Port Alberni’s Sikh community is planning a car parade to show its support for farmers in India who are resisting Indian government policies that they say are threatening their way of life.
Sikh members in Port Alberni are joining the global protest “to show support,” said spokesperson Paramjeet Singh. “The government (in India) is putting protesters in jail now. We belong to that land; it’s our land. We were farmers, we came from there,” he said.
“We want to support our brothers and sisters and our land.”
Farmers in India and Sikh communities around the world have been staging largely peaceful protests for nearly three months, demanding the withdrawal of new laws that they say will favour large corporate farms and devastate the earnings of smaller scale farmers.
Protests have spilled into Canada and on Vancouver Island; a convoy of vehicles paraded from Saanich to the legislature in Victoria at the beginning of February to show solidarity with farmers in India.
The Port Alberni car parade will take place on Sunday, Feb. 21 starting at 10:30 a.m. Participants will gather in their vehicles ahead of time at the Sikh Temple located at 4144 Eighth Avenue. The route will go from Eighth Avenue to Roger Street, Gertrude Street, up Johnston Road to Maebelle Road, then down the Redford Extension past the hospital to 10th Avenue, Argyle Street, Third Avenue to Roger Street then Eighth back to the temple.
“We are anticipating fewer than 50 vehicles to take part and people will be encouraged to maintain their family bubbles within their vehicles,” Singh said.
“Masks will be available for anyone requiring one, and participants will remain in their vehicles throughout the event.”