It has been over a year since Indian Farmers began resisting the undemocratically passed anti- farmers and pro-corporate laws by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). At the completion of seven months’ demonstrations and roadblocks at the Delhi borders, the farmers’ unions called for a “National Day of Action” on 26th June 2021. Millions of People, farmers, and workers took part in the demonstration, rallies and public meetings, surrounded primary Government buildings in the national and state capital cities and memorandums were handed in.

In support of the call for National Day of Action, a Solidarity Rally was organised by the Derby Branch of Indian Workers Association GB on 26th June 2021. Showing unity in solidarity for the Indian farmers, the people of Derby broke the race, culture, and class barriers. They sent a message loud and clear that they shall not be divided. Many Trade Unions, Derby Area Trades Council, Black Lives Matter, Community Centres, and Sikh temples and some political parties participated in the rally. Joginder Bains, National Secretary of the IWA welcomed and thanked the participants for their support and solidarity for the Indian farmers who have been trying to save their livelihood, culture, and way of life from the claws of the monopoly capitalist multi-national companies supported by the BJP Government. In her opening remarks, she explained the dangers of the three farm laws and their negative impact on climate change. She said that despite the police brutality and BJP Government accusing farmers of anti-nationals, extreme weather and violence by the Government’s paid goons, farmers protest is growing stronger each day. Local and national demonstrations and roadblocks have shaken the BJP Government and Narinder Modi is losing public support in every state. She said IWA and this rally demand for repeal of the three laws and unconditional release of all farmers, social and political activists unlawfully imprisoned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Sedition Act.

Indian farmers’ struggle is a shared struggle, their victory is our victory and monopoly capitalism is our enemy was the repeated message of the rally. Rob Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain said, “working people here in England, Scotland, and Wales face the same powerful forces as those in India – namely the giant multinational corporations that want to squeeze the last drop of sweat and last penny in profit out of people in Indian, in Britain and the rest of the capitalist world.” Sonya Robotham, the chairperson for Black Community Matter, sending a message of solidarity said the farmers do not only produce food, they develop and build a culture, if farmers are destroyed, the millions of years old culture, the community and its roots will also be destroyed that She said we must save and protect. Balbir Rattu from Guru Ravidas Community Centre, Derby and Mr. Mohan Singh Manku from Ramgarhia Sabha Sikh Temple, sent a clear and strong message to the BJP Government that it must not underestimate farmers, the whole world is united behind them. They no doubt will win. Sue Argile, Socialist Workers’ Party, said, “ Indian farmers’ struggle is our struggle, if they win we all win and if they lose we will lose because our struggle is against the common enemy and it is between exploited and exploiter.” Karen Springer, Secretary of the Unite the Community and Derby Area Trades Council, spoke about the consequences of the three farm laws and its impact on the quality of food, environment and climate change. She warned without legal protection, farmers will be subject to extreme exploitation and abuse by multinational corporate companies. These are deliberate policies by Narinder Modi to serve the interests of big businesses, the likes of Ambani and Adani. She sent a message to the Indian farmers that they are not alone in their just struggle. Addressing the rally Mr Tari Atwal and Mr. Sheera Johal, both from Indian Workers’ Association GB, Birmingham, said that farmers have broken the religion, caste and class barriers. The farmers, farmworkers and factory workers – whose rights have also been attached by the Modi Government by passing anti-workers laws in 2020 – are united in their demands for repeal of anti-farmers and anti-workers laws. Many villages have boycotted the political parties and individual politicians who do not support farmers’ agitation. They said that the media only show the activities at the Delhi borders but much more work is done in the villages and at the grass-root level. Most importantly farmers’ message has reached every corner of the country and every citizen are now aware of the exploitation farmers and farmworkers have been subject to. They know now that the current and previous Governments have been denying them human and economic rights. They said let us not forget that farmers have extended their struggle against the “World Trade Organisation, International Monitory Funds and the World Bank” that are the real enemies. They ended their address with the following slogans:

No Farmers, No food
Kisan, Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad – Long live the unity of the farmers and workers
Inqilab Zindabad – Long live the revolution.

Moz Greenshields of Derby Area Trades Union Council said, “The best form of solidarity we can show is to fight these same monopolies and their politicians here in Britain. Today there are tens of thousands of people marching in London against austerity. We have to build that struggle in every workplace, town and village, and in that we can learn a lot from the determination and spirit of the Indian farmers.”

Rajwinder Sangha said we have strong links with farmers because our roots are in agriculture. We stand by Indian farmers and will do everything possible to ensure their victory. We must ensure BJP Government and its cronies Ambani and Adani are kept away from our cherished farming, culture and way of life. Kishan Mazdoor aekta Zindabad.

Joginder Bains thanked the participants for giving their valuable time and support to the Indian farmers. She said their messages of solidarity will reach the Indian farmers. The rally ended with the following slogans:

Solidarity with Indian farmers,
No farmers no food
Save agriculture save democracy
Long live the unity of farmers and workers
Long live revolution

Report : IWA (GB) Derby