In September 1981, women around the UK descended on Berkshire in beautiful indignation against the storage of American nuclear missiles in the UK. They walked all the way from Cardiff and created Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, an exclusively female space, and thrived together, pushing those watching to question war, sexual orientation, and gender roles.
At points, around 30,000 women and girls were there, forming the biggest women-only action the country has seen since suffrage. Women stayed there for nearly 20 years, until the nuclear missiles were removed and Greenham Common was returned to the public as a nature reserve. During their peaceful protests, song was a massive part of getting their message across, keeping their spirits up and joining together in sisterhood.
The Greenham Women were gentle, angry women, who stood up for their beliefs, and made a difference. Our Lyrical Revolutions project brings together women and girls between the ages of 8 and 25 in Cornwall to learn Greenham songs and create their own protest songs.
We were lucky enough to run face to face workshops with very small groups in October 2020 during slight easing of lockdown. It was wonderful to be singing outside in the Cornish countryside even though the weather was rather inclement at times! We are so excited to start our workshops again at the end of May in St Austell. Here is Claire Ingleheart refreshing participants' memories of We Are a Gentle Angry Women by Polly Near and introducing the song to new women and girls who would like to join us.