The Politics of Food. Mobilization, Consumer behavior and Motives of Participants of the Wir habe es satt! protest 2020
The large-scale protest Wir haben es satt! (We‘re fed up!), organized by the Meine Landwirtschaft (My Agriculture) coalition, has been held for ten years to mark the start of the Green Week agricultural fair in Berlin. The coalition advocates for sustainable agriculture and fair food production and supports farmers throughout Germany. On January 18, 2020, researchers from Freie Universität Berlin, in cooperation with the Institute für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung, conducted a comprehensive survey of participants in the Wir haben es satt! protest. The resulting data shed light on who the protesters are, their concerns and political attitudes, and, last but not least, how they support a different kind of agriculture through their own consumption and lifestyle choices. A large proportion of respondents identified themselves as female and classified themselves politically as left of center. The majority of respondents were representative of an older demographic. As with many protests in Germany, respondents represent a specific socio-economic segment of the population: two-thirds reported having a university degree and most reported a medium to high income. Above all, the protestors surveyed reported consistent political engagement. Many stated they were members of political organizations, experienced demonstrators, and familiar with the socio-political issues related to climate and environmental policy. In fact, less than two percent reported Wir Haben es satt! being their first protest. The respondents are mainly consumers. Very few respondents produce food for commercial purposes. This specific social group can be described as food conscious. They make ethical consumer decisions and have a great interest in expressing their own concerns. Here is to note, that it was not possible to survey the tractor convey attached to the protest by foot.