PEI

Rallies in Charlottetown support farmers protesting in India

A series of rallies are taking place in Charlottetown to raise awareness and show support for farmers who are protesting new laws in India.

'They're afraid that they might not get enough price for their crop'

About 50 people gathered in Charlottetown Tuesday night to support farmers in India protesting new laws. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

Around 50 people set up at the intersection of Great George and Grafton streets on Tuesday evening holding signs as part of a demonstration of support for farmers protesting in India.

Organizers say they are hoping the series of planned rallies in Charlottetown will help raise awareness of those protests.

Thousands of farmers in India have been protesting, requesting the government scrap three new laws they say could devastate crop prices.

The farmers say the laws could cause the government to stop buying grain at guaranteed prices and result in their exploitation by corporations that would buy their crops for less money.

But government says the legislation brings about much-needed reform in agriculture that will allow farmers the freedom to market their produce and boost production through private investment.

Manpreet Singh says the group will hold a big rally with supporters from across P.E.I. on Saturday or Sunday — depending on the weather. (Submitted by Manpreet Singh)

The organizers of the Charlottetown rally said it could be devastating for farmers in India.

"They're afraid that they might not get enough price for their crop and eventually this will put their future in danger as well," said Manpreet Singh.

"Farming is the main source of income for us ... if they're going to lose their rights and if we don't have farming in the future, I think that's the biggest impact they're going to have on our families, including ourselves as well."

Protesters in support of the farmers in India were at the intersection of Great George and Grafton streets. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

More than half of India's 1.3 billion population is connected to agriculture and farming, so it's a huge issue for the country and involves a significant voter block.

Singh said the group is holding the rallies to let people know about what is happening in India — especially for those with families back home who farm.

"They're really worried about this because, as I told you, we mostly depend on the farming … all of my relatives, my family, they're all going to Delhi to protest against these laws," Singh said.

"They are blocking the roads and everything over there so that they can bring the attention of the government towards them."

Singh said they are hoping to get the attention of the Canadian government as well.

They plan to hold more rallies this week, with a bigger demonstration this weekend involving supporters from all over the Island.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Brittany Spencer, Wayne Thibodeau and The Associated Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now