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Leading unions and community organizations across Canada and elsewhere express support for India’s farmers

Statement of Solidarity with Farmers of India
·2-min read

OTTAWA, Feb. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a full-page ad in today’s Toronto Star, labour, community and civil society organizations in Canada and elsewhere expressed their support for India’s farmers. This Declaration of Solidarity comes at a time when thousands of farmers in India have been engaged for months in the largest and longest sustained non-violent resistance movement in Indian and possibly world history, surpassing Mahatma Gandhi’s historic 1930 Dandi March against the abhorrent British colonial Salt Law. The Declaration is part of a growing movement outside India to demonstrate that the world is watching and that we are firmly behind the farmers and their struggle to survive.

The farmers are protesting farm laws that will destroy the livelihoods of the millions employed in agriculture in India while blatantly advancing the interests of Prime Minister Modi’s corporate cronies. This is a struggle for survival that has brought out farmers and agricultural workers throughout the country, across class and caste lines. For almost four months now, hundreds of thousands have been protesting peacefully in the outdoors, braving the freezing winter and withstanding water cannons, tear gas, and barricades. Over 200 have died. Women from farm families are on the front lines. Even older farmers in their 80s are active participants.

Prime Minister Modi rammed the farm laws through Parliament in September, through dubious process and without debate, relying on a pliant media and pandemic conditions to muffle opposition outside Parliament. This happened without consultation with farmers’ representatives. When despite continued attempts at repression, the movement only grew stronger, the government launched an all-out effort to vilify and criminalize the farmers, including through arrests. The farmers’ movement has now also become a movement to defend the democratic rights to free speech, assembly, and peaceful dissent enshrined in the Indian Constitution, in resistance to Modi’s increasingly authoritarian regime.

“In these last months, the world has watched tens of thousands of Indian farmers and farm workers leave their fields for the streets to protest the corporate takeover of their livelihoods,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Canadian unions support their fight to repeal laws that will impoverish millions of small farmers and leave more farm workers unemployed.”

At this historic moment we stand with Indian farmers in their struggle for survival, for justice, for democracy, for a say in determining and protecting their futures and that of successive generations. The Government of India must repeal the unjust farm laws and meet the farmers’ demands.

Feroz Mehdi (Français) 514-982-6606 ext. 2247
Dolores Chew (English) 514-885-5976

PDF is available at : http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/5e8e3422-5a22-4b79-94d0-428d3f578f0e