‘These were the biggest female-led events since suffrage, and these women radicalised a generation and had as much impact as the suffragettes.’
Quakers were among those marking the fortieth anniversary of the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp this week.
Lorna Richardson, from Hammersmith Meeting, told the Friend that she was attending the activities and events at the Greenham Control Tower, where she hoped to see lots of old friends from her days at the peace camp in the 1980s.
As someone who lived at the camp for a number of years, she said: ‘It’s not just a nostalgia-fest. Women from Greenham took what they’d learned there and went on to do so much else, so there’s going to be events and planning and information swapping about all the work that needs to be done now on disarmament and treaty-building. It’s going to be a giant mashup of that, plus old friends, plus younger women who are coming to celebrate this as women’s history – I still can’t believe it’s forty years, and history now – plus, of course, a million cups of tea around the fire.’
Running into the autumn, Greenham Control Tower’s programme will feature memories from Newbury residents, military and police personnel, and the protestors.
Hundreds more people joined a 130-mile march to mark the anniversary and call for the original women who led it to be remembered and respected as much as the suffragettes. Around 200 signed up for the march, including mostly women, but also some men and children.
The march coordinator, Rebecca Mordan, whose mother took her to Greenham Common as a child, said: ‘These were the biggest female-led events since suffrage, and these women radicalised a generation and had as much impact as the suffragettes.’
The march retraces the original routes taken in 1981 by thirty-six people. It left Cardiff on 26 August and arrived at Greenham Common in Berkshire on 3 September. Newbury Meeting House played a significant role in supporting the women during the 1980s.
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