Thirty years ago Wales kicked off a protest which lasted for 19 years. The Greenham Common Peace Camp was started in September 1981 by a Welsh group, Women for Life on Earth, who travelled to RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire to protest against the decision of the British government to allow Cruise missiles (nuclear weapons) to be sited there. The Women for Life on Earth group walked 120 miles from Cardiff to Greenham Common and on reaching their destination they chained themselves to the perimeter fence. They were joined by women from across the UK and during the height of the protests, thousands of women blocked the entrances to the base, cut through perimeter fences and formed human chains around the site. There were some huge demonstrations during the tenure of the Peace Camp. In December 1982, 30,000 women joined hands around the base at the Embrace the Base event. On 1 April 1983, some 70,000 protesters formed a 14 mile human chain from Greenham to Aldermaston and the ordnance factory at Burghfield. Another encircling of the base occurred in Dec 1983, with 50,000 women attending. Sections of the fence were cut and there were hundreds of arrests. The women were ultimately successful as the Cruise missiles were removed in March 1991. The airbase was closed in 1993 but the peace camp remained until 2000. The attention they received prompted the creation of other peace camps at more than a dozen sites in Britain and elsewhere in Europe.

Human chain

Source: Hiraeth

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