The Danish Peace Academy

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook

46-49 Peace Camp Newbury, Berkshire

Leeds Postcards: Views, News, September 1986 No. 2
Danish peace activist Inger Bjørn Andersen at Greenham Common.

What are the things that you hear the women say
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those miss is confidential

I can't stand this bloody Smoke
pass the joint I want a toke
Who's that in the bushes, hope it is not a bloke
What's that on the road, has a reo dropped it's load
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are all the questions the visitors will ask
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll surely ask
How many of you are there here?
It is cold and are you queer?
Where do you get your water from
do you shit in the gorse, will you die for your cause
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

Road sign: Danger Cruise Missiles

What are the things that the media will ask
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss they'll surely write
How d' you make this sacrifice?
Can I talk to someone nice
How do you feel now that you are failed?
Would you pose by the gate
Hurry up it's getting late
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire.

What are the names that the igilantes call us
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss they'll surely yell them.
Smelly counts and dirty hags
Doped up lesbians and slags
Communists and traitors to the flag
Queers and witches, dirty smelly bitches
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are the words you'll hear the nightwatch whisper
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll her next morning
What was the noise from in the base?
Should we wake them just in case
I shouln't tell you this but did you know ...
Have you seen any cubs?
It is time to wake them up
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are the mistakes that some visitors will make
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll maybe make them
Cooking bacon on the fire
Complaining that the weather's dire
Leaving bogroll everywhere
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are the bugs they say Greenham women have
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll surely catch them
Herpes, crabs, and biting fleas
diahhoea up to your Knees
Trench mouth, small pox, veneral disease
ringworm, aids and scrabies, dysentery and rabies
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are the clothes you'll see the women wear
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll never wear them
Blankets being worn as coats
Longjohns, bells and jangling notes
dangling scarves and jumpers all smelling of wood smoke
muddy woally socks, sweaty welly boots and docs
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

What are the mumbles that you'll hear the Grannies say
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire
I'll tell you some of those I know
and those I miss you'll have to shout them
Wedge your zimmer in the gate
Do your knitting while you wait
Hand me those bolt cutters before it's too late
Wrap this shawl around my shoulders
I'll hide them from the soldiers
at the Peace Camp, Newbury, Berkshire

[No information about author and composer.]

[Inger Bjørn Andersen at Greenham Common. Photograph added by Holger Terp.]

Hulme, Janey: Greenham Common. New Statesman. Vol. 104, 1982. No. 2696 p. 14.

PROTEST

Greenham Common

As 16 women go to jail Janey Bulme describes the peace camp

It would appear that Newbury District Council is concerned with the aesthetics of the women's environment at Greenham Common. The tons of rock deposited there recently are to be tuned into a rockery. When a group from STAND (St Albans Nuclear Disarmament Campaign) visited the women's peace camp, we found it to be more reminiscent of Stonehenge than a US base.
The reason for Newbury District Council's sudden interest in gardening is, of course, to prevent the camp growing again. Once the rocks are in place tons of soil are to be delivered and trees and shrubs planted. This will effectively stop the parking of caravans, the erection of tents and tepees, while hiding the camp from the road and keeping the women well hemmed in, in one small comer by the base gate.
The women have taken all this in their stride. Since their vans were impounded by the police, and the entrance verges on which they camped dug up and churned into rivers of mud by Newbury District Council, they have 'camped' out in survival bags - even during those endless weeks of autumn rainfall. Officially, they are even forbidden polythene shelters, or fires, and could, at any time, be summonsed for possessing these.
Anyone who has ever camped in bad weather will understand how impossible it is to keep things dry and to remain cheerful. Usually, there is the alternative of packing up and going home - one which is not available to those at Greenham Common, unless someone can take their place. One of the women's main worries is that, should they be arrested, or suffer ill health during bad weather, no one will replace them. They would like to hear from women who would do so.
When the rocks arrived, the women daubed them with peace signs and slogans. They also used a few hundredweight of the smaller, flatter stones to construct a cobbled path. The morning that we arrived, a gang of seven or eight labourers was drifting about the site, and a bright young thing from Manchester University (who is in charge of Landscaping) was loping, rather worriedly we thought, after a JCB earthmover, which was elephanting through the border hedges and depositing rock cakes here, there and everywhere.
Some of the labourers told me that they had been hired for one day's work on private contract by the Council. I asked them what they were supposed to be doing. They shrugged. In the few hours that we were there, I saw only a few men met up ad move the odd boulder that had escaped the JCB's jaws. Meanwhile, pinstriped and smart-dark-suited men watched the activities from inside the base - it was rumoured that these were lesser gods from the Ministry of Transport.
Amazingly, the little 'Tree of Life' survived the rock-onslaught, the big-boot-tread and the psychopathic, hedge-bashing JCB. The tree was planted when the Camp was established, and the women promised 'Trouble' should it be in any way damaged. It stands, though rather sadly, like a forgotten Christmas tree. - one little tatter of colour all that remains of its former decorations.
The women are also being discriminated against at: Norhtcote Recreation Centre, Newbury, where they are used to taking a shower. They have now been told that they will not be allowed to enter wearing muddy wellingtons, nor without a swimsuit (they cannot have a shower without having a swim). They protested that they were willing to pay for the swim without taking it so leaving more space for regular bathers. The management's advice was either to rent a hotel room, or to use the nearby river which, needless to say, is against the common by-laws. They eventually told the women they may be able to attend if they:
l. Did not wear muddy wellingtons;
2. Attend only in pairs;
3. Said that they were going for a swim even if they weren't!
Conservative-controlled Newbury Council encourages local people to make complaints about the women - who get little support from a township where many local people depend on the US base for work, and where they participate in the evening social life.
It was interesting to see the reactions of passing US staff, who have been instructed to look straight ahead when entering or leaving the base. Very few do - they can't resist glancing at the fire with its huge black cauldron; at the incongruity of woollen webs, balloons, ribbons and paper roses hung on barbed wire; at a delleate galleon swaying on a nearby tree. As we prepared to leave, one army vehicle roared by bearing floodlights to illuminate the outside of the base on 12 December - when women everywhere are being asked to support the International Women's Day of Protest by surrounding the 9-mile perimeter of the base. (They an urged to come as self-sufficient as possible and to bring a 'loved belonging' to hang on the perimeter fence.) Just a bunch of women? It seems that government, military and police will go to extraordinary lengths to be rid of them. Could it be that they are worried about the impact their presence creates? Clouds gathered as we waved our goodbyes from the car. I could see the small fragment of colour on the Tree-of-Life wind-whipped into a farewell, too. It made me feel strangely hopeful...

Selina, O'Grady: I was a Greenham woman.
http://www.thetablet.co.uk/cgi-bin/register.cgi/tablet-00440

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