Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp

Item type: Banner Date: 1981-1982 Description: Banner designed by Thalia Campbell, displayed at Greenham Common and taken to peace demonstrations in Germany and Sweden. In August 1981 36 women, 4 toddlers in pushchairs and 6 men marched from Cardiff to Greenham Airbase in Berkshire. They were protesting about the proposed siting there of US Cruise missiles. The protestors demanded a debate with the British government. When this did not occur they set up camp outside the base’s main gates. Over the next year more women arrived and camped all around the nine-mile perimeter fence. The peace camp became a world famous symbol of women’s resistance not only to Cruise missiles, but also to the military industrial complex. By mid-1982 the protestors’ ideas had been taken up by others and there were camps outside 16 other bases. These and others became the focus for blockades and nonviolent action. Betwen 1984 and 1987 fences were cut at 42 bases and there were many civil disobedience arrests (The Peace Museum has a section of the Greenham Common fence in its collection). The number of women at Greenham varied from 50,000 to as few as 40, but there was always someone there. The Cruise missiles were withdrawn on 5th March 1991 and shortly afterwards the base closed. The camp remained, as a symbolic protest against nuclear sites around the world, until the early months of 2000.

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