Traffic came to a screeching halt on Third Avenue and East 23rd Street during the late afternoon on Dec. 1 thanks to a convoy of automobiles protesting in solidarity with the thousands of farmers in India who are fighting against new pro-market agricultural policies.
The parade of vehicles were filled with passengers hanging outside of car windows and spring up from sunroofs holding signs and shouting, “No Farmers, No Food!”
In India, farmers have historically undergone endless debt to the point where several commit suicide. From requesting debt waivers to maintaining Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers provide food for over 60% of India’s population, but this new change has instilled a fear that the current administration will shift to benefit to major corporations instead of landowners.
Awareness of this international issue was brought to Manhattan thanks to concerned New Yorkers, who are enraged by the farmers’ treatment.
To match the farmers on tractors blockading the streets of New Delhi, protesters drove their vehicles along the city streets blocking traffic up Third Avenue. These new policies scrap the standard farming traditions of selling produce at wholesale markets for minimum assured crop prices to creating a more open system, allowing produce to be sold widely and to big corporations.