IIn September 1981, a ten-day hike from Wales with the banner Women for Life on Earth arrived at the main gate of RAF Greenham Common, sixty miles west of London. Home to the US Air Force’s 501st Tactical Missile Squadron, this nuclear base is designated by NATO to deploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles in Europe. We call for this decision to be publicly debated.
When ignored, Women for Life on Earth evolved into Chung Greenham Women’s Peace Camp. I started living there in 1982 and stayed there until the 1987 US-Soviet Union (INF) Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned and eliminated all short-range nuclear weapons land-based hubs away from Europe, including Cruise, Pershing and SS20.
After years of being excluded from Cold War history, Greenham’s actions, struggles and legacy are coming to the fore in a new film, Mother of the Revolution, from acclaimed New Zealand director Briar March. Displaying contemporaneous news footage from the 1980s along with staged scripts and reflections from women who attended Greenham Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s, the film weaves a story illustrated from the experience of a small number of activists — not just from Britain, but Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, the United States and the Pacific.
While it took a long time for our contribution to the INF Treaty to be recognized, other treaties have been influenced by Greenham’s feminist-humanitarian strategies and activism, most notably The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, entered into international law in January 2021.
While living in Greenham for 5 years, I learned what we really need: Not weapons and power over others, but empowered communities to love, question, and create. We have introduced new feminist and assertive nonviolence theories and practices. We do not suppress deep human emotions such as fear, love and anger, but channel them into the power to change. We need to be activist and analytical, passionate and diplomatic, stubborn and flexible, courageous and honest — no matter who tries to silence us.
The cruise missiles arrived in November 1983, which at first felt like a bitter defeat. However, we did not give up. Our first reaction was to show our resistance by capturing Greenham Control Tower two days after Christmas. We climbed to the top, mounted a large banner on the bed “Peace on Earth” and then went inside, out of the wind. There we found startling military manuals on how to deal with nuclear and chemical weapons accidents on the base. We spent hours writing “Greenham Women Everywhere” and “Stop MADness in the Military” on every page, so we could get a jury trial and raise awareness. political and local knowledge. We hit the headlines and made sure the authorities couldn’t ignore what we did.
By 1984, we were facing increasing attacks, deportations and imprisonment as politicians and the military tried to force us to leave. They want to wage war and put cruise missiles on the public roads every few weeks. We keep disrupting their plans. Together with local Cruisewatch groups, we filmed the nuclear convoys and marked them with pink paint and porridge.
During the most active decade of the peace camp, hundreds of thousands of women and girls took part, and many more brought Greenham home to stop militarism and nuclear colonialism wherever they were. where they live. More than a thousand of us have received prison sentences ranging from seven days to two years. By 1989, as required by the INF Treaty, the weapons and launchers had been phased out. The soldiers left soon after. Wild ponies now graze on the runway of Greenham Common, which used to land nuclear and chemical weapons.
“During the most active decade of the peace camp, hundreds of thousands of women and girls took part, and many more brought Greenham home to stop militarism and nuclear colonialism wherever they were. where they live.”
By challenging the arrogant authority of the major military-nuclear facilities, our peace camp played our part in ending the Cold War. More than that, however, we’ve developed new ways to build communities of resistance. The challenges are immense, but we are determined to pursue peace and justice in ways that reject both violence and passivity. This means challenging ourselves as well as reducing the abuse of power by patriarchy that imposes unusual stereotypes on women and girls. Like many people, I fell in love while in Greenham, finally able to accept myself as a lesbian.
Are we the mother of a revolution? If anything, I think we are part of a long series of struggles for women’s rights and safety, following in the footsteps of women who fought so hard to vote and live free of pressure. oppression, slavery and misery. Not the mother but the daughter – of all those brave feminist revolutionaries.
I am so happy Mother of the Revolution concludes with an inspirational call to action that presents the face and voice of a new generation of Fierce Daughters who are campaigning for girls’ education, climate justice, peace and rights. of women being freed from the patriarchal perpetrators and their greedy, oppressive system of violence. Together, we can stop the destroyers and strengthen the naturally diverse, interdependent life to share and protect our beautiful Mother Earth. It’s our revolution, and we’re not done yet.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-mothers-of-the-revolution-who-stared-down-nuclear-weapons?source=articles&via=rss ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ shot down nuclear weapons