I started this diary in Keswick, Ontario, where I had been working in a supermarket while Lorna was working on a construction site. I was worried about Jane and anxious to get back to Greenham where ‘there is the annual grand schism going on at camp at the moment, which is more serious than usual, possibly.’
Friday 28th August 1987
I wrote from Blue Gate, ‘The situation here is rather fraught. I don’t want to be at Blue Gate particularly, but moving to any other gate would be tantamount to making a political statement. I’d like to be at Yellow right now. But there aren’t any women I particularly want to be with there, and a hell of a lot I don’t. The Christian vigil is going on right now and they are very loud…. There have been just a few of us here during the week but now there are loads and loads, I can’t really deal with it at all.’ I noted ‘my parents are getting divorced and Viki has given up her job.’
30th September 1987
I was living at 4 Gwyn Street, St Pauls, Bristol, and just starting my degree course at the University. I was concerned about the camp:
‘The situation at camp has deteriorated badly. Green, Blue, Woad (Violet), and Orange are basically declaring UDI. There are separate bank accounts and the barricades are up.
‘I haven’t mentioned the Hungerford Massacre. There should be a newspaper cutting in this volume, giving some idea of what happened. Ian Playle was Clerk of the Court in Newbury. I went to his funeral with Lyn Barlow at the Baptist Church in Newbury.’
I stayed at the camp overnight in October and wrote, ‘I’ve managed to alienate Yellow, KingsCross, Lynette and Annie at the same time with one letter, enclosed somewhere. Annie isn’t talking to me, Lynnette is, but obviously doesn’t trust me.
I stuck a copy of the letter in my diary:
The letter is headlined A view from the inside
‘Peace women unite against ‘invasion’ reads the headline in the NWN’s version of the split at Greenham.
This article reflects more the reports that have appeared in various right-wing national newspapers, than the actual situation. If any reader of the NWN would like a more accurate version of the truth they are welcome, as always, to visit any of the five camps around the base and talk to us.
The split in the camp has hardly been carried out by a sudden invasion – the King’s Cross women have been connected with the camp since 1982. To say that they have taken over the Yellow Gate camp is inaccurate, as the women left there are totally capable of thinking for themselves.
There are no original women living at Greenham now, and have not been for a number of years. This split is not about who has been living here the longest’ it is about whether or not a racist incident occurred and acceptable ways of working.
I am finding the constant emphasis in the Press on Wilmette Brown in some cases of questionable journalistic merit, and in others of pure racist sensationalism.
I have to add that in a non-hierarchical and structure-less group, that I believe I belong to, the views I am expressing are purely my own.
Women’s Peace Camp,
Tuesday 26th November 1987
I went to the CND conference with Jane last weekend. We went purely to support whom we thought might need support. Yellow and Kings Cross tried valiantly to disrupt the conference, but when Vic stood up and spoke in the last debate, disassociating herself and the rest of the camp from what Yellow had been doing she got a standing ovation – the only one of the conference. Sarah and Wilmette failed to get elected. Rebecca is now a vice-chair – working her way up the hierarchy? I hope not and don’t think so. One woman who certainly is climbing into the upper aeons is our friend Sarah Graham – unashamedly a careerist.
Friday 18th March 1988
Well, history has just been made – I just got found not guilty of something (obstruction) at Newbury Magistrates Court. The (stipendiary) magistrate believed me rather than the police – Yahoo! So I’m getting costs as well. I’m in court for sawing down the council’s fence on Friday 13th May now. Jane got 3 CDs for her Criminal damages this morning, £50 costs and £50 compensation. I’m so relieved that’s all over now!
‘There’s such a lot going on in the news at the moment – there was a longish hijacking that ended yesterday in Algiers – with the hijackers being allowed to go free. Trouble is still brewing in Israel. The Israelis killed Jijid – the commander of the PLO the other day, while he was in Tunis. They’ve sealed off much of the West Bank and Gaza to journalists. There is a move in Denmark to stop nuclear arms carrying warships to enter into Danish waters – a snap election has been called – and Denmark may leave NATO. 20 police (French) have been taken hostage in Kanaki (New Caledonia). I’m going to boycott France as from now – I really do think they are going too far. The Local Government Act, including clause 29 (anti gay rights) will become law on 6th or 2nd June – bad news. There’s going to be a march in London on 30th April – I’m really looking forward to it – don’t think I’ve felt so positive about a demonstration for ages! In South Africa Bothe is going to allow a handful of blacks (unelected) into the parliament. Tutu has condemned this.’