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Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 19:01:29 +0100 (BST)
From: Jo Makepeace (
Subject: SchNEWS 272, Friday 8th September, 2000

The Common Touch

Last Caravan Leaves Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp

There were emotional scenes this week at Greenham Common, Berkshire as the last caravan left the Women's Peace Camp after 19 years of continuous occupation. The camp was set up on September 5th, 1981 by 36 women, 4 babies and 6 men who had marched from Wales to protest about the American ground launched cruise missiles that were due to be deployed there. From 1983, 96 cruise missiles were stored on the Common. Although the missiles were removed from the site in 1992, the women stayed on to ensure that the land was handed back to the Commoners. The land was sold back to the Greenham Common Trust in 1997 and the women have now left in order to make way for a Commemorative and Historic Site which is due to be officially opened on the twentieth anniversary next year. The women's peace camps at Greenham Common were the site for literally thousands of nonviolent direct actions, by tens if not hundreds of thousands of women from around the world for almost two decades, with classic 80's actions such as "Embrace the Base" encouraging more than 30,000 women at a time to take action against the siting of US Cruise missiles in Britain.

Greenham has been the source and inspiration for many related campaigns and actions since 1981. Direct action, protest camp and non-hierarchical women-only methods of working have been developed with the spirit of Greenham ever since.

"We have enjoyed seeing the land being cared for by a team of dedicated environmentalists of high integrity and, above all, we have rejoiced as we watched the perimeter fence come down and the Common returned to the people of Newbury", said Sarah Hip-Person of the Commemorative Fund Collective.

Money is also being raised to build a commemorative sculpture - donations are urgently needed - send cheques to -
Women for Life on Earth, Glangors, Ynyslas, Borth, Ceredigion, SY2 45JU
Tel: 01970 871360 -

Essential reading - "Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: A History of Nonviolent Resistance, 1984 - 1995"
by Beth Junor - £8.95 (currently out of print)


Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp at the weapons establishment near Reading can always do with help.
Contact them at, or

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