Comox Valley residents held a rally at Lewis Park and a convoy through Courtenay and Comox, to show support for farmers in India.
Newly passed agricultural laws in that country threaten the livelihood of farmers, who argue the new laws – which call for the deregulation of crop pricing – will leave them at the mercy of the corporations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi refutes those fears, saying the new laws will allow the farmers more control of their own product.
“I am confident, farmers who have some doubts on agricultural reforms today, will also take advantage of these agricultural reforms in future and increase their income,” Prime Minister Modi said in a Nov. 30 tweet.
Ongoing protests throughout India have drawn hundreds of thousands of marchers. Similar protests have emerged in communities worldwide.
Nitesh Chaudhary organized the local rally and convoy. Approximately two dozen vehicles took part in the convoy, which went from Lewis park to Walmart, before turning around, crossing the 17 Street Bridge, heading up through Comox and back to Lewis Park, via Ryan Road.
Chaudhary addressed the participants at Lewis Park, prior to the beginning of the convoy.
“As we all know thousands of Indian farmers are protesting [for the past] few months and now they are marching towards New Delhi, [protesting] against three agricultural bills passed by Indian government. Now the concern is these bills will open the agricultural market to corporations and they will take it over and lead the business and nothing about MSP (minimum support pricing) is discussed in bill which is very disappointing.”
After Chaudhary’s address, he led the group in prayer, before the convoy headed out.