A recreation of the historic march from Cardiff to Greenham Common will pass through Bristol to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Greenham peace protests.
In August 1981, 36 women walked 110 miles from Cardiff to RAF Greenham Common to protest the siting of US cruise missiles on common land. Around the airbase they started a Peace Camp that lasted 19 years and inspired tens of thousands of women to join them in non-violent resistance.
The anniversary march retraces the same route and includes original Greenham women. Two hundred people have registered for some or all of the march, which will depart from Cardiff on August 26 passing through Newport and Chepstow on its way to Bristol.
On Saturday afternoon, August 28, a procession of 40 people will arrive in Bristol via Gloucester Road. A welcome party will greet them on Horfield Common at 4.00pm, with support from the local Labour party and Bristol CND.
A second greeting party will be held outside Flo-Jo Fabrics (near the Gloucester Road Co-op) from 4.30pm to 5.00pm. March organisers invite supporters to join either welcome party to greet the marchers as they pass.
Following this the march will continue to the Bristol Central Quaker Meeting House, from where it will depart again on Sunday morning at 10.00am.
An additional 60 people are expected to join the march from Bristol to Bath. Anyone wishing to participate in the march, for one section or the whole march, can sign up online.
Ms Morden, who went to Greenham as a 5-year-old with her mother, said: “It is so energising and humbling to organise this march – and all the events along the way – with women who spent time at the camp, supporting the protests, and even some who took part in the original march in 1981.
“I can’t wait to join them on the streets of Cardiff – and back on the land they reclaimed for the people, at Greenham Common.”
Speaking to TBA, GWE spokesperson Vanessa Pini said the march aims to protect the legacy of Greenham Common by “retracing the steps of those brilliant women whose shoulders we stand on.”
She went on to say that the march aims to say thank you to the communities along the route, who supported the original march, and to highlight how nuclear weapons are still an issue in the UK.
Greenham Common, in its use of non-violent direct action and occupation, stands as a precursor to movements like XR and Stop HS2, and still holds many lessons for today’s activists.
Reflecting on the main legacy of Greenham Common, Ms Pini said: “I think the main thing is the solidarity and the communication. There were thousands of women at Greenham and they were all different, they were all different backgrounds, different races, different abilities, different sexualities.”
“They achieved things by talking and discussing, and I think that’s the legacy of it and what we would like people to do today.”
To find out more about the anniversary march and to sign up for a stage, visit https://greenhamwomeneverywhere.co.uk/march/
GWE are collecting testimonies from women who were at the Peace Camp on Greenham Common. Click here for more details of how to get involved.
Feature image: Greenham Women Everywhere.