a deal is reached.

India has one of the highest rates of farmer suicides in the world, often driven by debt. The decades-long problem has hit a boiling point.

The Indian government’s recently-passed agriculture laws are widely perceived by protesting farmers as unjust, eliminating what many consider their minimum wage.

Read more: ‘If we don’t come back, remember we fought:’ India’s farmers remain resolute after failed talks

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But the Indian government has argued the laws will improve farmers’ incomes, giving them a wider market to sell to.

The use of brute force by police, who have deployed tear gas, barbed-wire barricades and batons on peaceful protesters, has drawn international condemnation, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Millions around the world have been standing in solidarity with the farmers and their right to peacefully protest.

Click to play video: 'Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India' Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India
Photographer gives deeper understanding of farmer’ protests in India – Dec 9, 2020

-with files from Neetu Garcha

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