Thursday, August 18, 2016

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.

FooTaGe 006

   Michelle Crone takes talks about plans for the summer as she and Women's Video Collective members tour the newly (nearly) purchased encampment land



*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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SoNG: Can't Kill the Spirit


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

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

ViDeo: WEFPJ Slide/Tape Presentation

   Produced by the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice Media Collective in the late summer of 1983 to help publicize, fund raise, and educate people about the encampment.
 

See WEFPJ media collective member Dorothy Emerson's PeHP interview here.

WEFPJ 1983 Resource Handbook

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.

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

Produced by the Peace Encampment Herstory Project 2007; revised 2015.

Front cover of DVD case
Back cover of DVD case

SoNG: Liberty Chain

September 4, 1983 footage from the Women's Video Collective. 
Copyright 1983. All Rights Reserved.

Liberty Chain
Alternative lyrics written by Seneca Chain Gang affinity group?
Original songwriter unknown
PeHP Source: WVC 023

It's time for the liberty chain
And it's time to let our souls sing out again
And it's time for the liberty chain
Brothers and sisters, come on, get out of the rain

Pardon me, Brother, do you have a dime?
We'll reach out and call to talk to you just one more time
Well, I'm tired and hungry just like you
It's going to take all of us and then
We're going to see it through 

It's time for the liberty chain
And it's time to let your souls sing out again
And it's time for the liberty chain
Brothers and sisters, come on, get out of the rain

Headed for changes that are coming through
And we don't want to have to make it this time without you
It don't matter where you come from
It don't matter what you do
It's going to take all of us

It's time for the liberty chain
And it's time to let our souls sing out again
And it's time for the liberty chain
Brothers and sisters, come on, get out of the rain
Brothers and sisters, come on, get out of the rain

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 encampment several days after being released from 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 jai 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.

HeRSToRY 060 Judy Besemer

Judy Besemer's family has lived in and around Ithaca, NY since the early 1800s.
INTERVIEW 

HeRSToRy 070 Mary Ann Zeppetello

Mary Ann was born and raised in Syracuse, NY.
CLIP: We start the wars
INTERVIEW

HeRSToRy 053 Tracy Sabo

   Tracy lives in Ithaca, NY and has been a longtime supporter of Ithaca's lesbian & gay bar, Common Ground. She marched from Sampson State Park to the Seneca Army Depot on August 1, 1983 along with thousands of others to participate in the Women's Peace Encampment mass action.

Interview: Tracy Sabo 
Date: April 5, 2008
Location: Ithaca, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman & hershe Michele Kramer

CLIP: Show us your tits!

INTERVIEW 
 

HeRSToRy 049 Susie Marion Kossack

Longtime upstate New York activist, Susie visited the encampment in the summer of 1983.

Interview: Susie Marion Kossack
Date: April 4, 2008
Location: Ithaca, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman & hershe Michele Kramer 

CLIP: Converting the Depot air strip
 

INTERVIEW

HeRSToRy 072 Walter Putter

   Walter is the son of photographer Ruth Putter (PeHP 074). He was an active supporter of the encampment in the summer of 1983.

Interview: Walter Putter
Date: May 31, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman & hershe Michele Kramer

CLIP: I spent a lot of time on the front lawn! 
 

INTERVIEW 
 

HeRSToRy 075 Kathleen Rumpf

   Kathleen is a faith activist who has been arrested over 100 times. She spent time at the Seneca women's encampment and Greenham Common women's peace camp in 1983.

Interview: Kathleen Rumpf
Date: May 31, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

CLIP: I was outside of my comfort zone 

INTERVIEW 

HeRSToRy 055 Lars Friend

    Lars spent time at the encampment from age 5 to 10 with his mother, Laura Boswell Thornton (PeHP 022). 

Interview: Lars Friend
Date: April 5, 2008
Location: Ithaca, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer, 
Laura Boswell Thornton, Kate  
  
CLIP: The Arms Control Treaty was not about arms

INTERVIEW


Thursday, July 21, 2016

FooTaGe 078

    Estelle Coleman interviewed at the encampment by Women's Video Collective member, Merf.

*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.

HeRSToRy 083 Sera Brown & 084 Eugene Koveos

   As a member of the Women's Info Center, Sera helped bring the Peace Encampment Herstory Project to Syracuse for a weekend of interviews and films in May of 2008. She began working with PeHP from the point on. In this interview, she and her partner, Eugene, offer a young, anarchist, feminist perspective on local and global political activism.

Interview: Sera Brown & Eugene Koveos
Date: June 1, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer 

INTERVIEW 

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. 
  

HeRSToRy 071 Karen Mihalyi

   Karen is one of the founding mothers of the Women's Info Center in Syracuse, NY.

Interview: Karen Mihalyi
Date: May 31, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer 

CLIP: There's always a place for mass action

INTERVIEW 
 

HeRSToRy 096 Walda Metcalf

   Walda visited the encampment during the summer of 1983.

Interview: Walda Metcalf
Date: October 9, 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer, 
Sera Bee, Sita Lang

INTERVIEW

HeRSToRy 098 Pam Flanigan aka Pam Andagah

     Pam was born in Romulus, NY and lived in Geneva when the Peace Camp began. Already an active feminist, she helped organize to bring people from her community to the Camp that first summer. She served as the Encampment Media Coordinator from 1984 until it transitioned to Women's Peace Land in the early 90s.

Interview: Pam Flanigan aka Pam Andagah
Date: October 16, 2008
Location: Camden, SC
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

INTERVIEW 

HeRSToRy 036 Michelle Murray

   Michelle spent many summer and winter vacations of her childhood at the encampment with her grandmother, Estelle Coleman (PeHP 092).

Interview: Michelle Murray
Date: February 9, 2008 
Location: Attleboro, MA
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer, 
Daniel & Darlene Murray 

CLIP: I was a stronger person because of the women

INTERVIEW 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HeRSToRy 038 Laura Flanders

   Laura toured the U.S. in the spring of 1983 as a spokeswoman from Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp to help raise money for the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. She lived on the land at Seneca for six weeks in the summer of 1983.

Interview: Laura Flanders 
Date: February 29, 2008
Location: New York, NY
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer, Alice O'Malley

CLIP 1: A river of social change

CLIP 2: I wish we had camps on a regular basis

FULL INTERVIEW

Back in the day...

HeRSToRy 092 hershe Michele Kramer

     hershe spent a few days at the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice in the summer of 1983 and went home and helped organize the Ann Arbor Women's Peace Camp that fall. She returned to Seneca the summer of 1985 and lived there on and off for the next couple of years which included a five-month stint at Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp in England. She and Estelle Coleman (PeHP 092) founded the Peace Encampment Herstory Project in 2005.
Seneca's Average Dyke Band (hershe center with guitar) singing around the fire at Greenham, winter 1986.

HeRSToRy 113 Becky Griffiths

   Becky lived at the Greenham Women's Peace Camp as a teenager and traveled to the United States to spend time at the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice in its first summer. She returned to Seneca in the summer of 1985 and visited on and off for the next several years.

Interview: Becky Griffiths
Date: May 14, 2015
Location: Cambridge, MA
Present: Estelle Coleman, hershe Michele Kramer

CLIP 1: It needed to be fun

CLIP 2: It was all over the news
 

FULL INTERVIEW
 

Back in the day...
Becky (red bandana) at the head of the August 1, 1983 march and mass civil disobedience action from Sampson State Park to Seneca Army Depot. Photo by Nancy Clover.