Stop Fooling with Nuclear Weapons 2013 Speech on behalf of AWPC
The following speech was given by Angela at the "Stop Fooling With Nuclear Weapons" April 2013 CND demo. It was offered first at Women's gate and then at most other gates to share information about the work of Aldermaston women's peace camp.
One challenge of speaking of Aldermaston Women's Peace Camp is that nobody represents it. We have no spokeswoman. There is nobody in charge. There is no leader. There are only the women who show up to camp or visit on the second weekend of the month. So our group has porous boundaries and, women, we could be any of you. We are you. And we need you because you are what make us "us".
Perhaps it is because we have no hierarchy that the Women's Peace camp has endured. In 2013, we will have existed for 28 years. But that is 28 years too long. We exist not to represent ourselves, but to oppose nuclear weapons and to be an example of what happens when women work together sharing skills (and cake) for the practice of peace. It is because we are friends, /still learning/ to embody peace together, that we present a challenge to the successive governments that have retained this base. Friendship and being present when you can't be friends.
Our monthly camp is the eyes and ears of the work that is done on nuclear weapons in England, as Faslane peace camp works for Scotland . Think tanks and reports cannot surpass the importance of placing bodies before a fence. It is these bodies, our bodies, women's bodies, working together, that will tell you when the last convoy left. Peace is not innovative. Throughout most of history, women have shown that we /are/ the non-violent alternative. We are not wasting our time. If you believe that being here is a waste of time then go home. No, we are using our bodies to create time to create peace.
Women, we need you whatever your age or colour or sexuality or background. You are vital. You matter. As those that resist nuclear weapons, we need you and we need your sisters to say "no", "we do not want our taxes spent on war and preparations for war". This nuclear menace will not be defeated without women who will use their bodies to protect future generations.
The bonds of friendship are stronger than this wire fence. It is conversation, however strained or conflicted that will enable us to overcome the fear that English (mostly male) politicians have of disappointing the United States. But we stand on the shoulders of women as we seek to build upon the success of the sisters who walked in front at Greenham. They stayed and overcame until the missiles were moved. I believe, we too shall over come some day.
Sisters and friends, what we want is for the end of this establishment and for cleaner, greener jobs for those that work here. So if you cannot join us, send your daughters, send your friends, send your grannies and your mums. Every second weekend of every month, we will remain until the warheads are gone.