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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Indian Farmers Protest

March 23, 2021

In September 2020, the Parliament of India passed 3 farm acts, which have since sparked protests. Specifically, these 3 farm acts affected the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce Act, the Farmer’s Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities Act [1]. These newly amended laws would allow monopolies to be created and could potentially negatively affect a farmer’s ability to achieve a fair livelihood. 

In India, Agriculture is 58% of the source of livelihood for its residents [2]. It is an extremely important political issue in India. However, when the farmers began peaceful protesting, it turned violent. Police have fought back through authoritarian tactics as they fired tear gas, water cannons, and detained protestors. It was also noted that the government suspended internet access and cut off electricity. Furthermore, they eliminated bathroom access for protest camps. Journalists have been reported being detained and beat up [3]

Many of the people protesting these new laws are farmers who are members of the Sikh religious minority from the states of Punjab and Haryana. However, farmers in other parts of the country have also held rallies in solidarity. A lot of celebrities are expressing their support as well. Check out these social media posts by Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, and Justin Trudeau. 

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Meena Harris (@meena)

 


Examining this issue, from an international law perspective, the actions that the Indian government has taken violate International Law agreements and the country’s own Constitution. First, access to water and sanitation rights are covered under domestic and international law rights. Specifically, in 1983 during the Bandhua Mukti Morcha case,  the Supreme Court of India ruled that the right to clean drinking water and a hygienic environment is the state’s responsibility and is covered under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution [4]. It is a requirement of a healthy environment. When the police cut off bathroom access and electricity, they violated this right. 

Furthermore, Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful assembly. The farmers were well within their rights to engage in peaceful protests about this issue. They should not have been subjected to police brutality. Lastly, under International Human Rights Law, India has an obligation to provide Internet to its residents unless a restriction is necessary due to a specific national security concern. This restriction should not be used in broad and/or discriminatory shutdowns or as a means to control information and violate an individual’s right to peaceful assembly [4].  The right to peaceful assembly and expression needs to be protected in all aspects, including online means and offline avenues. 

If you are wondering how to help, listed below are some ways to educate yourself, seek out resources, donate to the cause, and promote awareness! 


Instagram accounts to follow for more information in support of the movement


Articles to read

 

Videos to watch


Donate

  • Khalsa Aid: An international NGO dedicated to providing humanitarian aid in areas needing assistance around the world.
  • Save Indian Farmers: A non-profit organization that promotes awareness and assistance amidst the increased suicide rate of Indian farmers.
  • Kisaani: An apparel company that donates all of its profits to support Sahaita, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the farmers.

 

Share

Support The Kisaan is a great all-around resource with links to petitions, informative articles, donation websites, etc. that you can share on social media.  


References 

[1]https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/farmers-big-concern-and-what-govt-could-negotiate-7073291/

[2]https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/10/asia/india-farmers-protest-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html

[3]https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/02/india-government-must-stop-crushing-farmers-protests-and-demonizing-dissenters/

[4]https://www.thequint.com/news/law/farmer-protest-blockades-violate-human-rights-law-water-sanitation-assembly-international-supreme-court#read-more 

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-55937894

https://sikhsiyasat.net/farmers-in-india-and-the-fundamental-right-to-protest-international-human-rights-day-2020/