It was the first independent view I had taken with which many disagreed, so far so that my Dad, for example, stopped talking to me for a year (for which he did later apologise.) I didn’t expect the reactions I got – we live in a democracy after all. However, I’d not taken on board the fact that Greenham Common Women’s Peace represented a whole lot more than one demonstration. It was women taking action explicitly without men, a community where the majority were living openly as gay – a sexuality excluding men. It was women openly rejecting the male norms and further not returning to those norms once, “They’d made their point”. So in retrospect, the reaction of that time was bound to be harsh. There were businesses in Newbury that refused to serve us, pubs that band us. The squaddies inside the base would warn us when the Parachute Regiment, were on-site because they were so violent. There were cases of that regiment sticking hot pokers, from their Brasure, though the sides of benders (tents) looking for women.
One night whilst sleeping in my car at violet gate a man tapped on the window, I cautiously wound it down a bit and he asked for directions to Newbury. It was an odd question in the early hours, even pre-satnav but I gave them – 1 left turn. He got back in his van and left. About half an hour later there was a huge crash as a brick hit the top of my car, I looked out the window to see the same van driving away – bizarre – was he working up the courage to speak to one of us, and, finding me non-threatening decide he’d get away with chucking a brick? Or had he intended worse when I opened the window but lost his nerve? I think Greenham, for me, was about a decision I had a right to make in a democracy and one I was not going to be bullied out of by anyone. The one unexpected plus was that not one member of my parent’s circle or of my extended family ever again ask that impertinent question, “So then Jane do you have a boyfriend”
#CarryGreenhamHome #OtherGirlsLikeMe #GCWPC #IndigoGate #VioletGate