"We are fed up with it, we are fed up with it" or "We are able to change it" were the chantings in the city of Berlin last weekend. 22,000 people came together and demonstrated from the main train station through the government district to the Brandburger Tor against polluting agriculture in Germany and its consequences for health and nature.
A sunny sky, the sound of many tractors, clashing lids, drum roll, great costumes and funny songs and slogans put everybody in good spirits. Environmentalists, concerned members of the public, animal rights acitivists and a lot of farmers vented their anger about agro factories, intensive mass animal farming, dumping prices and genetically engineered products in our food, feed and on the fields.
The protest was very creative and colourful - a diversity all participants also wish for our agriculture and food production. "Meat and milk - climate killer No.1", "Biofuels kill", "No GMOs, no pesticides, no toxin in our food" were some of the slogans.
Young people also demonstrated against the overproduction and the food waste: "Every tenth loaf of bread ends up as waste". Greenpeace folks from all over Germany travelled to Berlin to support the Greenpeace volunteer group in Berlin which demonstrated.
Over 80 percent of the Germans don't want genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) on their plates. Most GM crops ends up as animal feed. And animal products like milk, eggs and meat do not have to be labelled if cows, chickens or pigs were fed with GM-maize or GM-soya.
Now the European commission wants to open the animal feed also for non-approved GMOs in the EU. The rally on Saturday shows that people are simply not willing to put up with this. Agriculture is an issue that affects everybody. It threatens our natural resources, farmers' livelihoods, our fresh water and healthy soils, climate change and conservation of the rain forests and last but not least it threatens our food.
Take Action: You can support the call for an EU moratorium on GMO crops.
Find out more about the Greenpeace agriculture campaign.
Stephanie Töwe-Rimkeit is a campaigner on agriculture for Greenpeace Germany