Food for Justice conducts protest survey at the “We are fed up!” protest

After a long period of preparation, the first activities related to the survey for the “We are fed up!” protest 2024 started last Wednesday. On January 17th, Renata Motta, Birgit Peuker and Lea Zentgraf from Food for Justice together with Lisa Bogarts (external coordinator of the survey) trained the first interviewers for the survey at a workshop at the Institute for Latin American Studies of Freie Universität Berlin. The next day, the training took place digitally in the morning, and this time the pointers were also trained. The pointers lead small teams of three to four interviewers through the protest survey in order to maintain the principle of randomness. A total of around 60 interviewers were trained and conducted the survey together on Saturday.

On the Friday prior to the demonstration, Food for Justice explored the field in two teams. Renata Motta, Judith Müller, Birgit Peuker and Lea Zentgraf conducted the first interviews with the tractor drivers of the “We are fed up!” demonstration, who had gathered at the StadtGut Blankenfelde e.V. (Berlin-Pankow) on the eve of the protest to eat together and spend the night. With first impressions from the interviews, the speeches of the organizers in Blankenfelde and members of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), they returned to Berlin late in the evening.

At the same time, Eryka Galindo and Marco Teixeira were at the Schnippeldisko – traditionally organized by Slow Food and the alliance “Meine Landwirtschaft” [My Agriculture]. The evening before the “We are fed up!” demonstration, a soup will be prepared using donated food. Everyone is cordially invited to join in the chopping. There will also be music and speeches from the various member organizations and initiatives of the alliance. In a joyful atmosphere, the last posters and banners for the next day’s protest the are made.

On Saturday morning, Birgit Peuker and Renata Motta kicked off the day’s demonstrations at the City Cube at the Messe Berlin. The tractor drivers gathered there for a protest rally in front of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture. The farmers presented their demands and a 6-point plan to the German Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir. After several speeches from the movement, he was able to briefly comment on the demands and reaffirm the activists’ desire for political change. After this first protest action, the tractor drivers moved on to the opening rally of the demonstration in front of the Willi Brand House.

Marco Teixeira and Eryka Galindo accompanied the demonstration to conduct participant observation. The other team members participated in the protest survey as pointers and met with the trained interviewers near the opening rally for final instructions on the survey. Everyone then spread out in small teams to interview participants in the protest march. In total, more than 150 people were interviewed on the street, and many more marchers were invited to complete an online questionnaire with a flyer. In the afternoon, after the final speeches of the demonstrators in front of the Chancellery, a short debriefing took place, led by Lisa Bogarts, to share first impressions.

For Renata Motta, Birgit Peuker, Judith Müller and Lea Zentgraf, the day ended with a short presentation of the Food for Justice project and the case studies in Germany and Brazil at the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Agricultural Transformation Festival. Renata Motta presented first research results on the Marcha das Margaridas. The first analyses of the “We are fed up!” protest data will be published in the spring of 2024. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the study.