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Protest In Support Of Indian Farmers Slows Traffic On Bay Bridge

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A caravan of protesters trying to raise the awareness of a showdown in India between farmers and the government clogged up traffic on the busy San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Saturday afternoon.

Posts on social media show the protesters, traveling in a car caravan from around the region, demanding support for Indian farmers who are on strike.

The California Kisaan Solidarity Car & Truck Rally #FarmerProtest was headed to the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, according to social media posts.

At 5:30 p.m. San Francisco officials sent out an alert saying -- "A Civic Demonstration was affecting traffic flows on I-80 Westbound Bay Bridge. Traffic impacts are RESOLVING. Expect residual delays and use alternate routes."

Protesting farmers rejected the Indian government's offer this weekend to hold immediate talks if they ended their blockade of key highways they've held as they seek the scrapping of legislation they say could devastate crop prices.

The thousands of farmers will continue camping out on highways in Punjab and Haryana states until three new agriculture laws are withdrawn, Jaskaran Singh, a leader of the Kisan Union, or Farmers' Union, told reporters.

The farmers say the laws could cause the government to stop buying grain at guaranteed prices and result in their exploitation by corporations that would buy their crops cheaply.

The California Highway Patrol warned drivers Saturday afternoon to expect backups on the bridge heading into the city.

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