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International round-up: Millions of workers could add to Indian farmers’ protests

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Issue 2736
A farmers protest in India
A farmers’ protest in India (Pic: Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

Protests by hundreds of thousands of farmers in India continue to grow despite cold and heavy rain in the capital New Delhi. 

Barricade camps on main highways into the city have been inundated with food, clothing and gifts arriving from all over India and the world.

Videos and songs that praise the farmers have spread massively on social media and helped compound the government’s isolation.

And the farmers could soon be joined by millions of workers as unions consider the idea of a new strike wave.

The All India Trade Union Congress general secretary said, “We are also planning for a prolonged general strike of multiple days.” 

Indian farmers join mass action after Modi government attacks 
Indian farmers join mass action after Modi government attacks 
  Read More

The rural protest movement has spread across much of India. 

It demands the repeal of “agricultural reform” laws recently passed by the hard right government of Narendra Modi.

Poor farmers say the laws will rob them of their land and hand more power to multinational firms. 

Ending state regulation of prices of basic foodstuffs will expose the rural poor to the savagery of the free market. 

Most protesters already struggle to make ends meet and own only one or two acres of land. 

The reforms will likely lead to them losing what little they have.

The Modi government wants to see small farmers gobbled up by big agribusinesses that can gain maximum “efficiencies”.

But Modi has been pushed onto the defensive by the action and his attempts to negotiate a settlement have so far failed.

Farmers say that this is going to be a “fight to the death” and have evoked the spirit of the movement that finally drove the British out of India in 1947. 

The addition of millions of workers could be the straw that breaks Modi’s back.

Boris Johnson and foreign secretary Dominic Rabb are expected to visit India later this month, showing their support for Modi’s brutal regime.

Abortion win in Argentina

Thousands have taken to the streets in Argentina to celebrate the legalisation of abortion.

The South American country’s senate has legalised abortions up to 14 weeks into pregnancy. Abortions can also be performed after 14 weeks in cases of rape or if the woman’s health is at risk. This victory is a result of years of struggle and mass protest by abortion rights’ movements. 

One campaigner, Ingrid Beck, said, “The struggle for women’s rights is always arduous.

“And this time we even had to contend with a pandemic, so I am overjoyed with this result.”

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