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Hundreds march from Cardiff to Greenham Common to mark 40th anniversary of women's peace protests



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On August 26, 1981, a group of 36 women, men and children left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear weapons at RAF Greenham Common.

The steps they took that day led to the formation of the Greenham women’s peace camp, which became the biggest female-led protest since women’s suffrage.

Today, exactly 40 years later, hundreds of people have set off from Cardiff on a 130-mile march to Greenham Common to recreate those steps.

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The ‘Greenham Women Everywhere’ march will finish at the common on September 4.

To coincide with their arrival, and to mark the anniversary, the Greenham Control Tower charity will be running a programme of educational and interactive events on September 4 and 5.

Part of the programme is an exhibition called ‘Both Sides of the Fence’, which will explore the history of the protests through the stories of Newbury residents, the police and the military who served at the time, as well as the women themselves.

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The march, which has been organised in coordination with many of the women who lived and visited the camp, will stop overnight in the same places as the original – Newport, Chepstow, Bristol, Bath, Melksham, Devizes, Marlborough and Hungerford – with a “thank you ceremony” held in each place.

At its height, more than 70,000 women were at the peace camp and the protests attracted media interest from across the globe.

Although the last missiles left the base in 1991, the camp remained in place until 2000 and only disbanded after protesters won the right to house a memorial on the site.

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Lying empty after RAF Greenham Common closed in September 1992, the control tower was bought by Greenham Parish Council in 2014

For more details about the weekend’s events, visit https://www.greenhamtower.org.uk/marking-steps/

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