At the Green Week in Berlin: farmers demonstrate for social agricultural change

For the Green Week in Berlin
Farmers demonstrate for social agricultural change

On the occasion of Green Week, farmers in Berlin are back on the streets. With 55 tractors, numerous banners and loud slogans, the participants are campaigning for more climate-friendly agriculture. A direct appeal is addressed to Minister of Agriculture Özdemir.

“Factory farming doesn’t need pigs,” said a pig figure that demonstrators pulled across the street. “Agricultural industry kills!”, Protect insects” and “I don’t fly for genetic engineering” were other slogans. Large balloons and an insect figure were floating in the air. Parallel to the Green Week agricultural and food fair, hundreds of people from all over Germany are in Berlin again for more environmentally friendly agriculture has taken to the streets.

The organizer was an alliance of farmers, climate and animal rights activists and other associations. Farmers presented a note of protest to Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir. “We expect significantly more from Minister of Agriculture Özdemir and the federal government,” said alliance spokeswoman Inka Lange, looking ahead to a year of agricultural and food policy by the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP. The “We’ve had enough” initiative calls for fair producer prices, social benefits that make ecological consumption possible, and more arable land for growing human food instead of fodder.

In the morning, farmers in Brandenburg set off in the direction of the Brandenburg Gate with 55 tractors, as a spokesman for the “We’re fed up” initiative said. According to the organizer, 10,000 participants were registered. According to police estimates, a good 1,000 people had gathered at the Berlin landmark by noon (12 p.m.). A spokesman said the demonstration was peaceful. The organizers wanted to name the number of participants on Saturday afternoon.

People sang “Heal the world” by Michael Jackson and moved from the Brandenburg Gate into the government district until they were supposed to go back to the gate via Straße des 17. Juni. Representatives of organic and conventional farmers, nature, environmental and animal protection organizations as well as church aid organizations are involved in the initiative.

The demonstration has been taking place for several years on the occasion of the Green Week agricultural fair in Berlin, which has been open to visitors since Friday. Around 1400 exhibitors from agriculture and the food industry will be presenting their products in the Berlin exhibition halls until January 29th. At the same time, the industry meeting is an important place for political exchange about the future of agriculture.

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