Baljit Kaur, 50, Indian Farmer, Protest Leader

Updated: Feb 26


Baljit Kaur, 50 has been farming her entire life in Punjab, India. Cultivating her crops and tending to the land is something that she sees as a blessing and something that is in her blood.


These days, however, she is not in her fields – she is on the outskirts of the Indian capital New Delhi at the Tikri border, where she and many other farmers – female and male – have travelled for hundreds of kilometres to protest against new farming laws passed in September of 2019.


After 4 months, the deadlock continues as talks continue but also continue to fail. Farmers are vowing to intensify protests: “We are protesting for our land, against the kali kanoon [black law] that Modi has introduced,” Baljit says. She fears the new laws will jeopardise the ownership of land that has remained in her family for generations, and she is determined to set this right.


The farmers worry that the three laws, designed to deregulate the agricultural sector, do not include a Minimum Support Price (MSP), a minimum price guaranteed by the government at which farmers can sell their crops. Without this safety net, farmers fear they will have to participate in contract farming with private corporations, where these companies determine what the farmer grows and the price they sell at. The laws also remove restrictions on companies buying land and stockpiling goods.


The protests against these new laws have gained momentum over the past few weeks. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have marched from the three main farming states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to set up camp at Delhi’s Singhu and Tikri borders, main entry points to the nation’s capital.

Despite officials’ attempts to deter protesters from entering the city, the farmers’ agitation shows no signs of abating. Their demands are simple: repeal the laws.

While men dominate the public image of the farmers protesting in India, women are very much there as well. In fact, female farmers will be among some of the worst affected by the new laws.


https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020/12/21/meet-the-women-behind-the-indian-farmers-protests

#indianwomenprotest #womenprotestleadersIndia #womenofIndia #farmworkersprotest

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Protest2020! 2020 is the year of protest, ushered in on the heels of 2019, which saw numerous social explosions in the last few months of the year. Climate change, in particular, is feeding a well-founded sense of fear, particularly among the vulnerable and their activist allies whose lives and futures are highly precarious. In fact, all of us are vulnerable, and awareness is growing of the way in which we are all in this together. While in most places, most notably Hong Kong, protests have turned violent and thousands of arrests have been made, there have not yet been large numbers of fatalities, although dozens of protestors have died and continue to die in South America. In other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East – home to warfare for decades – particularly in Iraq and its neighbor and former enemy Iran, hundreds of protestors have been killed with live, military-grade ammunition. After 5 years of civil war in Syria, protest has given way to military action hand in hand with death and destruction. The numbers of people murdered by the governments of the region are not fully known, and especially hard to verify in Iran, where a brutal religious dictatorship maintains a thick cloak of secrecy over such information.

Iran and its allies in Iraq are now moving precipitously towards war with the United States, in part because the mentally ill president of that country needs to wage war in order to win reelection. Large parts of the world that are the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change are already suffering; places like the Philippines are experiencing devastating and lethal storms, one after the other, breaking all historical records.

Much of Australia has been on fire for months as we ring in 2020, accompanied by the hottest temperatures on record. This is changing Australian lives, politics, and the consciousness of the ordinary Australian who is now getting involved in the struggle to save their island, and coming to a better understanding of how their survival is linked to the rest of the world. In Japan, forces are growing in protest to push the Japanese government towards support for the Hong Kong protestors, confronting mainland China; also supporting the struggles of minority groups in mainland China, reporting on government abuses, etc. The US government has expressed its full support for the Hong Kong protestors, further escalating tensions between these two superpowers along with ally Russia. These tensions were already at their most aggravated moments as a result of the US/China trade war.

To make matters still worse, especially for SE Asia, the North Korean dictator is threatening the use of a new strategic weapon. Our world on the arrival first of 2020 and now 2021, is a tinderbox as never before. The 2020 presidential elections in the USA will be the single greatest determining factor for the survival of the planet. Given that the current president preaches a doctrine of conflict and confrontation rather than collaboration, and denies that climate change is even exacerbated by man-made actions, if he is re-elected, there will be little hope for our world in the short term.

Here at Protest2020.com, we invite you to protest, share your views, and help us all to march towards a more sustainable and peaceful world that will not totally implode, at least within our lifetimes, leaving hope for life to continue in more intelligent forms, better appreciating our planetary home. We ultimately seek harmony with nature so as to preserve life as we know it, as we dream it could be. Everything depends on how hard we are willing to fight to make it so.

 

Let’s get arrested, the more the merrier!

Protest2020!

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