Ann and Estelle
Donna and Laura
Can anybody identify this woman with Otter?
Can anybody identify any of these women?
Cindy and Twilight
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The Women’s Peace Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice attracted women from Europe, Canada and across the country. They were housewives and flower children, Buddhist monks and self-proclaimed witches, feminists and families. They came to protest the Seneca Army Depot believed to be the largest storehouse of nuclear weapons in the northeast at the time.
They marched and tied yarn webs on the depot fence. They scaled the barbed-wire-topped chain link that surrounded the 10,600-acre facility. And when they were arrested, they received letters banning them from the site and barring them from protesting there again.
Today, the soldiers and the nuclear weapons have left the depot, which is slated to be closed in 2001. The white farmhouse is a faint echo of its former self.
But that will change today and tomorrow, when female peace activists again gather to recall their glory days. Called “The fire still burns,” the gathering will be an open campfire, at which women will share stories and songs of the peace and feminist movements.
“To retell the old stories is very inspiring, especially to the younger women,” said Estelle Costello [sic], a member of the nine-women collective that owns the former peace encampment. “It’s nice to see their enthusiasm and awe.”
The 52-acre site, with itsprivies, outbuildings, fields and two-story house, is now a land trust called Women’s PeaceLand. Members meet annually on July 4. This year they celbrated their 15th anniversary.
“Not bad for a group with no leader and no income,” said Costello [sic].
Members are struggling to pay $1,700 annual taxes – school taxes have tripled this year.
Ann Herman, the last woman to live in the house full-time, left in February 1996 to protest at the School of the Americas in Georgia against the use of federal money to train government operatives to work in Central and South America. She was arrested for protesting and is in [sic] currently in jail.
Costello [sic] said the group was “thinking and talking, looking for new direction.”
But Laurie Twilight, another collective member, rejects the suggestion that the peace encampment is without a mission.
“This is a place that’s become symbolic for many women, an inspiration to keep going, doing the work, keep hanging in there, and trying to make the world more peaceful.”
Twilight said women throughout the world viewed [sic] Women’s PeaceLand as a special place. “People are inspired by it from afar. They are very happy to hear there are still peace activists,” she said.
The property is used by groups that share the collective’s mission, said Costello [sic]. Recently, a group of radical feminists from Canada and six states in America met to share tactics and information.
“The focus here is not on the land, but on becoming politicized, radicalized here and going back to their community. It’s a place to regenerate, reconnect and network,” Twilight said.
The collective has issued a request for proposals from groups and individuals who want to share the land and buildings – and expenses. “What we need is more people, energy and resources to use this land. We are flexible and open to a wide range of ideas,” she said.
Payment could be in money, or other negotiable resources such as energy, structural improvements and skills, Twilight said. “As far as the depot goes, we feel we’ve accomplished a lot. But there still needs to be peace in so many places. And places for women to gather, a safe place, a woman’s place.”
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ROMULUS – Security officers apprehended 29 women who climbed over or crawled under a fence to enter Seneca Army Depot yesterday during the largest anti-nuclear demonstration there of the summer.
The 29, including six who authorities said also had previously entered the depot illegally, were among a group of more thatn 100 owmen who gathered outside the depot’s main gate on Route 96 to protest the nuclear arms race and commemorate the atomic-bomb explosion in the Japanese city of Hiroshima 39 years ago.
The demonstration, called a “Day of Focus” by the women, fell almost on the anniversary of a massive demonstration at the depot last Aug. 1 that drew an estimated 1,600 women protesters.
The women taken into custody yesterday were handcuffed and photographed by the depot security staff before they were released. Depot spokesman Robert Zemanek said the six second offenders were given tickets ordering them to appear before a federal magistrate in Rochester, while the others were given letters barring them from further trespass on depot property.
About 20 women were at the gates by 10 a.m., but the gates stood open until guards closed them at 11:15 a.m. when most of the women who demonstrated arrived from the Women’s Encampment for Future of Peace and Justice, a mile north of the gate on Route 96.
The early arrivals, mostly members of the Rochester Women’s Action for Peace, spent more than an hour tying 6,001 short pieces of red yarn onto the fence.
The group claims the American and Soviet arsenals now have weaponry 6,000 times as great as the weaponry used in World War II.
When all the women had gone, by mid-afternoon, a security guard began cutting off the pieces of yarn that covered several large sections of the fence.
The demonstration that lasted more than two hours featured what the women called a “Missile America” contest. Women held aloft cardboard models of American missiles while one woman acting as emcee introduced the missiles as if they were contestants in a beauty pageant.
“Look, it’s a cruise. Isn’t it beautiful?” the emcee shouted, and women in the crowd booed loudly. At the end of the pageant, several women tore the missiles to pieces and piled them on the ground.
About two dozen spectators and a dozen police officers watched from the sidelines as the omen circled, danced, sang, and acted out their concerns over the arms race.
