Solidariteitsbrief: We Stand in Solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India

Let’s raise our voices in solidarity!

Nederlands (English below):
Tijdens ons webinar op 10 maart over de boerenprotesten in India ontstond het idee om een solidariteitsbrief op te stellen, breed te laten ondertekenen en naar de Indiase ambassadeur in Nederland te sturen. Teken je mee, als organisatie of individu?
Lees de brief hieronder, teken mee en stuur vooral de brief door! Nodig je netwerk uit om de brief ook te tekenen.


English:
During our webinar on March 10 about the farmers’ protests in India, the idea arose to draft a letter of solidarity, have it widely signed and send it to the Indian ambassador in the Netherlands. Read the letter below. Do you also want to show solidarity with the Indian farmers? Then sign the letter as well! (as organization or individual)
Share this page, invite your network to also sign the letter!


Solidariteitsbrief / Solidarity letter

Dear Mr. Pradeep Kumar Rawat,

The Indian farmers protests have completed six months on Delhi’s border. In Punjab, the protests started even earlier – beginning of October 2020. Through adverse weather conditions, the second wave of the pandemic and many incidents of violence, the farmers have held their position. The peaceful protests have become the largest and longest sites of resistance in independent India.

Indian farmers are standing up to defend their dignity and livelihoods. They are protesting three new laws, passed hastily without due deliberation, that will deregulate agriculture in India. For many, this is a matter of life and death. These laws benefit large conglomerate corporate entities and remove protections for farmers.

Nearly half of India’s workforce is in the agricultural sector, the majority on small-hold farms. Millions of families now stand to lose their farms. An increase in industrial farming could have a devastating impact on the food consumed and the future of the environment.

Farmers across India, young, old, men, women, have peacefully organized and protested for months. Yet they have faced violence, persecution, and retaliation by the government. The protest sites, at times, have been cut off from water, aid, and electricity. Internet services have been strategically suspended to silence dissent. Media outlets have been censored and threatened. Protestors, activists, and journalists have been arrested, assaulted, and held in indefinite detention.

These actions run counter to the cornerstones of democracy and basic human rights, including the freedom of assembly, expression and the right to participate in politics.

The voices of the farmers, from the fields of Punjab, to the villages of Kerala, to the streets of New Delhi, echo around the world. We raise our voices in solidarity with the protesting farmers, labourers, activists and journalists and condemn the way they have been treated.

We urge the Indian government to respect and protect the core principles of democracy and all human rights. These Farm Bills should be withdrawn and the Indian government needs to ensure that farmers can meaningfully participate in (policy and legal) decision-making processes that will impact their future. This solidarity call actually transcends the current protests and the three specific laws. The systemic issues that have been pushing Indian farming families into a helpless crisis should be addressed in a broader sense. The farmers’ struggle for survival and their protests, though less visible, actually started decades ago. 

Your sincerely,

Signatories

Annie Chou
Ela Voorsluijs
Erwin Odendaal, Body Stress Release
Gaia van Dongen
George Thurley
Gerdien Kleijer, Gerdien Kleijer management & advies
Gerrit Stegehuis
Greet Goverde
Helen Eggenkamp, SESAM academie
Jan Juffermans, Dutch Footprint Group
Leonne Muller, Biologysk Molkfeebedriuw Rûn libben en Grûn
Lien Vrijders
Marieke de Natris
Marleen Brouwer
Marthe van Russen Groen
Martien Spitzen, CSA Heerlijkheid de Hare
Meta Oostendorp, Boer Sil
Philippe Belliard, MSc student Wageningen University
Roan Lakerveld
Suzanna van der Meer, WURth-while
Tom Cats
Violette Plane
Voedsel Anders
Yoram van de Reep, Pluktuin van Geesje