Organizers plan second car rally to Vancouver in support of farmers in India

Dec 4 2020, 5:23 pm

A second car rally is planned for this weekend in support of the farmers protesting in India.

This comes after a large car rally took place on December 2 from Surrey to the Indian Consulate in downtown Vancouver.

Hundreds drove to the downtown core and rallied outside the consulate to stand in solidarity with thousands of farmers protesting agricultural reforms brought upon by the Indian government.

The farmers — many 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.

“Many of us are farmers here in BC”

Rally organizers explain the farmers’ concerns are tied to the fact the reforms will “lead to the end of the wholesale markets and set minimal fair prices.”

“We have organized a Kisaan (farm) support car rally in solidarity and support with the farmers. We are the immigrants and children of immigrants with deep ties to farming back home in India. Many of us are farmers here in BC. We are truly connected and our roots have deep ties to the soil and earth of India,” note organizers in a release.

The rally is scheduled for 11 am on Saturday, December 5, at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre. The convoy will then drive to Vancouver ending at First Avenue for cars and the McGill exit for trucks.

“Please stay in your vehicles at all times. If you have to get out please wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines. Stay healthy,” states the event page.

Over 1,000 cars expected

Surrey police are advising the public that nearly 1,000 vehicles are expected to come together at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

“Those wishing to avoid the rally and any associated traffic concerns, are asked to choose alternate routes. It is specifically recommended to avoid the 176 Street corridor, between 60 Avenue and Highway 1, between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm,” said police in a media statement.

“Surrey RCMP respects the rights of participants who are exercising their Freedom of Peaceful Assembly. However, we are reminding all participants that BC Provincial Health Orders are currently in effect which have placed restrictions and prohibitions on events and gatherings.”

RCMP is asking participants to stay in their vehicles and not congregate or intermingle with other participants.

“If you have to step out of your vehicle, please wear a mask and maintain social distancing.”

Police say they will be in the area assisting with traffic and “monitoring the situation.”