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Wednesday, 10 November, 1999, 17:42 GMT
Greenham women: Diaries




The experiences of women who either lived at, or visited Greenham Common are characterised by a near constant readiness to defend their space at the base - and to physically hinder the movements of bomb-carrying lorries.

Their belongings were almost constantly threatened by bailiffs.

And the cause and courses of action to which they were committed often resulted in arrests and sometimes imprisonment.

Diary entries of women at Greenham Common have been documented, including evocative accounts reproduced in books including Greenham Common: Women at the Wire, edited by Barbara Harford and Sarah Hopkins.

One woman's account from their book reads:

Jane, 14 September 1982:

"There's more helicopter activity tonight. Over the past few weeks helicopters have been flying in apparently delivering something. I don't like it. Something feels funny about it all. At least four large transporters have gone in tonight coming from Aldermaston direction.

"There was a lot of activity on the runway; lorries and cars going up and down, some going towards the silo area ... it could be some sort of practice."


arrest Thousands of women were arrested at Greenham Common
Mary, 29 September, 1982 [day of first eviction]:

"Soon everyone was packing up tents and bedding and hiding them, looking for places to put things we would need for the next stage of the camp's life. Saucepans, food, cutlery, cash and bedding were packed into cars; we hid our standpipe very carefully. Meanwhile it rained solidly."


eviction Possessions thrown into a council rubbish cart
Jean, who visited the base to offer support as often as her studies in Southampton would allow, wrote in her diary in April 1983:

"Travelled to Yellow Gate today. The women are fabulous, nothing seems to oppress them.

"Took back some washing for Jan, she seemed really pleased about that.

"Some of the women seem resentful of us weekenders, but I can see where they are coming from. I was a bit hurt that they didn't seem pleased to see us - but we're still not into the good weather and they've got more important things to do than play host to part-time peace campaigners.

"I am totally in awe of what they are doing - really in awe."

Another entry in Women at the Wire reads:

Mandy, 8 October 1982:

"Am a total zombie - spent the night trying to sleep on the floor of the donated "peace van" ... wonder how long I can keep going like this. Camp seems to be full of video people. I manage to sit on a stool that collapses into the mud."

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End of an era
99 Contents

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Lewis v Holyfield The sequel

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Queens Speech

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Battle for Free Trade

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Battle of Britain

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Shaken Not Stirred

See also:
06 Sep 99 |  Wales
Peace women to end their protest
04 Nov 99 |  Wales
Peace campaigners win memorial battle

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