GREENHAM COMMON 21 March
30 June - 21 July 1982
An important new development of 1982 has been the growth of festival-type events with a political content. The first of these was Greenham Common, where a one-day festival was organised on March 21 by the Women's Peace Camp, which had been established outside the main gate all winter. FWS assisted in the provision of legal and other services at this event, which was attended by many regular festival-goers and went very smoothly.
When the Stonehenge festival ended, on 30 June, about 150 vehicles moved to Greenham Common to set up a free festival there. The total number on site, 1500-2000 initially, dropped gradually over the next three weeks. A Festival Aid team attended for the greater part of the time. The mixture of political and hedonistic motives, the complexity of relations with the women's Peace Camp, CND, the police and others, a series of sudden crises including drug over-doses, a fight in which serious injury was caused, and the flattening of a section of the airbase perimeter fence, followed by arrests, made this the most exhausting and confusing festival of the year. Between all this there were occasional peaceful moments to appreciate a very beautiful wooded site.
It was generally felt that the Thames Valley Police (as distinct from the Ministry of Defence Police) handled things with a high degree of sensitivity and competence, although some thought that their careful avoidance of confrontation was due to a desire to avoid any publicity which might attract further attention to Greenham Common as a prospective site for Cruise missiles.
Newbury District Council arranged for toilet trenches to be dug and for a standpipe to be installed on a water main adjacent to the site. These facilities proved adequate, after volunteers from the site managed to obtain lime for the trenches. An unusual facility was the daily sauna organised by the tipi people, which helped to minimise the effects of the fine black dust with which the site was covered. A large variety of food and other stalls were present on site throughout.
Following the arrest of the
"Greenham Seven" in connection with the fence incident, FWS volunteers
assisted in obtaining legal representation and maintained liaison between the
defendants, their lawyers, the police and the site until all defendants has
either been dealt with or been granted bail.
Greenham Common festivals and the Peace Convoy 1982-83
Travellers Tales how the freaks outsmarted the fuzz at Greenham common.