Alan Nothnagle | Contributor

Alan Nothnagle

Alan Nothnagle is a freelance writer, journalist, YA author, and simultaneous interpreter based in Berlin. He blogs on European political, cultural, and social issues at

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When most people think of revolutionary movements, images of the Storming of the Bastille and the March on Washington come to mind. It takes a city to make a revolution. That’s where the people are, right? But the latest new radical movement to take Europe in its grip has sprung up in what might at first appear to be an unlikely place: a plot of land in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania that the left-wing newspaper Junge Welt calls “probably Germany’s best-guarded potato field.”

On August 31, a group of forty anti-genetic engineering activists from England, France, and Germany met in the village of Zepkow in Mecklenburg to announce the creation of the European Field Liberation Movement (EFLM). The location was well chosen: The farm near Zepkow has been serving as a test field for a new crop of genetically modified “Amflora” potatoes developed by the BASF Group, and it was harvest time. And yet, the demonstration was over before it could begin. Acting on orders from the state government in Schwerin, the police banned all protests and created a 1000 m embargo zone around the test field.

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