Protesters take to Kelowna roads in support of Indian farmers

The demonstration took over the centre lane of Harvey Avenue as protesters headed to Prospera Place. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)The demonstration took over the centre lane of Harvey Avenue as protesters headed to Prospera Place. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
The demonstration took over the centre lane of Harvey Avenue as protesters headed to Prospera Place. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)The demonstration took over the centre lane of Harvey Avenue as protesters headed to Prospera Place. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Protest organizer Harpreet Marwaha. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Protest organizer Harpreet Marwaha. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Protesters gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Sunday, Dec. 6, in opposition to what they called anti-farmers bills in India. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Members of the Okanagan Valley’s Punjabi community gathered at Prospera Place in Kelowna Sunday afternoon (Dec. 6) in support of Indian farmers.

The demonstration took to the road, with a kilometres-long line of sign-donning, honking vehicles taking over the centre lane of Highway 97 as they made their way to Prospera Place. The protest — comprised of several local farmers of Indian heritage — is one of many that have taken place across Canada in recent weeks against several new agricultural laws imposed in September by the Indian government.

Those laws, in part, allow farmers to sell products directly to private buyers, rather than middlemen adhering to the state-controlled minimum support price (MSP), which since 2009 has safeguarded farmers’ profits. While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated the laws will allow farmers to earn more money by opening new streams of revenue, farmers have expressed fears that private buyers won’t adhere to government-set minimum prices.

The new bills, protesters said, upend decades of business practices for Indian farmers, putting their livelihoods at risk.

“If we do not bring attention to what’s happening in India right now, it’s going to end in bloodshed,” said protester Amarjit Singh Lalli. “All three [bills] favour corporations … they will wipe out the small farmers in India.”

In India, the farmers’ protests near the country’s capital city, Delhi, have been met with tear gas and water cannons. This prompted what Indian officials called interference in its affairs by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said Canada would always support the right of farmers to be heard.

“Canada will always stand up for the right of peaceful protest anywhere around the world. And we’re pleased to see moves towards de-escalation and dialogue,” Trudeau said Friday when asked about India’s criticism of his remarks.

READ MORE: Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The protesters in Canada stated their Indian counterparts — largely from the state of Punjab — are not being allowed their right to peaceful protest, and as such, the demonstrations have made their way across the globe.

“It’s been more than two months … the Indian government is not listening to them,” said protest organizer Harpreet Marwaha. “If that bill is applied … I don’t think they will be able to survive.”

Organizers estimated that roughly 300 people took part in the protest, with all adhering to COVID-19 precautions they had set out.

The Kelowna protest followed a similar one held in Penticton on Saturday.

With files from the Canadian Press

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CanadaIndiaprotest

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

The Journey, an art exhibit by Pauline Hurley, was on display at the Summerland Ats Centre earlier this spring. Beginning June 15, the Summerland Community Arts Council will present Spark, a 10-week community arts challenge. (Summerland Review file photo)
Challenge to spark creativity among Summerland artists

Spark challenge will begin June 15 and will run 10 weeks

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden schedules Okanagan stop on 2022 Canada-wide tour

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Burned-out bathroom could cost Vernon $25K

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Cody Bandsma practises kiting with his new paraglider wing at Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
VIDEO: Cody Bandsma reaching new heights over the Shuswap

Former 100 Mile resident discovers Salmon Arm by air with powered paraglider

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

A young child has been taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Investigation ongoing after child struck by vehicle downtown Vernon

A young child was taken to hospital Friday with undetermined injuries

Most Read