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The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"From day one it was a controversial protest"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 5 September, 2000, 04:25 GMT 05:25 UK
Women to end Greenham protest
Cruise missiles
Cruise missiles leave the airbase
Nineteen years of continuous protest against nuclear weapons are set to come to an end on Tuesday when women peace campaigners finally leave Greenham Common.


The name Greenham Common is synonymous to the resistance against nuclear weapons

Greenham fund spokeswoman
The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp was set up in September 1981 after 36 women marched for 10 days from their south Wales homes to the Berkshire airbase in protest against US plans to store Cruise missiles at the site.

A total of 96 missiles were eventually housed there and the protesters have been at Greenham Common ever since.

But on Tuesday - exactly 19 years since the famous protest began - the last caravan will leave the site once and for all.

Greenham Common women
The women kept up a continuous presence for 19 years
The women will mark their departure with a day-long picnic, and they are eventually hoping to bury a time capsule at the site.

The last of the missiles was flown back to the US in 1991, but the protesters remained at the site to ensure it was handed back to the people.

In April the wire fences surrounding the base were symbolically removed and the site has now been returned to common land.

Reminder

A Commemorative Fund Appeal Collective is raising money to build a memorial on the site, which will include a ring of Welsh stones, and a special garden.

chain
Non-violent demonstration was used
Fund spokeswoman Sarah Hipperson said: "I'm glad we can leave on a positive note and I feel this next stage is also historically important.

"We need to leave something there that will be a reminder to all peace-loving people. The name Greenham Common is synonymous to the resistance against nuclear weapons."

Greenham Common was originally requisitioned for use as an air base in 1941 and from 1968 onwards was occupied by the US Air Force.

The site was eventually sold to the Greenham Common Trust in 1997 and much of the land was then passed back to the local council for just 1.

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In DepthIN DEPTH
End of an era
The last peace protesters leave Greenham
See also:

18 May 00 | Wales
Greenham Common statue campaign
29 Nov 99 | Greenham Common
Britain's nuclear arms run down
10 Nov 99 | Greenham Common
Greenham women: Diaries
10 Nov 99 | Greenham Common
Military history of the common
10 Nov 99 | Greenham Common
The women's peace camp
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