Happy memories of Greenham Common | Letters

Letters: Having joined CND and taken part in several anti-nuclear marches in the late 70s, Greenham was the next step for me and an important part of my political education

Your article on Greenham Common (‘We weaponised femininity’, G2, 21 March) brought back many memories. Having joined CND and taken part in several anti-nuclear marches in the late 70s, Greenham was the next active step for me and an important part of my political education. Embrace the Base was an exhilarating experience which confronted the establishment full on and in solidarity. I recall the police inside the fencing using batons and spanners to bang the hands of women trying to rock and break the wire fencing. It was a menacing and disturbing experience but also invigorating.

As a single parent I never stayed there but did visit regularly with friends to take food treats, especially at Christmas, and also help take bags of rubbish to the local refuse depot as the rubbish from the camps was not officially collected. From there I became active in supporting prisoners on death row in the US and was in Louisiana in 1991 when my first pen friend was executed. From that I founded a small charity now called Amicus which provides British lawyers to support US capital defence lawyers. I doubt that would have happened had I not felt empowered by my Greenham Common experience.

On a lighter note; the best packed lunch I was introduced to on the nine miles around Greenham’s perimeter was a sandwich with a filling of cheese, banana and peanut butter. The Greenham Common sandwich remains in my repertoire to this day.
Jane Officer
Birmingham

• My wife helped organise a 200-mile walk from Chester to Greenham Common. Eighty middle-class people! She also ran a regional section of the Snowball Civil Disobedience Campaign, which maintained the publicity. Compare that effective protest to the results of the recent YouGov poll. This finds that three-quarters of UK adults want our government to be present at the forthcoming UN negotiations on nuclear disarmament. However, it plans not to participate. In reporting that sad fact, I hope this letter might also maintain necessary publicity.
Michael Pulham
Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

• After Donald Trump’s election and other recent events, it has been good to be reminded of the importance of women demonstrating, as at Greenham Common. I recall Mo Mowlam when she was first in the House of Commons trying to gather women MPs from all parties to change the way the Commons functioned, but with a no from all sides. Caroline Lucas is still trying.
Meg Beresford
Biggar, South Lanarkshire

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