Sunday, July 11, 2021

NeWSPaPeR: Rochester, NY - Women gather amid tension

August 1, 1983 - Times-Union
PeHP source: Suzanne Sowinska

NeWSPaPeR: Syracuse, NY - Peace camp by women, for women in readiness

July 1, 1983 - The Post-Standard

NeWSPaPeR: Ithaca, NY - 'Fire still burns' at peace camp

1990 (?) Ithaca Times
PeHP source: Women's PeaceLand

NeWSPaPeR: Rochester, NY - 2500 to march on depot

August 1, 1983 - Democrat and Chronicle
PeHP source: Suzanne Sowinska

'They've got so much so much bitterness against them now'

Protesters' lifestyles, tactics damage image

By Jody McPhillips

ROMULUS  - Romulus residents say tension in the communities near the Women's Encampment for a Future of the Peace and Justice has grown in recent weeks for reasons that have nothing to do with anti-nuclear protest.

They say they are outraged over acts of ... [gap in article image recovery] ... southeast of Rochester.

Said Elsie Roach of Romulus, "I don't like the damage they've done at the depot that they've gotten away with."

Women at the camp outside the Seneca Army Depot suspect the base of being an arsenal for nuclear weapons. The camp was inspired by a two-year vigil of British women at a U.S. Air Force base near London, an intended destination for U.S. cruise missiles.

Roach, who has worked at the depot for 10 years, said she was referring to cut fences, and painting on the depot water tower.

"I also don't like the public displays of lesbianism," she said. "We've never been exposed to that and we don't want to be."

Residents took to their porches and front yards yesterday, saying they want to keep an eye on developments in the wake of a demonstration in the nearby village of Waterloo Saturday.

"I just pray to God nobody gets hurt," said Richard Hathaway, who sat surrounded by his family on his front porch on Romulus' Main Street.

"I'm going to protect me and mine. Nobody bothers me, that's fine, but nobody's coming into my house," he said.

The residents complain that women from the encampment have disrobed in local laundromats to wash their clothes and have showered publicly in a Waterloo car wash and at Sampson State Park.

William Roach, Elsie Roach's husband, said the presence of a witches (sic) coven is hurting the anti-nuclear focus of the camp. "All the townspeople are talking about it. They're pretty bitter."

The Roaches said they housed two Elmira women who fled the camp last month July claiming they were harrassed (sic) by witches.

"Townspeople don't care for it," he said. Roach said a neighbor who witnessed the coven in action one night at the depot's gate told him the coven's leader had a group of women "under a spell."

A woman who would only identify herself as Sharon from New York City said yesterday that she was a member of a 13-member coven up for the weekend.

Hathaway said the women's behavior has diluted any message they are trying to get across about nuclear war. "They got so much bitterness against them now, if they stay here another 20 years, they're not going to change anybody's mind (about nuclear war)," he said.

Roach said, "I don't mind the anti-nuclear protest. But they keep hollering (that they are) 'Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful' when they are anything but."

As for the counter demonstration in Waterloo Saturday, in which townspeople blocked a march by the women campers, Roach said, "It's the first time anybody ahs stood up to them and said, 'We don't want you.' I wish the people in Romulus would do the same."

Hathaway and Roach said many townspeople are convinced that the women are breaking the law and getting away with it. They're mad at the women, and just as mad at the depot officials for letting them get away with trespassing and vandalism.

Women who have climbed or cut through the fence surrounding the 11,000-acre depot have been issued federal "bar letters" warning them not to do it again. Local residents call the letters "a slap on the wrist."

The women arrested Saturday during the march through Waterloo face up to 15 days in jail and fines.

Waterloo residents said they were angry about the demonstrators' refusal to carry an American flag as they marched and about reports some women desecrated the flag.

"They have the right to demonstrate, but it should be in the American way," said Vietnam veteran Joe D'Augustine of Waterloo. "Too many men and women have died over the years to protect that flag."

Harold O'Connors, commander of the Waterloo Veteran of Foreign Wars post, was one of the townspeople who blocked the march through town Saturday.

"I don't think anybody understands exactly how it (the counter demonstration) came about. A lot of people were shocked," he said.

"It was a spur of the moment. I don't think you'll find one person who is for nuclear war, right on up to the President. But these people want to leave us susceptible" through disarmament.

"It's not right," he said.
Sign reads: "Pinko Dykes should camp with the commies in Moscow"
2500 to march on depot

Seneca residents threaten to form barrier, spark 3rd day of confrontation

ROMULUS - About 2,500 women were set to stage a noontime march from Sampson State Park to the Seneca Army Depot today after a weekend marked by confrontations between nuclear arms protesters at a women's peace encampment and Seneca County residents.

