Citizens of Essen Retten – Leben Retten blocked motorways several times today. With their peaceful civil resistance, they are calling on the federal government to do its job. They are calling for a food-saving law and an agricultural turnaround. 25 citizens were arrested.
“The federal government has a duty to ensure that the population is fed according to Article 20a of the Basic Law,” says Sonja Manderbach before her arrest on the A103. Article 20a obliges governments to preserve the natural foundations of life - also for future generations. “It is hardly appropriate for us to be arrested for trying to avert a catastrophe.”
Initially, 13 citizens were arrested in the morning who blocked the A103 in Steglitz in the south of the city. After citizens blocked the A114 in Pankow for the second time this afternoon, another 12 people were arrested. They are now all at the LKA headquarters at Tempelhofer Damm 12 in Berlin and, according to the police, are expected to stay in a cell until tomorrow evening. Until then you will be brought before a judge.
"This changes nothing! It just shows that we are disrupting the right place,” says Raúl Semmler, one of those arrested on the A114. “We will keep coming back until the government addresses the food crisis. We are desperate, but equally determined: for many this is a matter of life and death.”
People from the Global South also supported the campaign. Charles Bwayla Chilufya SJ, director of the Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa, highlights Africa's food supply shortages, which are growing due to droughts, floods and storms. In his view, the inconvenience caused by the activists pales in comparison to the problems they are trying to draw attention to.
“The disruptions just cost (drivers) time,” says Jesuit Father Jörg Alt, who became known because he turned himself in while transporting containers. “Life is more important than time.”