You might have noticed car rallies occurring across Canada recently. But the subject of the protests might still be foggy for some.
In the west and east coast, rallies have been organized to stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of farmers protesting agricultural reforms brought upon by the Indian government.
In India, 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 that reforms will “lead to the end of the wholesale markets and assured prices, leaving them with no back-up option.”
Essentially, the laws bring private players into the controlled agriculture sector. Farmers are concerned that the sale and success of their crops will be left to the mercy of large corporations, which will impact the incomes of smaller producers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has voiced his concern on the topic, saying earlier this week, “Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protests. We believe in the importance of dialogue, and that’s why we’ve reached out by multiple means to Indian authorities to highlight our concerns.”
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On Sunday night, protestors were first seen on the streets of Surrey. Then on Wednesday afternoon, a car rally from Surrey to Vancouver was held. The organizers also highlighted 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.”
Masks were mandatory to participate in the rally, and drivers were only supposed to have members of their immediate household in the car.
The protestors ended up in downtown Vancouver to show their solidarity last night.
On December 1, a car rally was organized from Brampton to Toronto. The protestors continued to show their support even through the snowy weather.
— Harpal Singh (@harpalbrar11) November 30, 2020
— Preet (@Impreetdhanoa) December 1, 2020
— Joban Sunami (@sunami_joban) December 1, 2020
Participants could then be seen with a call and response, honking horns in protestor.
— Arshvir Singh (@Singh_Arshvir_) December 1, 2020
More protests were held in Calgary on December 2 with another planned this Sunday.
With files from Simran Singh.