On the International Day of Labour, Courage Coalition stands in solidarity with farmers in India, who have been protesting three new agricultural laws since they were formally passed in September 2020. These new laws will effectively dismantle the guaranteed prices farmers receive through the government’s purchase of staple crops. Crucially, it will open up the farming sector to exploitation by large corporations. Tens of thousands of Indian farmers have braved police violence, state repression and a global pandemic to protest these laws, demanding that these reforms be rescinded.
These laws also mean that India’s food security is threatened, as the new laws will favour commodity production for trade rather than food production for the people. This spells a looming crisis for millions of daily wage labourers, farm workers and other poor and marginalized groups who rely on the price protections offered by the state. The neoliberalization of agriculture is intimately connected to food security, health justice, job security, and the well-being of millions of people in India.
As organizers, workers and unions in Canada, we recognize the fight of India’s farmers as an issue of global importance. While our situations may be different, our fights and demands for justice have much in common. We recognize the farmers’ movement as a workers’ movement against neoliberalism and corporate greed. We stand with the farmers in their demands to repeal these laws, to protect their livelihoods, and in their democratic right to protest.
This statement is published in collaboration with CERAS (Centre d’Étude et Ressources d’Asie Sud/Center for Study and Research in South Asia) and India Civil Watch-Montreal. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.