Last night in Interlaken, townspeople carrying American flags taunted 25 women holding a vigil outside the South Seneca Elementary School to protest the jailing there of 53 women who were involved in a confrontation Saturday with Waterloo townspeople. The women dispersed about 30 minutes after the shouting began

As of last night, 48 women were still being held on $50 bail each on charges of disorderly conduct.

Some Seneca County residents said yesterday they would form a human barrier to physically prevent the women from entering government property during the march. The women say they will engage in civil disobedience at the depot.

Seneca Army Depot Spokesman Robert Zemanek said yesterday that 450 extra military personnel will be at the depot today because of the demonstration. He said the additional troops at the camp came from Fort Dix, N.J., Fort Belvoir, Va., and Fort Bragg, N.C.

If a confrontation should occur, it will mark the third straight day that local residents have clashed with women. The women are camping at a 52-acre farm adjacent ... [gap in article image recovery] ... and vowed to stop the anti-nuclear demonstrators.

We're going to stop them from getting on the base," William Rivers, of Seneca Falls, told a passenger in a car that stopped to congratulate the counterdemonstrators. "We're going to form a human chain. They're going to have to break through our hands."

The people vowing to stop the women were from towns surrounding Romulus, where the camp is located, on Route 96, one mile from the depot.

The women plan to gather at Sampson State Park, on the west side of the depot, at 9 a.m., and later split into two groups for a noon march on two of (sic) depot's western gates.

The women say they are marching to protest the United States nuclear weapons policy. They claim nuclear weapons are stored at the depot. It is military policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at any installation.

The estimated 2,500 women expected to participate in today's march have come from many states and several countries.

The march is scheduled to begin at noon. Most will leave the park south on Route 96A to the depot's truck gate, two miles away. Toni Fitzpatrick, a camp spokeswoman, said a non-violent protest is planned.

Another group is planning to march north on Route 96A to the air strip, approximately four miles from the park. Their plans are less clear, Fitzpatrick said, but all will involve some sort of civil disobedience.

Civil disobedience is perceived (sic) different ways by different members of the camp, she said. Some believe it means that they won't harm anything, while others believe that destruction of property can occur as long as no one is hurt, she said.

Although plans call for demonstrations at those two places, "I would venture to say people are going to take action in several different places," Fitzpatrick said.

The group of 20 local residents who staged a counter-protest outside the depot yesterday said they won't tolerate any law-breaking.

"Tomorrow there'll be a lot more of us," said Nicholas White of Waterloo. "I've talked to people from Seneca Falls, Waterloo and Geneva who said they're coming down. A lot of people are afraid it's going to turn into violence.

The depot has spent at least $700,000 on ... [gap in article image recovery] ... school board, said the Interlaken school was selected a month ago as a possible site to hold any protesters that might be arrested if a state of emergency had to be declared in Seneca County.

"We didn't see how we could really turn them down," Beardsley said last night. He said county officials told him they selected the school because it was away from the immediate area of the depot and the encampment.

Interlaken is 12 miles southeast of the depot.

Earlier in the day, about 20 angry residents waived American flags 20 yards outside the main gate of the depot in Romulus ... [gap in article image recovery] ... Always," Protestors painted out "Mission First," leaving "People Always." The military yesterday hired sign painters to paint "Mission First" back on the tower. By 4 p.m. the slogan was restored. Onlookers cheered the signpainters (sic).

The depot employs about 1,000 civilians, about 90 percent who live in the communities surrounding Romulus. Employment at the depot accounts for about one in every 14 jobs in Seneca County.

In the past, protests have been mainly limited to quiet vigils.

"Obviously we're concerned anytime we have a large number of people vowing civil disobedience and a large number of people whose intentions we don't know," Zemanek said.

Planning for today's march was interrupted as many women concentrated on freeing the women were were (sic) still jailed.

Saturday's arrests saddened and angered the women, who charged that police had arrested the wrong people.

About 60 women had gathered earlier that day in nearby Seneca Falls and planned to march through Waterloo, four miles west of Seneca Falls, then continue south to the encampment about 12 miles away. The march was intended to draw attention to the women's role in society but when they reached Waterloo, about three miles into their march, 75 women were confronted by a jeering crowd of about 300 people that formed a human barrier and blocked their way.

The confrontation, which occured (sic) just south of Main Street grew out of a conversation among Vietnam veterans, said Joe D'Augustine yesterday. D'Augustine and his brother Michael operate the Franklin Hotel on Route 96 near the canal. D'Augustine said he heard last Sunday that the women were planning to march through Waterloo Saturday.

