Protestors at Cloverdale Fairgrounds show their support for farmers in India during a rally in December. (File photo: Jason Sveinson)

Protestors at Cloverdale Fairgrounds show their support for farmers in India during a rally in December. (File photo: Jason Sveinson)

Surrey start for ‘Global Day of Action’ car rally to support farmers in India

Departure from Strawberry Hill on Tuesday, Jan. 26

Surrey is the starting point Tuesday (Jan. 26) for the Metro Vancouver-area part of a global protest against farming reforms in India.

At Indian consulates around the world, “A Global Day of Action” rallies have been organized by Sikhs around the world to rally in support of farmers.

In Surrey on Tuesday, a car rally will depart from Strawberry Hill (Scott Road/72nd Avenue) at around 11 a.m. Tuesday for a trip to the Indian Consulate in Vancouver, for arrival at 1 p.m.

“Sikh Canadians are joining communities worldwide to scrutinize India’s actions against peaceful protesters who are resisting agricultural reforms that benefit corporations,” says a news release.

Rallies are being held in Canada, the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Germany and Denmark “to bring attention to India’s history of oppressive actions as vulnerable farmers and their families continue to protest in Delhi.”

Rally organizers have employed the hashtag #askindiawhy, and details about the global effort are posted on askindiawhy.com.

Since November, India’s farmers have demanded the repeal of laws they say will largely privatize agriculture and push smaller operators out of the market and plunge them further into debt.

• RELATED STORY: Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather.

Last week, organizers of Surrey Challo, a protest in support of the farmers in India, said they were disappointed after they say they were denied the right to protest at Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

The Surrey Challo event, described as a “drive-in and park” and a “cultural awakening and lively” protest, was planned for the Cloverdale Recreation Centre grounds on Jan. 16. Posters for the event listed speeches and performances by about 20 individuals and groups.

Pindie Dhaliwal, an organizer of the protest, said they were told by Surrey RCMP, as they were arriving, that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute, with a drive-by past RCMP “E” Division in Green Timbers.

with a file from Lauren Collins

• READ MORE: Changes in Indian farm laws could benefit Canada, experts say.

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