Marion Winkelman, a Geneseo schoool teacher, and Frank Carvers of Trumansburg, Tompkins County, stood at the back of the protesters holding a banner with the words, “Choose Life.”
“I teach about Hiroshima every year and I always teach about the atrocities and deaths,” said Winkelman, who lived in Japan for several years. “The ones who were punished were those unfortunate to get in the way of a nuclear holocaust.”
“That was war. This is now a matter of life and death for the planet,” she later said.
Carver said he came “because I believe strongly in the words of the Lord” ‘I have placed before you death and life. Choose life.’”
Several women strung a huge web of yarn from the fence to a stop sign at the end f the driveway, saying it symbolized the interconnections of all living things on the earth. But almost as soon as they were finished, about a dozen teen-agers who said they live in Romulus began tearing down the yarn web.
Thirteen-year-old Harry Telbock said he was ripping the yarn off the fence “because it’s a bunch of bull. I wish these bums were out of here.”
“This is wrong, what they’re doing, blocking the gate and stuff,” added a blond youth who refused to identify himself. “It’s just childish.”
Several of the protesters argued with Ruth Stanover, a flag-waving Waterloo resident who has repeatedly confronted anti-nuclear protesters. During a demonstration by about 45 women July 16, Stanover crawled under the depot fence shouting that she was trying to call attention to the local residents’ disapproval of the peace camp and its actions.
Stanover said yesterday that there was “no way” would [sic] she illegally enter the depot again, but she said she would continue to argue against the demonstrations. Yesterday, she and her daughter, Debbie Cator, helped Romulus teen-agers tear down the yarn webbing, as several women tried to reattach the brightly-colored strands.
When the demonstration broke up, the women returned to the peace camp. Then nine left to hand out leaflets in two nearby communities, Ovid and Geneva, arriving at both places at 3:30 p.m.
In Ovid, four women were met with mixed response from the few people on the street. About half the people they approached accepted their handouts, but they stopped the distribution at 4:20 p.m. after the mangers of the Big M and Super Duper markets ordered them out of their parking lots.
Where they stopped, the people talked about them and their literature afterward.
At one point, a group of four teenagers walking down the sidewalk were reading the handouts. Customers in Jay’s Soda Bar also discussed the information, but many said the protesters were wasting their time.
Catherine Allport of New York City walked into several of the stores on Main Street in Ovid, drawing mixed reactions. Gordon “Scorch” Jensen, co-owner of Mr. T’s Head to Toe shop, accepted a fistful of anti-nuclear literature, but said the protests wouldn’t do any good. “It’s not going to accomplish anything,” he said. “They’ll (nuclear weapons) always be there.”
But, he said to Allport as she left, “I will read it, dear. Thank you very much.”
In Geneva, five women stopping passerby [sic] on Exchange and Castle streets disposed of their leaflets in about 40 minutes. Some people shrugged off the literature, while others accepted it and began reading as they walked away.
"Doreen Caravita of Seneca Falls, NY you are hereby informed that you are barred from this installation for an indefinite period of time. This debarment is predicated upon your misconduct at 1245 hours, on 6 Aug. 84, when you entered Seneca Army Depot without authority."
Evidence/Property Custody Document. Owner: Caravita, Doreen. Obtained: 1- Set of Keys, 1- Gold in Color Chain, 1- $20, 1- $5, 6- $1, 1- watch, Misc. Paper, 1 Pr. Shoe Strings. view the rest of this post
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, the encampment was modeled after the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in England (1981-2000) where hundreds of British sisters were creating nonviolent protest in the face of the scheduled deployment of U.S. Cruise missiles.
Though the U.S. military steadfastly refused to either “confirm or deny” the presence of nuclear weapons at the Seneca Depot, the base was uniformly regarded as a storage site and departure point for both the Cruise and Pershing II weapons bound for Europe.
In the summer of 1983, 12,000 women from around the world participated in nonviolence trainings, direct actions and civil disobedience at Seneca resulting in 950 arrests.
In 1994 the encampment transitioned into Women’s PeaceLand, an intentional community whose purpose was to promote and implement the principles of peace, nonviolence and anti-oppression.
Due to limited resources and waning outside interest, the peace camp farm and land was reclaimed by Seneca County for back taxes in March 2006.
The Seneca Army Depot was approved for base realignment and closure in 1995 and closed in 2000. By 2008, however, a portion of the base was reopened to serve as a training ground for soldiers from Ft. Drum.