"I'd heard they'd defaced the American flag, and I didn't like what I heard," he said. "I said we ought to block the bridge on them. I figured we'd get 10 to 15 Vietnam vets, at most."

But members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Waterloo learned of this counterdemonstration and offered to help the Vietnam veterans put up American flags in the downtown area, D'Augustine said.

By noon Saturday, the crowd grew to 300, a sight that left D'Augustine aghast. "We were just going to make out point and let ...[gap in article image recovery]...yesterday said he had no choice but to act as he did Saturday.

"I was very disappointed in the behavior of not only the women from the encampment but also the local citizens," Greer said. He said he intended to order the dispersal and hoped the incident would end. But nobody moved when he made his announcements over a loud speaker.

Greer said it did not matter who was right and who was wrong in that situation. "It wasn't a matter of who was blocking who (sic)," he said. "I cannot by any stretch of the imagination, with the small amount of deputies that I had, start at both ends (of the stalemate) simultaneously."

Asked by a reporter why he began arresting the women and not the townspeople, Greer replied, "I have no further comment on the matter."

Greer Saturday declared state of emergency in Seneca County, enabling him to solicit aid from surrounding county sheriff's departments.

What was particularly upsetting to the women throughout the day yesterday was that a man accused of carrying a loaded rifle at the confrontation was releases on his own recognizance while the women were arrested for walking. That man was Raymond Woodard, 31, of RD 1 Waterloo, who was charged with menacing.

Another local resident who was released was Melley Kleman, the only villager who stepped forward and joined the protestors. "I thought someone from the town should stand up for the rights of people to march," she said, adding she was disturbed by the incident because, "We're a nice town."

"I know many of these people and they are better people than that," said her husband, Thomas Kleman, a senior vice president of St. Lawrence National Bank in Waterloo.

[Gap in article image recovery] ... materialized, but about 50 of the estimated 500 women camping at the site and sleepless nights anyway. Security crews of 30 each, working in three to four hour shifts, patrolled the perimeter of the campsite and an all-night candlelight vigil was held in front of the main building.

At 2:45 a.m., the two women who made bail returned to the camp where they were met by cheers. All but six of the women refused to give the names to police and were listed as Jane Doe, something that officials say will mean further legal complications.

The women who returned to the encampment refused to give their names but said they were from Brooklyn, said they couldn't join the others in declaring Jane Doe status because they had to go to work Monday.

At 4:15 a.m. Sunday, a sheriff's transport vehicle passed by the encampment with the women who were en route to Interlaken. Women in the van screamed and cheered from the barred windows. The few women still awake at the encampment yelled back.

Reporting for this story was done by staff writers Erik Gunn, Laura Meade, Jody McPhillips, and Metro Editor Lou Ziegler. It was written by Dena Bunis.


NeWSPaPeR: Syracuse, NY - Protesters heckled at Seneca Depot

May 13, 1985 - Post-Standard
PeHP source: Dorene Cornwell

NeWSPaPeR: Rochester, NY - 45 arrested at depot protest

July 8, 1985 - Democrat and Chronicle
PeHP source: Linda Field

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

NeWSPaPeR: Rochester, NY - Villagers confront marchers in Waterloo

July 31, 1983 - Democrat and Chronicle
PeHP source: Suzanne Sowinska

WATERLOO - Amid cheers and taunts from angry, flag-waving villagers, 53 members of a women's peace encampment were arrested yesterday on disorderly conduct charges after their march through this Seneca County community was stopped by a crowd of local residents.

County sheriff's deputies also arrested three local residents. One was a man who was carrying a loaded rifle whose name was not released. A second was Daniel Smith, of 66 Washington St., Waterloo. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and was being held on $500 bail. A third person, a woman whose name was not released, was arrested when she joined the encampment members who were arrested. The names of the women protesters arrested were not released.

The women were being arraigned late last night and Seneca County officials were making plans to house them in the county jail if necessary. Meanwhile about 20 women from the encampment kept a vigil outside the courthouse where the women were taken for processing while some local residents looked on.

Yesterday's arrests followed a confrontation that erupted shortly after noon between about 300 villagers and 75 members of a group of women who have been camping next to the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus since July 4 to protest the United States' nuclear weapons policy.

The Army has refused to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons at the depot, located about 55 miles southeast of Rochester.

"We do not need nuclear arms but until this situation is handled through proper channels we cannot allow this," said Waterloo resident Ed Ryder. "We cannot allow demonstrations against our government. Somebody had to make a stand for what the majority of people feel."

