Sunday, May 19, 2019

SoNG: Celebrate Women

Celebrating women at the PeHP GatherSing 2008.

Celebrate Women
Author(s) unknown
PeHP source: WEFPJ songsheets 1983-84; WEFPJ Songs Compilation, PeHP 2008; PeHP GatherSing 2008

SoNG: All One Planet

 
Dorothy leads "All One Planet" at PeHP GatherSing 2008 

All One Planet
by Molly Scott
PeHP source: WEFPJ songsheet 1984; PeHP GatherSing 2008

SoNG: I Take Delight In


I Take Delight In (aka Just Like a River)
Author unknown
PeHP source: WEFPJ songsheets 1986; 
Peace Camps Sing cassette, 1987
 
Laura and Estelle lead "I Take Delight..." at PeHP GatherSing 2008.

SoNG: Four Minutes to Midnight

 
Dorothy leads a verse of "Four Minutes..." at PeHP GatherSing 2008.

Four Minutes to Midnight
Author(s) unknown
PeHP source: WEFPJ songsheets 1983-84; PeHP GatherSing 2008

SoNG: She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

 From PeHP GatherSing 2008
She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
Traditional
PeHP source: Songsheet 1984

Saturday, May 18, 2019

HeRSToRy 034 Dorothy Emerson

    Dorothy arrived at the Peace Camp from Austin, TX a few days before its official opening. She spearheaded a collective media effort to produce a slide show about the Camp and used it in nearby communities to raise funds and awareness. She was hired as a Program Coordinator the next summer and moved to Boston that fall to begin Seminary school. 
CLIP 1: The U.S. flag consensus miracle
INTERVIEW

 Interview: Dorothy Emerson
Date: February 8, 2008
Location:
West Medford, MA
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer


Dorothy coming out of the barn at the Peace Camp, 1983. Photo by Nancy Clover.

    Dorothy leading a workshop on Spirituality and Politics in the pavillion at the Peace Camp, 1984. Photo by Nancy Clover.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

ViDeo: Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca 1982-2006

This 26-minute video highlights Peace Encampment Herstory Project interviews, songs, & photographs from the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice.

PeHP 2007; revised 2015.


Front cover
Back cover

What was the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice (WEFPJ)?

 The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice (WEFPJ) was an all-women’s community of protest and challenge to violence and militarism housed on 52 acres bordering the Seneca Army Depot in upstate New York.
    Commonly known as the Seneca Women’s Peace Camp or Seneca, WEFPJ was modeled after the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in England (1981-2000) where thousands of British sisters were engaged in nonviolent protest in the face of the scheduled deployment of U.S. Cruise and Pershing II nuclear missiles.
    Though the United States military steadfastly refused at the time to either confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons at the Seneca Depot, it has since been revealed that the base was a storage site and departure point for nuclear weapons bound for Europe. Additionally, the Depot housed radioactive material for the Manhattan Project.

    In the summer of 1983, 12,000 women from around the world came to the encampment to participate in nonviolence training, direct action, and civil disobedience at the Seneca Army Depot resulting in 950 arrests. Actions continued throughout the 1980s with an ongoing peace presence until 2006.

WEFPJ 1983 Resource Handbook

SoNG: You Can't Kill the Spirit


Women's Video Collective. Copyright 1983. All Rights Reserved.  

You Can't Kill the Spirit
Written by Naomi Littlebear Morena
PeHP Source: WVC ; Songbook 1983; Songsheet 1984 (a)

From Songsheet 1984 (a)


From Naomi Morena Little Bear:
“I wrote this song when I was in the group Izquierda Ensemble. We were active in the women's music scene in the '70s and the song was performed at various university gigs but most heard at the Michigan Womyn's Music festival and the Champaign-Urban Women's music festival. In the early '80's I learned that the song was one of many adopted by the women's international peace movement, mostly notabley sung at the Greenham Common Women's Peace camp. In 1984 I went to the UK and was fortunate to meet some women to record the song on the "We Have a Dream" lp. I am humbled by the stories I have heard regarding the singing of my song at the various protests, peace and healing gatherings through out the world. It (the chorus) has been used by many singers, writers etc and unfortunately many people believe the song is anonymous. I would love to hear more stories of how and when my song has been sung. I am an older mom of a soon to be 8 year old boy and would love to someday share these stories with my son."

