Introducing Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp
On Aug 26th 1981, 36 women started their 110 mile walk from Cardiff to RAF Greenham Common in protest against the Americans holding Cruise missiles on common land.
Over the next 19 years Greenham Common became home to thousands of women who believed they could create change and leave the world a better place.
What did the Greenham Women want?
Some women visited the camp for a day or a night, some stayed for a weekend of a week and some stayed for months and years. The women who visited were fearful for their children and future children but hopeful that they could make a difference.
They were fighting for:
- The removal of nuclear cruise missiles
- The return of the land to common ground
- Gender equality
How did the Greenham Women protest?
Women from all backgrounds and all over the world braved every weather to protest peacefully and creatively. In a time before the internet and mobile phones, Greenham women and their supporters organised numerous large scale demonstrations like “Embrace the Base” in 1982, where 30,000 women held hands around the 9 mile perimeter fence.
Non Violent Direct Action or NVDA was at the heart of the Greenham Common protests which included an agreement that property but not people could be harmed. The protests were largely women only spaces and they used their position as mothers to empower them to take action for their children’s future.
The men who supported the women on large action days often supported them by enabling them to take action. They were not directly part of the protest, rather supporting in the background for example making sandwiches and bringing food and looking after the children. Men were also able to support the work of Cruise Watch.
Women used humour, song, art, poetry, discussion and disruption in their protests.