Michael Ramos | Church Council of Greater Seattle | February 6, 2021
On behalf of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, I offer our full solidarity with you in support of the farmers in India who have endured great hardship, violence, repression, and misinformation to stand up for their rights.
What is more basic than to fight to protect one’s livelihood? The honorable Sikh farmers are not political activists but first and foremost human beings trying to thrive and contribute to the Indian economy. It is a human right to be fairly compensated for productive work on the land.
For generations, our Sikh siblings have embodied a sacred trust through their relationship with the land. Their labor is not to be exploited, nor a commodity to be stolen, for an economy of greed and the maximization of profit for the few on the backs of the many. We join with them in urging a return to a more just system that does not serve corporate domination and attempt to drive them off the land. We believe in your way of life and the right to a sustainable, sufficient livelihood for each and all of you!
We have seen the damage done by the North American Free Trade Agreement and how corporate interests, with governmental cooperation, forced millions of farmers to leave home, abandon their land, and become farmworkers in places like the United States. This must not happen again!
Christians and people of other faiths share a deep respect for the Sikh religion. Your values of human dignity, social justice, equality and honoring God are inspiring values that spiritual people throughout the world seek to uphold. You affirm your faith in taking up this struggle and show that your commitment is lived out in actions to confront injustice and preserve family, community and right livelihoods. Our prayers and blessings go with you!
The farmers’ lives are sacred and must be protected. We join our solidarity with that of those all across India and internationally who are providing support and sustenance to them in their ongoing vigil for a just outcome for themselves, their future, and for the next generations. In speaking out at great risk, they cry out for all farmers and workers who demand that their very humanity be treated with dignity and respect. Thank you for this gathering today in the Puget Sound Region and God bless the farmers in the struggle until justice is achieved.
Photo source: Marie Claire