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Greenham Page Three


Welsh veterans of the Greenham Common anti-nuclear demonstrations are on the campaign trail to raise money for a commemorative statue.
A touring exhibition charting the involvement of Welsh women aims to raise money for a life-size statue which, they hope, will be located at the Welsh Assembly.

Welsh peace campaigners led the way in the anti-nuclear demonstration of the 1980s, that laid siege to the Greenham Common airbase in Berkshire.

"The women who set the march up lived in Wales around Carmarthenshire, and I think the atmosphere in Wales was different to England," explained Greenham veteran Thalia Campbell.

"It was more progressive and we were ahead of our time here in Wales. I think we took the message to England and then to the rest of the world."

Thousands of protesters gathered to voice discontent at the siting of 96 Cruise missiles in Britain.

Money is being raised for a life-sized version

The missiles were eventually flown back to The United States of America. The last of them left in 1991.

Now the camp may be gone - it was disbanded in the new year - but the spirit among protest veterans lives on.

A touring exhibition charting the involvement of Welsh women in the movement aims to raise money for the life-size bronze statue.

The archive charting the campaign is due to begin its tour Wales to help raise the £20,000 needed for the project.

The organisers hope the Assembly will house the permanent reminder of the part played by Welsh women in one of Britain's longest ban-the- bomb protests.

A Tory AM has condemned plans for a statue commemorating Greenham Common protesters, branding them "a bunch of con artists, communists and drop-outs".
Instead, Assembly Member for Monmouth and Conservative chief whip David Davies said a sculpture of Baroness Thatcher would be a more fitting icon.

Mr Davies was reacting to a campaign by Welsh anti-nuclear demonstrators - who led the siege of the Greenham Common airbase in Berkshire in the early 1980s - to raise money for a commemorative statue He said that while the women were "sitting in their wigwams" he was "doing something constructive" by signing up with the Territorial Army.

Link to BBC article click to view


From The Malta Times Wednesday, November, 5 2003

A statue by Maltese sculptor Anton Agius commemorating the Greenham Common protesters has finally found its permanent home, in the foyer of City Hall Cardiff.

The statue, known as the Greenham Marcher, was put up in honour of the group of 36 women, four babies and six men, who in 1981 completed the 125 mile march from Cardiff to Greenham Common Berkshire to protest against the storing of American nuclear weapons in the UK.

The live-in protest had continued for 19 years.

This is the first of Mr Agius' works to be put up overseas and it is getting wide coverage through a website explaining the history of the protest.

The statue was organised by Thalia Campbell, one of the original group, who lives in Wales. She has been fighting for the statue for over ten years. When she came to Malta two years ago she was struck by Mr Agius's works. "Only on the last day of our five week stay did I realise that Anton was alive and well and that he lived in Rabat, there and then I went up to meet him with my husband Ian. I showed Anton the photos and the video of the march and he was extremely enthusiastic. A couple of days later I phoned him and he surprised me by saying he had already worked a model in plasticene. Incidentally the plasticene had belonged to the Maltese sculptor Antonio Sciortino"
The statue shows a determined and confident woman in her mmid- thirties wearing a shirt sporting the peace motif adopted by campaigners for nuclear disarmament. She holds in her left hand a bunch of brambles, nettles and thistles which the campaigners had presented to an American commodore at the American base in Wellford. On her right arm she holds a baby who, in turn, is nursing a dove representing his yearning for peace. The woman wears an iron chain round her waist that doubles as a belt, recalling the time the marchers for peace chained themselves to railings at 10 Downing Street in London. The woman's hair is held back with ribbons reminiscent of the purple green and white ribbons that the suffragettes used to wear during protests at the beginning of the 20th century calling on the government to grant the right of franchise to women.
When contacted Mr Agius said he was very honoured to have had a commission for a monument in a public place, especially one which has such international significance

Thalia in Anton's studio in Rabat Malta
We did not want a cliquey “us and them event.” at the second unveiling of the Greenham Bronze statue in City Hall Cardiff. We wanted all the people there whose lives had been touched by Greenham , a US Military wife who had been there in the base at the time now doing a degree in Peace Studies, A British Soldier who had written a poem inspired by an encounter with a greenham woman through the fence, an ex UK diplomat from Russia who read an American peace poem, A German peace Activist/ archivist, people from all political parties, MPS, MEPS, T.Unions and NGOS. The first unveiling a year earlier had been on a trailer, She as yet had no site. She spent the night in supporter's Garden in Newport and then the next day she was given a home for a year in the foyer of the TGWU office in Cardiff. There were three Cameras there given to friends and a grandaughter with instructions on what film was needed. Alix aged 8 splendidly did what was asked filming faces to use behind the credits. Banners, greenham ephemera were every where. The great and the good were holding a dinner on the same day and wandered through the celebrations including one man in the regalia of the Knights of Malta. Thalia


Card from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom



One christmas soon after the greenham common WOMENS peace camp outside the US base was set up our family enjoyed a large tin of Roses Chocolates. With the bright metalic paper and deep coloured cellophane wrappings we made bright greenham badges with our badge was a fun cooperative effort. we sold some and gave others to friends. PEOPLE REALLY LIKED THEM...