Jill Raymond discusses her memories of Free the Base in 1982, which include dancing on the silos.

Free the Base

Jill Raymond

We had so many great actions, especially embracing the base, invading dressed as teddy bears for a picnic, occupying the sentry box (which included answering their phone), leaving goddess figures in the hangar, dancing on the silos, putting a hex on the electronic gate, distributing Christmas cards…. The power of women’s imagination is wonderful.

I remember one action when we decided to take down the fence. Women were asked to bring bolt cutters. My friend Jane went into Newbury pretending to be a farmer’s wife, with a long story about straying lambs. The fellow said he only had two left “because the Greenham women had bought them all.”

We circled the base, climbed on each other’s shoulders and proceeded to snip away. The soldiers, seeing us gathering, rushed to the perimeter expecting to grab us as we invaded and drag us, as usual, to the police station. Instead, we simply cut the fence down, so we were face to face with them with only the air between us. I was on Helen’s shoulders, and we cried “Don’t worry lads, we’ll have you out of there in a minute!’

They were completely nonplussed.

We had liberated the base!