Women first heard that an ‘Embrace the Base’ protest was planned because of a chain letter (so different from today when an e-mail or Facebook message can reach thousands instantly). An unsigned letter advertising the Embrace the Base action was first sent to 1,000 women, who were each asked to copy it and post it to ten friends. This chain letter worked well: 30,000 women got the message and arrived to protest against nuclear weapons at Greenham Common air base on 12 December 1982. Their protest did not stop cruise missiles from being based at Greenham Common but the women did not let that stop them – they stayed and maintained a presence at Greenham for 19 years and the base eventually closed.
“Walking back along the perimeter fence, I could see, stretching in every direction, the balloons, symbols, messages and photographs of dearly-loved children, banners from Holland, Germany, Sweden, etc. They reminded me, as I hope they will continue to remind those caged within, of the magic moment of the day before, when women’s linked arms completely encircled the nine-mile perimeter of the base, and the cry “Freedom” rang round this piece of foreign domination set on an English common. Before the chain broke up, a message of peace, hastily written, was passed from one to another with a kiss. Women do things differently from men.” – Daphne Morgan
You can watch a short video about the Embrace the Base event here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2007/dec/12/greenham