Demonstrators rallied in Toronto on Saturday in support of farmers in India who are protesting new agriculture laws in that country.
Images posted to social media showed parts of Bloor Street packed with vehicles as protesters gathered outside of the Indian consulate near Bloor and Sherbourne streets.
“Protests all over India are happening. The majority of them are happening in Delhi at the centre and we are here today to support them,” said organizer Nanki Kaur.
Three agricultural laws that were passed in September allow farmers to sell their crops directly to private buyers instead of to the Indian government at a regulated price.
The Indian government argues it gives farmers more freedoms, but farmers fear that corporations would be able to exploit them since they argue the new legislation has no safeguards in place to protect them.
“So essentially the minimum price point that farmers should be getting for their crops, they will no longer be getting,” Kaur said.
“It would be like if workers here did not have a minimum wage anymore. That is why we are protesting here today.”
Kaur said she hopes demonstrations throughout Canada and the world will lead to change in India.
“I think it will put pressure on Indian authorities to rethink these bills and hopefully in the best interests, scrap them all,” she said.
Toronto police tweeted about the demonstration shortly after 1:30 p.m. Saturday and said there were reports of demonstrators in cars travelling into the city.
The tweet said officers were on scene and advised drivers to take alternate routes.
— With files from Kamil Karamali
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