Hundreds of Sikhs protest for human rights at Vancouver Art Gallery
The north lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery was a sea of umbrellas this afternoon.
That's because hundreds of human-rights protesters showed up on a rainy day to support a farmer named Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who's been on a hunger strike in Mohali, India, since November 14.
Khalsa's protest was also featured this weekend on CNN.
He's going without food to draw attention to six other men: Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Lal Singh, Shamsher Singh, Waryan Singh, and Gurdeep Singh.
They're all in jail in India after being convicted of crimes during the struggle in the 1990s for an independent Sikh homeland called Khalistan.
Three of the six have been implicated in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
A pamphlet handed out at today's protest highlighted murderous rampages in 1984 on Sikhs in India following the assassination of then-prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh boydygaurds.
The pamphlet also mentioned the massacre of Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 and more recent attacks on Christians in India.
The message from the protest was that Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians are not alone in being persecuted—demonstrators also noted that lower-caste people, known as Dalits, and the indigenous people are also being marginalized.
Some of the demonstrators arrived at the protest on buses, which are ordinarily used by the Sikh Academy to transport students.