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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street officially opened on March 31, 2021. (Brennan Phillips)
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District reverses funding decision on care centre

Approval now granted to fund $1 million for Urgent and Primary Care Centre in Penticton

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (google maps)
More potential exposures dates added to Keremeos school by Interior Health

The entire school week from April 26 to 30 now had a potential exposure

A new video from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), features members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services/Screenshot)
VIDEO: Penticton immigrant service group releases video addressing racism in the Okanagan

Video begins by using real audio from racist incidents in the Okanagan

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New temporary outdoor shelter in Kelowna opens

The new area on Richter Street and Weddell Place replaces the Baillie Avenue site

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read