Solidarity with Indian farmers
Unite EC member Jas Gill: trade unions across the world must stand with protesting Indian farmers
The Punjab farmers dispute is the biggest dispute and the largest protest in the world and other states in India have joined in. There are a lot of people in the Punjabi community posting this on their social media but it has been shadow banned by Facebook.
Meanwhile, mainstream media has not mentioned it a lot during the 40 plus days the protests have been going on.
The protests are in opposition to three farmers’ bills which have now become acts after the Indian Parliament passed them in September last year. These laws have a huge impact on farming communities in India which are poor, and at most farmers only have a few acres of lands. The three acts will allow large corporations to dictate price and supply which can in essence make farmers lose their livelihoods. This is the biggest stand against a government and corporations in the world.
They have been peacefully protesting for over 40 days and have been met with blockades, violence, tear gas, water cannons and more. The Indian government is stopping people from a democratic right which is to protest peacefully.
Farmers have been making food and giving it to other communities in the areas they are protesting, setting up schools, gyms, giving blood and setting up medical centres to help people in need. The Indian government has tried to label farmers as terrorists to discredit their dispute and has used Indian media for their biased propaganda.
There have been many protests by the Punjabi community around the world, in London, Vancouver, Birmingham, San Francisco, New York, Washington, Panama, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Austria, Holland, France, Toronto and many more.
This week MP Tanmanjeet Dhesi secured over 100 signatures from cross-party MPs and Lords in a letter which addresses the issues and the fact that prime minister Boris Johnson has overlooked these issues.
In India there will be a mass demonstration on their independence day on January 26th by the farmers’ unions.
We urge all trade unions and federations around the world to support the farmers and join us on January 26.
By Jas Gill, Unite Executive Council member