Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp
1981 - 2000
On the 5th September 1981, the Welsh group “Women for Life on Earth” arrived on Greenham Common, Berkshire, England. They marched from Cardiff with the intention of challenging, by debate, the decision to site 96 Cruise nuclear missiles there. On arrival they delivered a letter to the Base Commander which among other things stated ‘We fear for the future of all our children and for the future of the living world which is the basis of all life’.
A number of initiatives were made by women in Court testing the legality of nuclear weapons. Also, challenges to the conduct and stewardship of the Ministry of Defence as landlords of Greenham Common. In 1992 Lord Taylor, Lord Chief Justice, delivering the Richard Dimbleby
Lecture for the BBC, referring to the Bylaws case ( won by Greenham women in the House of Lords in 1990) said ‘…it would be difficult to suggest a group whose cause and lifestyle were less likely to excite the sympathies and approval of five elderly judges. Yet it was five Law Lords who allowed the Appeal and held that the Minister had exceeded his powers in framing the byelaws so as to prevent access to common land’.
The Camp was brought to a close in 2000 to make way for the Commemorative and Historic Site on the land that housed the original Women’s Peace Camp at Yellow Gate Greenham Common between the years 1981 – 2000. Sarah Hipperson