From The Mudcat Cafe website, March 2012

   

PeHP Source: Songbook for Seneca Falls Wimmin's Peace Encampment, compiled by Oak & Amethyst of Wimmin In Collective Community Action, 1983

WomaNews Sept. 1983

Rene Gasso was one of 54 Seneca peace camp women arrested in Waterloo, New York, Saturday July 30, 1983 attempting a peaceful, 10-mile walk to the encampment. This is an article she wrote about the incident published Sept. 1983 in WomaNews, a New York City radical feminist monthly. 





Seneca Army Depot Fact Sheet


Pamphlet distributed by the Finger Lakes Peace Alliance - Geneva, NY ca. 1983

What is the Seneca Army Depot?

The Seneca Army Depot (SEAD) is one of several facilities used to store nuclear weapons for the Department of Defense. It is located on 11,000 acres of rural land in upstate New York and is operated by the U.S. Army. The earliest known use of SEAD for nuclear weapons-related work was in 1944 when uranium was stored at the depot for the Manhattan Project (the government project which developed the first atomic bomb). Eleven of the storage bunkers used were found to be radioactive n 1980. These bunkers have since been sealed off.

In 1957 the Seneca Army Depot began storing tactical (short range) nuclear weapons and in 1961 began distributing “special weapons” items and repair parts both here and overseas. Nuclear weapons are routinely referred to as “special weapons” in Department of Defense documents.

Evidence that SEAD is a Nuclear Storage Facility

It is the policy of the Department of Defense (DOD) neither to confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at a particular location. However, evidence shows that SEAD is a major nuclear weapons facility and is the on East Coast “transshipment point” receiving nuclear weapons from the Department of Energy (DOE), the manufacturer of the weapons, for eventual deployment in Europe.
Evidence includes:

Seneca Army Depot has a storage area essential for the housing on nuclear weapons. It consists of 60 to 70 reinforced earth-covered bunkers as well as a 28,000 square foot earth-covered, temperature controlled building essential for plutonium maintenance. (Plutonium is the explosive element common to most nuclear weapons.)

This nuclear storage area is guarded by 200 to 250 military police who are authorized to use deadly force in order to prevent intruders from approaching the bunkers. These police officers have received anti-terrorist training. The 1982 military construction hearing included a request to increase the number of military police at SEAD.

Included in a 1967 SEAD employees’ handbook is a list of four “occupational skills”: “nuclear weapons officer,” “nuclear weapons assembly technician,” “nuclear weapons maintenance technician,” and “nuclear weapons electronics specialist.”

A 1975 technical manual includes SEAD in a list of “military first destinations” for the receipt of nuclear weapons and ‘limited life components” (this refers to tritium, an element used to trigger nuclear warheads).

A July 1980 DOD/DOE planning document identifies SEAD as the East Coast transshipment point for nuclear munitions.

Economic Impact of SEAD and Jobs

The Seneca Army Depot’s 1982-1983 operating budget exceeds 30 million dollars. Over 80 percent goes to pay the wages of civilian and military personnel.

The depot provides nearly 1,400 jobs; 800 of the jobs are held by civilians while the remaining 600 jobs require a high level of skill or security clearance and are filled by persons who are brought to the depot form outside the Finger Lakes region. Many of the low skills jobs are filled by family members of military personnel stationed at the depot. The end result of this employment situation is that only a small percentage of all the jobs at the depot are open to local people.

The Tax Impact of SEAD

SEAD is a federal facility and therefore pays no sales or property-related taxes. The depot occupies about 4% of Seneca County’s land area. The depot’s land and buildings are reported to have an assessed value of $250 million and could be paying over $8,000,000 per year in property-related taxes in Seneca County. A private enterprise would also be paying millions of dollars in sales taxes on the material it would be buying for its operations. The depot has within its boundaries a department store, restaurant, two bars, a luncheonette, a grocery store, liquor store, bowling alley and gas station. These nine enterprises are included in the depot’s property tax assessment of over $250 million and are for the use of military personnel and their families. Sales made in these businesses are not subject to sales taxes.

