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Large Surrey convoy in support of farmers in India postponed

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
B.C. farmers organize New Year's Day convoy to show solidarity – Jan 1, 2021

Organizers of a large Surrey rally in support of farmers in India have postponed the event, citing COVID-19 safety precautions.

It comes after Surrey RCMP warned the public about possible traffic congestion associated with the event.

Police said more than 1,000 vehicles were expected to gather at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre at noon, then travel to the Indian consulate in downtown Vancouver around 4 p.m.

“Those wishing to avoid the rally and any associated traffic concerns are asked to choose an alternate route,” said police in a media release.

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

“It is specifically recommended to avoid the 176 Street corridor between 60 Avenue and Highway 1 between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.”

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It is not clear when the event is being rescheduled to.

Click to play video: 'B.C. farmers’ solidarity movement maintains momentum into the new year' B.C. farmers’ solidarity movement maintains momentum into the new year
B.C. farmers’ solidarity movement maintains momentum into the new year – Jan 1, 2021

The rally will be the second of 2021, following a similar event on New Year’s Day.

Protesters say they’re supporting farmers in India in a dispute with the Indian government over a series of new agriculture laws.

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

Farmers say the new provisions are unjust, and by eliminating minimum prices will undercut their livelihoods.

The Indian government insists the new laws will improve farmers incomes by giving the access to a wider market for their produce.

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The use of force by Indian police, including tear gas and batons, against peaceful protesters has drawn international condemnation, including from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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