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Buried Treasure: selections from the Peace News archives

30 years ago: Peace camps round-up

At their height, there were a dozen simultaneous peace camps at military bases around Britain; PN ran a regular round-up each fortnight.

ImageThe Wethersfield US Air Force base, Essex, is the latest target for a peace camp. CND groups in Essex established a camp outside the base on February 6 during a rally of over 200 people. After being a stand-by base for about ten years, fresh developments have been taking place at Wethersfield for the last 18 months. Building work has been going on and 400 extra US personnel have moved in. Activists wonder if there is a secret plan to base the second batch of cruise missiles (after Greenham Common) at Wethersfield instead of Molesworth....

Newbury District council is taking legal action against women at Greenham Common. It’s applying for injunctions against 59 named women, ordering them not to set foot on Greenham Common or incite others to do so.... Last week, February 7, hundreds of women went to the base. Forty got in and danced on the runways for about one-and-a-half hours before they were rounded up and removed. Meanwhile other women blockaded all the entrances to the base.... 30 women were arrested. On February 9, 15 women from the camp lay down silently in the road at the entrance to Downing Street, London, just before US Vice-President Bush was due. Eleven of them were arrested. On February 14, eight women from Bristol got into the base and occupied a concrete mixer. Security staff took their fingerprints, strip-searched them, and then released them without charge.

Molesworth peace campers, with over 250 supporters, had their monthly action at Alconbury air base on Sunday February 6. They blockaded all the gates for half an hour....

Upper Heyford peace campers blockaded the main gate at ‘their’ air base during an exercise there on February 7. Nine of them were arrested... More than 200 people, including lots of children, joined Lakenheath peace campers last Saturday, February 12. There was a fine atmosphere, despite the weather. After a march round the village, the two main gates were blockaded. There were no arrests.

From the 18 February 1983 issue of Peace News. Buried Treasure is compiled by Albert Beale, author of Against All War: 50 years of Peace News.