Less than 1% of the military personnel at the depot own homes in the community and pay any property-related taxes. 67% of the military personnel and their families live on the depot in military housing. These person do not contribute rent or sales tax revenues from utility bills to the local economy.

WVC Interview: Barbara Deming

    Barbara Deming (July 23, 1917-August 2, 1984) is one of the most significant nonviolent theorists in U.S. history. Her writings and activism chronicle the civil rights movement, the Vietnam anti-war movement, the women's movement and the gay and lesbian rights movement. She published many books, including Prison Notes (1966) and Remembering Who We Are (1981). Prisons That Could Not Hold (1995) contains the essay she wrote about Seneca the summer of 1983 and the incident in Waterloo. It also includes a chronology of events by Blue Lunden and photographs by Dorothy Marder, Catherine Allport, Catherine DeMaria, Ellen Shub & Joan E. Biren, shown below.
Barbara being interviewed at the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice several days after being released from the Interlaken school jail.

Barbara raises her flag/bouquet of wildflowers. Photo by Dorothy Marder, 1983.
Above: As she is being arrested, Barbara blows a kiss to a tearful Jun Song. Photo by Catherine Allport, 1983. Below: Barbara is handcuffed. Photo by Catherine DeMaria, 1983.
Above: The Jane Does testify during the arraignment at the Seneca County Fairgrounds. Below: The group waits in the courtroom for the decision. Photos by Joan E. Biren (JEB), 1983.
Above: Grace Paley (center) and other women at the school/jail in Interlaken, NY, circle in support of the fifty-four arrested women. Below: Jane Gaupin (left) talks with townspeople at the jail. Photos by Joan E. Biren (JEB), 1983.
Above: Back at the encampment, Barbara holds the flagpole point. Below: One of the all-women circles at the peace camp in front of the barn. Photos by Joan E. Biren (JEB), 1983.
1983 Chronology of Waterloo 54

JULY 25: Barbara arrived with Rhea at Northwoods in upstate New York. They joined Blue and Quinn on the 21st day of their walk from New York City to Seneca.

JULY 26: Barbara walked from Trumansburg to Ovid Center, N.Y. with Blue, Quinn, Rhea, and Donna.

JULY 28: Walk was joined by Jun Song, Terri, Lisa, and Kitrinka. The entire group reached the Encampment that afternoon.

JULY 29: We spent most of the day at camp and joined Jun Song for part of her daily walk around the Army depot.

JULY 30: We joined with 75 other women in New York City Women’s Pentagon Action’s Feminist Walk, from Seneca Falls to the Encampment. In the town of Waterloo, a mob blocked our way at the bridge. We sat to diffuse potential violence and to insist on our constitutional right to pass. Fifty-four were arrested and taken to the local jail.

JULY 31: We were transported at 5 a.m. from jail to the Interlaken Junior High School and were held in the cafeteria for five days, as we refused to give our names or cooperate in any way with this illegal arrest. Women from the Encampment began vigiling outside the school and were harassed by local townspeople. The governor declared a “state of emergency” and state police were brought in.

AUGUST 3: We were taken to the Seneca County Fair Grounds to a barn that had been converted to a courtroom. After processing 14 of us individually, each of whom refused to give her name and most of whom refused to walk, the judge finally yielded to our demand to be heard as a group. We were all brought in and allowed to make our statement. Charges were dismissed and even our fingerprints and mug shots were returned to us. We returned to the Encampment, where Barbara spent another week before returning home.

SoNG: Ain't We Got Protection

by Wild Wimmin for Peace - Karen Jeffers
PeHP source: The Great Peace March cassette, 1986

HeRSToRY 039 & 040 Quinn Dilkes & Rosalie Regal

    Quinn and Rosalie are longtime friends who were among those arrested at the bridge in Waterloo, NY in the summer of 1983. Both women were members of the New York City Women's Pentagon Action and had spent months planning a festive 15-mile walk from Seneca Falls to the peace camp but ended up spending five days in jail instead. Quinn arrived at the encampment a day before the incident via a 270-mile peace walk from NYC.

Interview: Quinn Dilkes & Rosalie Regal
Date:
March 1, 2008
Location:
New York, NY
Present:
Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer & Alice O'Malley
 
CLIP 1: I can't believe what I'm seeing
CLIP 2: What are these women doing?!?
INTERVIEW 

 
INCIDENT AT THE WATERLOO BRIDGEJuly 30, 1983
Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Catherine Allport.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Catherine Allport.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Deb Mandel.

