One of the protesters in support of farmers against the Indian government's recent agriculture bills talking with a passerby outside the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre on Dec. 5. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Rally in support of India’s farmers travels through Penticton

Around 30 protesters participated in the rally

Penticton residents rallied together in support of farmers in India on Saturday.

They joined other protests across Canada and the world against the Indian government’s implementation of several new agriculture bills Dec. 5.

READ MORE: Rally in support of Indian farmers to drive through Penticton

In September, the Indian government passed bills that would open up the agricultural industry to expanded private interests.

The Saturday morning rally followed one earlier this fall in Penticton, which was organized by the Okanagan Sikh Community and held on Oct. 17.

The concern stems from how farmers do business in India and how the new bills upend the decades of business practices, as well as the government’s response to protests.

In particular, one of the bills allows farmers to sell their produce directly to customers, instead of selling them to or through state-controlled government market places.

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

“Our main motive is to make the world aware of what is going on,” organizer Hitesh Talwar told the Western ahead of the rally. “It’s the same thing with the Black Lives Matter; farmers’ lives are in danger right now.”

Farmers in India have been protesting the bills since before they were passed in September. Protests have lead to reports of violence against some of the protesters, according to Talwar.

The protest left the Penticton Wal-Mart parking lot, travelling through downtown Penticton before looping back to end at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, where the protesters stood outside their vehicles in the parking lot with their signs and spoke with passersby.

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