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005 Becky Condon
007 Doreen Cornwall
008 Suzanne Sowinska
010 Jody Bear aka Jody Laine
014 Linda Field
015 Z aka Deborah Zubow
016 Susan Shachter
017 Barbara Reale
019 Brenda Miller
020 Otter aka Karen Escovitz
021 Sarra Lev
022 Laura Boswell Thornton
023 Maria Herlihy
024 Wolfgrrl aka Billijo Wolf
025 Andrea Doremus
027 Samoa aka Kim Blacklock
028 Helen Freedwomon aka Helen Friedman
029 Amy Bat Tzipora
030 Ruby Hohawk
031 Linci Comy
032 Janette Sperber
034 Dorothy Emerson
035 Nancy Clover
036 Michelle Murray
037 Grace Ross
038 Laura Flanders
039 Quinn Dilkes
040 Rosalie Regal
041 Charlotte Koons
042 Jennifer Miller
043 Helene Aylon
044 Alessandra Nichols
045 Martha Mollison
046 Mary Loehr
047 Clare Grady
048 Marilyn Rivchin
049 Susie Kossack
050 Ellie Rosenburg
051 Louise Cummings
052 Chris Huston
053 Tracy Sabo
054 Bryna Fireside
055 Lars Friend
056 Karen Edelstein
057 Cathy Sherwood
058 Cat Tague
059 Arora Crone
060 Judy Besemer
061 Sorrrel Hays
062 Marilyn Ries
063 Carol Baum
064 Barbara Gerber
065 Nancy Osborne
066 Carman Sivill Bradshaw
067 Karen Kerney
068 Julie Hammer
069 Diana Cramer
070 Mary Ann Zeppetello
071 Karen Mihalyi
072 Walter Putter
073 Claudia Gebhardt
074 Ruth Putter
075 Kathleen Rumpf
076 Andy Mager
077 Arlene Ahl
078 Linda DeStefano
079 Jane Begley
080 Beth Howe Miller
081 Renee-Noelle Felice
082 Sally Roesch Wagner
083 Sera Brown
084 Eugene Korvos
085 Mima Cataldo
086 Lucille Povero
088 Sita Lang
089 Lynn Varricchio
090 Evelyn Bailey
091 Claire Parker
092 Estelle Coleman
093 Alice O'Malley
094 Hershe Michele Kramer
095 Louise Krasniewicz
096 Wanda Metcalf
097 Phenix Hearn
098 Pam Anndagah aka Flanigan
099 Leeann Irwin
100 Catherine Allport
101 Bobbie Falls
102 Jeanne Michele Charbonnet
103 Terri Fredlund
104 robin earth
105 Rachel Flanigan
106 Woody Blue
107 Miriasiem Barnes
108 Jasmine Laine Kramer
109 Penny Batelli
110 Terri Shay
111 Laura Briggs
Common Women, Uncommon Practices: The Queer Feminisms of Greenham by Sasha Roseneil, Casssell, London, 2000.
Greenham Women Everywhere: Dreams, Ideas and Actions from the Women's Peace Movement by Alice Cook and Gwyn Kirk - South End Press, 1983.
Nuclear Summer: The Clash of Communities at the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment by Louise Krasniewicz - Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992.
Panhandling Papers by Kady - Common Wealth Printing, 1989.
Prisons That Could Not Hold by Barbara Deming - Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1995.
Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King - Boulder: Westview Press, 1989.
Walking to Greenham: How the Peace-camp began and the Cold War ended by Ann Pettitt - Honno: South Glamorgan, Wales, 2006.
We are Ordinary Women: A Chronicle of the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp by Participants of the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp - The Seal Press, Seattle, 1985.
We Are the Web: The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice by Catherine Allport - Artemis Project, NYC, 1984.
The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice: Images and Writings edited by Mima Cataldo, Ruth Putter, Byrna Fireside and Elaine Lytel - Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.
Peace Camp Sings, 1987. Tallapoosa Music, New York, NY.
The Great Peace March: Wild Wimmin for Peace, 1986. To order, call: 412-361-3022
The Average Dyke Band: Songs from Seneca, December 1985.
Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca 1982-2006. Peace Encampment Herstory Project, 2007. 33 min.
C.D.: the Ritual of Civil Disobedience. Sorrel Hays, Marilyn Ries and Sara Halprin, 1987. 23 min.
Stronger Than Before: The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. Women's Video Collective, 1983. 26 min.
Deming, Barbara. Dec. 1984. "Building the 'Beloved Community.'" The Nonviolent Activist.
Doremus, Andrea, compiler. Fall 1999. "Seneca Stories: Responses to a call for Memories." Iris. pp. 36-47.
Finkelstein, S. Naomi. Winter 1994/95. "McRunes and Mazdas." Sinister Wisdom, #54, pp. 72-79.
Joy, Margaretta. April-August 2003. "We are the Web": Letter Writing and the 1980s Women's Peace Movement," Prose Studies, Vol. 26, #1-2, pp. 196-218. Routledge.
McDaniel, Judith. "One Summer at Seneca: A Lesbian Feminist Looks Back in Anger." Heresies, #20, pp. 6-11.
Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Resisting Nuclear Madness: The Utopian Vision of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice," presented at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, New Brunswick, New Jersey, February 6, 2001.