Photo by Nancy Clover.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

HeRSToRy 092 Estelle Coleman

   Estelle visited the encampment the first week it opened and lived there on and off for the next 20 years. She was a founding member of the encampment's second incarnation, Women's Peace Land, and is co-founder of the Peace Encampment Herstory Project.

Interview: Estelle Coleman
Date: September 6, 2008
Location: Turner Falls, MA
Present: hershe Michele Kramer, Sita Lang, Sera Brown

CLIP: Many bells on green strings of hope

INTERVIEW
 

Back in the day...

Estelle being interviewed by Women's Video Collective member, Merf, in the backyard of the peace camp in 1983. 

Estelle being interviewed by Women's Video Collective member, Claire [PeHP 011], in the backyard of the peace camp in 1984. 
  

FooTaGe 008

  Opening day keening action at the Depot main gate with among others, Cassie White, Jane Rubin, Laura Flanders [PeHP 038] and Becky Griffiths [PeHP 113], and the WEFPJ mission statement delivered by Suzanne Sowinska [PeHP 008].

*This video was transferred to miniDV tape from the original 3/4" tape. The content has not been edited. As with all Women’s Video Collective (WVC) footage from the summers of 1983 and 1984, video and sound quality vary greatly due to the age of the material, the quality of the original tapes and equipment (used and borrowed), and the setting itself (outdoors in the heat and wind on uneven ground). Herstory owes a large debt of gratitude to all the women who helped in ways great and small to document the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice and especially to Judi Kelemen and Nancy Clover for storing, and then making available, WVC's videos and photographs. Many thanks as well to filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal who graciously donated their equipment, expertise, and Brooklyn studio so the Peace Encampment Herstory Project could digitize WVC’s 130-tape collection.

"Zapping:" Military uses electromagnetic weapons against peaceful protestors

From Labyrinth / December 1989
*Click on image to enlarge for reading

SoNG: Layabout / Down at Greenham

Layabout Song (aka Down at Greenham)
Greenham - Author(s) unnknown
PeHP source: Peace Camps Sing cassette, 1987

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

SoNG: Building Bridges

by Wild Wimmin for Peace - traditional
PeHP source: WEFPJ songsheets 1983-84; WEFPJ songsheets 1986; 
The Great Peace March cassette, 1986

Monday, March 11, 2019

SoNG: Eviction Blues

Eviction Blues
Greenham - Author unknown
PeHP source: Peace Camp Sings cassette 1987
(sung by Cassandra)

I got the eviction blues
I've got a whole lot to lose
So I won't take down my bender or move
It would be better to wake up
And to hear the birdies singing
And to see the spiders spinning in the woods
Then to hear the sirens wailing
They'd really like to scare us if they could

Thursday, August 09, 2018

FooTaGe 047

 
  Peace camp women walking, skipping, singing and eventually painting along the yellow warning line at the Depot main gate.



*This video was transferred to miniDV tape from the original 3/4" tape. The content has not been edited. As with all Women’s Video Collective (WVC) footage from the summers of 1983 and 1984, video and sound quality vary greatly due to the age of the material, the quality of the original tapes and equipment (used and borrowed), and the setting itself (outdoors in the heat and wind on uneven ground). Herstory owes a large debt of gratitude to all the women who helped in ways great and small to document the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice and especially to Judi Kelemen and Nancy Clover for storing, and then making available, WVC's videos and photographs. Many thanks as well to filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal who graciously donated their equipment, expertise, and Brooklyn studio so the Peace Encampment Herstory Project could digitize WVC’s 130-tape collection.

Monday, August 06, 2018

"Six Minutes to Midnight" 1985

March and Civil Disobedience Action
Q-Zone, McGrane Road gate of the Seneca Army Depot
July 6, 1985 

All photos, flyers & articles provided by Linda Field

Flyer attached to WEFPJ regional meeting minutes, April 28, 1985.

Four-day plans given to women as they came on the land that long weekend.

Plan for the action itself.


One of the articles that ran in the paper the next morning. This is from the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY. Monday, July 7, 1985.