Last night, Seneca County District Attorney Stuart Miller was asking that each of the women arrested be tried separately and each held on $250 bond. State officials last night waived capacity regulations at the jail so women could be held, if needed. The jail has a capacity of 30. The women were being arraigned last night.

Women at the peace encampment were meeting late yesterday to decide whether to stage any acts of civil disobedience in retaliation for the arrests. A day of civil disobedience had been planned for tomorrow. The encampment was insired (sic) by the two-year vigil of British women at the Greenham Common U.S. Air Base near London, an intended destination for the cruise missile.

Chief Deputy Dale Arcangeli said the counter-protesters dispersed after the women were arrested.

About 300 people carrying American flags scuffled with village police and Seneca County sheriff's deputies who separated the two groups facing off near the bridge, witnesses said.

Yesterday morning and Friday night, 14 women peace campers were arrested by sheriff deputies and military police for trespassing on depot grounds. Four of the women had pruning shears, apparently to cut through a barbed wire fence.

"I don't thing they were there to prune out bushes for us in the middle of the night," depot spokesman Robert Zemanek said.

Peace camp members complained yesterday that the depot had not kept an agreement to allow all arrested women to have legal representation and had failed to let the camp know the status of the one woman who was kept overnight.

Meanwhile, some townspeople met inside a Veterans of Foreign Wars post next to the Seneca County Courthouse where those arrested were being processed. There was a chicken dinner being served there last night and about 30 of the cars in the parking lot had American flags flying from the antennas. Some women from the encampment held a vigil outside the courthouse for their arrested compatriots and ordered pizza.

Seneca County Undersheriff Thomas Cleere said 30 deputies from Onondaga County were called to Waterloo last night to help local police. They were housed last night at a dormitory on the Eisenhower College campus in Seneca Falls. Women at the peace encampment said security there has been increased from 10 to 30 persons.

The women set out before noon yesterday on a 15-mile protest march through Waterloo from the National Women's Rights Park in Seneca Falls. Their destination was the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice, where 700 women were registered as of last night.

The women said the march was intended to demonstrate the link between the women's movement and the nuclear arms protest.

But when they reached Waterloo, they were met by several hundred residents who formed a human barrier to their way across Route 96, south of Main Street.

Faced with the immovable crowd, 17 women sat down and formed a circle on the road.

"Commies go home. Commies go home," chanted members of the crowd, some of whom lined the sides of the roadway, waving American flags. The sound of fireworks cracked in the muggy heat of the day as American flags, usually reserved for holidays, dominated the streets downtown. (Memorial Day was started in 1866 by a group of Waterloo villagers who decorated the graves of Civil War dead.) Some people carried banners proclaiming "If you love America, protect it." and "Idea great, attitude wrong."

Reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam war movement of the '60s, women in the circle sang Give Peace a Chance, Kumbaya and We Shall Overcome. The women protesters were dressed in white and had on them the names of women important to the social justice movement including Emma Goldman and Mother Jones.

Margaret Moor, 79, of 2 Park Place, Waterloo, was downtown at 11 a.m. and saw the flags.

"They had all the flags and the whole town was decorated with flags... they said the women were coming."

The crowd of townspeople were (sic) gathered at the south end of the bridge when Waterloo Police Chief Doyle Marquart attempted to send police cars north through the crowd to break the blockade.

"We tried to move them aside with cars but we couldn't," he said. The people were 10-deep along the 40-foot wide roadway.

At the beginning of what was to be a more than two-hour stalemate between villagers and outsiders, Seneca County Sheriff Kenneth Greere told his deputies he intended only to arrest women and their supporters.

But at 1:05 p.m., he told a few spectators, "I'll arrest both sides."

"You're going to be paying the bill if I have to arrest 300 people," he told one county resident, who would not move.

At 1:15 p.m., Greer addressed the women over the loudspeaker and told them to follow two sheriff's department patrol cars to a department parking lot four blocks away where the matter would be discussed. If they didn't, he said, the women would be charges with "inciting a riot."

Greer offered them an alternative route out of town but the women refused.

"It was the police's responsibility to keep the hecklers away, not the women who had a permit for that walk," said Toni Fitzpatrick of New York City, one of the encampment's spokeswomen.

About 2 p.m., the sheriff's department truck pulled into sight. The townspeople cheered, "Get them out of here." "Go Home," were the chants from the crowd.

The truck backed onto the road near the circle. When it opened up 11 officers in full riot gear jumped out and half of them marched up to the women. With their backs to the women, they formed a line between the citizens of Waterloo and the encampment supporters.

"Take them away," the townspeople cried.

Observers said there was confusion in the crowd as some townspeople thought they were going to be arrested.

