By David Fairhall
While a small team of girls got down to march to Greenham one summer time day on the finish of August 1981, none of them may have imagined that this time out might switch their lives perpetually. Nor did they dream that their gesture that day could touch off a feminist protest circulation that might final for many years spreading its impression internationally. This hugely unique and evocative heritage of the typical strains the improvement of the protests from the summer time of that 12 months in the course of the climax of the chilly conflict to the current day. it's a quintessentially English story during which a disparate staff of committed and infrequently fractious girls confront the total army may of the us, not just to elevate their voices opposed to nuclear guns but additionally to guard the traditional customs and rights of universal flooring. As alive to the women's issues as to the broader political implications, Fairhall paints a shiny photograph of existence at Greenham, from the demanding situations and frustrations of the evening raids and appearances in court docket to the exuberant self-expression of the camps on the numerous rainbow-coloured Gates. extra lately, he indicates how the decent citizens of Newbury, the place the ladies have been usually given this type of opposed reception, have used an identical legislation exploited by means of the ladies of their personal struggle to revive the traditional rights of public entry to the typical and safeguard it as open heathland for destiny generations. The protests at Greenham universal are a robust image of the twentieth century which nonetheless arouse robust emotions this day. there are numerous "Greenham girls" nonetheless round. yet what did they truly in attaining? As public drawback focuses either at the proliferation of contemporary guns of mass destruction and the necessity to defend the threatened British panorama, it is a well timed second to think about their legacy.
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Extra resources for Common Ground: The Story of Greenham
The week’s visit lasted ﬁve years. The trial Rebecca had been dreading was delayed until November. Much to the defendants’ surprise (and quite out of keeping with later practice), Newbury magistrates agreed to adjourn the case to give them time to call expert witnesses. The women were delighted to grasp this opportunity to take on the system, and to demonstrate that, so far as they Photo: Ed Barber Trying to be Heard / 37 Things start getting rough. A limply non-violent Rebecca Johnson is arrested ‘for standing on top of a pile of stones and singing’, 5 October 1982.
It was also her initiative, through CND, which provided the camp with its ﬁrst portacabin. But she had to face the fact that many within the organisation – at that time predominantly male – regarded the women-only policy as divisive and unfair. ’ It was therefore essential, in Ruddock’s view, that the CND national council should take a formal position on the issue, ‘because otherwise our membership, or some of the members certainly, would have been on a collision path with the women – and that would have been hugely damaging to the peace movement’.
As she arrived, Helen John was having ‘a blazing row’ about drugs – that is, about the danger of drugs discrediting the women’s protest if they were allowed in the camp. ’ She made another motorbike trip to London for the portable typewriter and books she needed to continue work on the thesis, returning to Greenham in time to join the sentry box action that would lead to her ﬁrst experience of Her Majesty’s Prison Holloway. The week’s visit lasted ﬁve years. The trial Rebecca had been dreading was delayed until November.
Common Ground: The Story of Greenham by David Fairhall