A hail storm didn’t stop supporters of Indian farmers from marching in Surrey on Sunday afternoon (March 7).
Waving flags and signs, close to 200 people walked north from Bear Creek to Holland Park on the west sidewalk of King George Boulevard.
It was the latest protest in support of Indian farmers, who have been protesting against three farm laws passed by the government there last September.
Hardeep Singh, an organizer of Sunday’s “walk rally,” said such protests won’t stop in Surrey anytime soon.
“It won’t end, this will keep going,” he told the Now-Leader. “The protests will go ahead with the same plan as in India. Eventually, the government will have to back down. Right now they’re not listening so they are arresting people and even punishing those in the media, the social activists. It’s getting more bitter and angry.”
Elsewhere in Surrey, nightly protests have been held at the corner of 72nd Avenue and Scott Road.
“We are there from 6 o’clock until 9, every night, for 94 days so far, and that’s part of this,” Singh said. “It’s a larger number on weekends, Friday and Saturday nights, but weekdays it’s large, yes. Lots of people come and honk their horns and talk to us, and some people even bring coffee and something to eat, pizza and stuff. They’ve been going on for awhile now, so people know about it. Everybody is supporting this.”
— Surrey Now-Leader (@SurreyNowLeader) March 7, 2021
Across Surrey, more and more vehicles are seen with “No Farmers, No Food” stickers and flags.
Singh said it’s an important issue that all Canadians should be concerned about.
“There are a lot of people from India here and this is important,” he said. “The main reason is, it’s not just about farmers anymore, it’s about human rights issues too. It’s freedom of speech.
“These are peaceful protests,” Singh added. “It’s about putting pressure on the Indian government and sending them a message from here and everywhere else around the world.”
Meantime, the ongoing Indian farmers protests will cast a bigger spotlight in a number of locations throughout the Lower Mainland, with what protesters are calling a ‘Basmodi Wave’ — that is, “stop Modi,” India’s prime minister.
Surrey City Hall is the focus of a rally this Saturday (March 13), starting at noon, along with an “Outdoor Day” March 23 at Bear Creek Park.
Protesters plan to place 200 pairs of shoes in remembrance of those who have lost their lives during the protests in India.
“We are deeply concerned by how events have unfolded against peacefully protesting farmers and will hold this demonstration in support of the farmers,” states a press release from the Basmodi Team protest organization.
The group states that everyone attending the event will wear a mask and all COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.