The last of London’s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp residents have left the Greenham Common Air Force Base grounds after the British government promised to return the land to the public. The Women’s Peace Camp was erected in 1981 in protest to the U.S. sending missiles to the base during the Cold War. For 19 years, thousands of women protested nuclear weapons at this site; at times, the population of protesters swelled to 30,000.
One resident of the camp attributed the U.S. and Soviet signing of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement to the Women’s Peace Camp movement. Under that agreement, America and the Soviet Union removed their nuclear missiles from western and eastern Europe, respectively. The last missile was removed in 1991, and shortly after, the Greenham Common Air Force Base closed. Some protestors remained on the grounds to make sure the government fulfilled its promise to return the land to the public, and in April of 2000, the wire fence surrounding the grounds was removed. Greenham Common protesters plan to build a monument on the Common lands as a tribute to the two decades of women who protested nuclear weapons.