Citizens occupy highways and demand food-saving law

Berlin, January 24.01.2022, 103 - Dozens of citizens have been blocking the A114 motorway exits at the end of Steglitz and the A109 crossing BXNUMX with sit-ins in Berlin since this morning. They are calling on the federal government to pass a food-saving law to combat food waste in the food sector and the implementation of measures for a future-proof agricultural transition by 2030.

Citizens demand #EssenRettenLebenRetten (A103 end Steglitz)
Citizens demand save food - save lives! (A103 end Steglitz). Photo: The Pilgrim

Carla Hinrichs, press spokeswoman for “Essen Retten – Leben Saving” says: “In Germany, 1,6 million people rely on food banks for their food. And at the same time, 30% of all food in this country is thrown away. This is complete madness! And with climate change, food will become even more scarce in the next few years. We therefore feel compelled to remind the federal government of its responsibility.”

The Food Saving Act is intended to oblige large supermarkets to provide edible food and thus take action against food waste.

“We will sit here until the government fulfills its duty and protects our lives with the food-saving law,” says Sonja Manderbach, one of the participants in the blockade.

The actions were preceded by the “hunger strike of the last generation” in the government district in Berlin in the summer of 2021. Henning Jeschke and Lea Bonasera used a hunger strike to obtain a conversation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, which took place in December 2021 and in which they first presented their demand for a food-saving law as part of a response to the climate crisis.

“Nothing has happened since our demands at the beginning of December. So far all we've heard is that it's an important issue - but we need the Food Saving Act NOW. When will the government start doing its job? When will she treat the climate emergency as an emergency? When will she save our food?
Our future?" said Lea Bonasera.
“Since then we have received a lot of support, including from the government – ​​for example Minister of Food Cem Özdemir or even from the Party leadership of the Green Party. But nice words are not enough – now action is needed!” she continues.

In the last few months, there have been repeated actions across Germany in which citizens publicly - and illegally - "contained" at supermarkets and gave away the saved food; among others, Jesuit Father Jörg Alt in December in Nuremberg. Numerous politicians have already expressed their solidarity with the actions.[1]

Citizens demand #EssenRettenLebenRetten (A103 end Steglitz)
Citizens demand save food - save lives! (A103 end Steglitz). Photo: The Pilgrim

The “Saving Food – Saving Lives” campaign calls on the federal government to meet the two demands for an immediate food-saving law and an agricultural turnaround by 2030. These are effective and socially accepted steps towards food security and the effective reduction of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against global warming.[2]

Spokespersons from Essen Retten – Leben Retten announced that the actions would continue until the federal government addressed the Essen Save Act.

— Eil: Save more motorway blockades from Essen – Save lives in the north of Berlin —
— Express: Citizens of Essen Retten – Leben Retten arrested —

UPDATE: More highway blockades from Essen to save lives

After citizens of Essen Retten - Leben Retten paralyzed highways in two places in Berlin this morning, there is now another disruption at lunchtime.

Citizens demand save food - save lives! (A114). Photo: © fritz engel/archiv agency zenit.

The citizens who blocked the A114 motorway in Pankow this morning are now continuing their road blockades in the north of Berlin. They agreed to continue until they were taken into custody by the police.

When asked if she wasn't worried, a young woman on the street replied: “Yes! I don't want to go to prison! But I'm even more worried that there will be no food in Germany if the government doesn't act. We need a food-saving law and an agricultural turnaround immediately!”

This morning, during their blockade of the entrance ramps to the A103 motorway near Steglitz town hall in the south of Berlin, a dozen people from Essen Retten - Leben Retten were pulled off the street by the police and arrested.

“This shows that we are blocking in the right places. We will continue until the federal government ensures that our population is fed - until there is a food-saving law!" says Carla Hinrichs, local press spokeswoman.

The citizens of Essen Retten – Leben Saving are determined to carry on despite the arrests.

[1] Among others, the co-chair of the Bavarian Green Party Eva Lettenbauer:; the ÖDP; as well as the Bavarian state parliament members of the Free Voters Florian Streibl and Hans Friedl;

[2] The demands are part of the catalog of measures developed in the area of ​​nutrition by the Citizens' Council Climate 2021. This was formed by 160 randomly drawn citizens who represented the population demographically: Around 80% of the population supports the Citizens' Council's catalog of measures (according to a Forsa survey): The Food Saving Act was drafted by German Zero and can be found here: Advance statement-food waste1.pdf

Press Contact
Carla Hinrichs
Telephone (NEW!): +49 641 201099549
E-mail: [email protected]


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