A car rally in support of the farmers protesting agricultural laws in India made its way from Surrey to Vancouver this afternoon.
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The Punjab Kisaan Morcha Car Rally was organized to stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of farmers protesting agricultural reforms brought upon by the Indian government.
The farmers — hailing from the northern Punjab and Haryana states — are marching thousands of kilometres to New Delhi, protesting three government agriculture laws passed in mid-September by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Rally organizers explain the farmers’ concerns are tied to the fact the reforms will “lead to the end of the wholesale markets and assured prices, leaving them with no back-up option.”
“The protection of farming rights is part of a larger narrative, including the climate crisis, water and land rights, political reforms, pro-business policies, predatory loans, multi-national safeguards, and GMO seedlings,” states a release.
Organizers also highlight the connection to BC, noting, “We are immigrants and the children of immigrants with deep ties to farming back home and in BC. Many farmers from the Punjab now call BC their home and cultivate the land here.”
The rally began at the Strawberry Hill Parking Lot at 12:45 pm with protesters arriving at the Indian Consulate in downtown this afternoon.
Organizers said COVID-19 protocols were mandatory as participants were only to travel with their immediate households, wear masks, and practice social distancing if outside their vehicles.