Manchester, 29 September 2013

Manchester, 29 September 2013

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Greenham veterans celebrate 30th anniversary of surrounding the base

Maxine Peake, star of BBC1 series Silk, joined Rochdale peace campaigners Rae Street and Pat Sanchez and other veterans of the Greenham Common Peace camp on Saturday (22 September 2012) at one of the opening events of the two week long Manchester Peace Festival which continues until 6 October 2012. The Carry Greenham Home event at the People's History Museum in Spinning Fields, Manchester marked the 30th anniversary of the 'Embrace the Base' demonstration, when, in 1982, 35,000 women encircled the military base to protest against the imminent arrival of Cruise nuclear missiles from the USA.

On Saturday, the Greenham veterans shared memories and songs from their years of campaigning at the base  and  recalled events such as the protest on 1 April 1983, when 70,000 protesters formed a 14 miles (23 km) human chain from Greenham to the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment.  The Cruise nuclear missiles were finally removed from Greenham in 1991 and the common restored to the people of Newbury in 1993. The area is now designated public parkland which includes memorials marking the success of the Greenham women.

Rae Street from Littleborough who spent many nights at the peace camp and helped to organise support in Rochdale said,

"We all learned a lot from our time at Greenham. In particular, we learned that we must never give up our struggle against the evil of nuclear weapons and the evils of war. After many years, we succeeded in removing Reagan's and Thatcher's nuclear weapons of mass destruction from Britain, but in 2012, we face the same struggle to rid our country of the Trident nuclear weapons system, of US spy bases and of the NATO alliance which has sent so many of our young men and women to kill and be killed in its disastrous wars."