"What are you taking us away for," one man shouted. "We live here. We have a right to be here. Don't forget Greer, you have to run for re-election."

At 2:27, Sheriff Greer again addressed the crowd through a loud speaker.

"This is a volatile situation and I'm asking for your cooperation. All children are requested to leave. All citizens are requested to leave also. We do not need sightseers and spectators any longer. Please disperse."

But the crowd stood its ground.

Then he addressed the women: "All women from the encampment that have not committed themselves to being arrested should leave the area."

Greer continued to ask the crowd to disperse. It began to break up about 2:35.

Although there was still confusion among the crowd, people on both sides were led to believe that if the crowd dispersed in one direction (south towards the encampment) the women would go north (back towards Seneca Falls).

But at 2:42, as the sheriff's deputies continued to stand guard over the circle of women, three women got up and began moving forward as if to go on to the depot.

"You lied," shouted the townspeople, and the human wall of people went up again on the south end of the road.

Then the arrests began.

Witnesses said some of the women peaceably got up and walked on foot to the waiting sheriff's department truck. Others went limp and police carried them or dragged them to the police vehicle.

"Go Ken Greer," shouted the residents, cheering as each women (sic) was loaded into the sheriff's truck. As the arrested continued, women who had not been part of the sit-in continued to line the bridge, some singing Give Peace a Chance.

"They didn't want to give up their right to walk peacefully and continue their protest without some gesture," said Eva Kolisch, 57 of New York City, who said she was a veteran of anti-war marches during the '60s. "I think some nerve was touched here when we say we are here to save the earth from extinction."

Local residents talked of defacement of American flags and lack of patriotism among the women protesting. During an earlier demonstration, women at the encampment refused to fly an American flag that was donated.

"I believe they're communists and paid by communists," said Jerry McKenna of Waterloo. "Every person here is a veteran of different wars. There's only one way to put it. The family of Waterloo is here."

Lee Patchen, the mayor of Waterloo, said he believed the actions of the crowd on Route 96 reflected the sentiment of the people of the village. "The townspeople did what they felt they had to do," Patchen said.

Once the crowd dispersed along Route 96, they followed the sheriff's cars to the county courthouse where the arrested women were to be processed.

The women protesters who had not been arrested gathered in front of the courthouse while a line of villagers formed across the street, watching them. Some were bitter that none of the townspeople who had blocked their way were arrested.

"All they (the women who were arrested) were doing was walking on their walk which they had a permit for," Fitzpatrick said.

The women marchers said they a (sic) permit for their protest march. Waterloo officials said no such permit was issued, nor was one required.

At about 4:45, three women from the encampment group crossed the street to address the crowd of townspeople. During the exchange, the women were trying to find out why the local residents were upset.

"If you don't like my area, if you're ashamed of it, why don't you get out of here," Bill Young of Waterloo told them. "You people have been complaining because we don't treat you right. But just want to know where you're coming from."

Another woman in crowd said, "If you want to protest, take your protests down to Washington."

A 19-year-old woman from the peace encampment was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate David G. Larimer yesterday on charges of trespassing on government property after having been detained for the same charge earlier.

Lynn D. Brown refused to identify herself until she was warned by Larimer that failure to do so would result in her having to post bond. She was released on a personal appearance bond of $500, Larimer said.

Trespassing is a petty offense punishable by up to six months in prison and $500 fine.

Brown was ordered to appear in court Thursday with five other women from the camp who were arraigned on similar charges last Tuesday, Larimer said.

He said Brown was brought to Rochester from the Seneca Army Depot by military personnel.

Reporting for this story was done by staff writers Erik Gunn, Laura Meade, Dena Bunis, Jim Mitzelfeld and Metro Editor Lou Ziegler. It was written by Bunis.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Monday, March 01, 2021

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.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

ViDeo: Stronger Than Before (1983)

   A 27-minute documentary produced in the fall of 1983 by the Women's Media Collective of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice, a group largely made up of women from the Boston Women's Video Collective. Stronger Than Before received two national awards and was shown on 150 PBS stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

ViDeo: WEFPJ Slide Show (1983)

   Produced by the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice Media Collective in the late summer of 1983 to help raise awareness about and fundraise for the Encampment.

See WEFPJ media collective member and slide show narrator Dorothy Emerson's PeHP interview here.

ViDeo: Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca 1982-2006 (2007)

This 32-minute video, produced in 2007 by Estelle Coleman, Hershe Michele Kramer & Alice O'Malley of the Peace Encampment Herstory Project, highlights interviews with Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice participants as well as photographs and songs from the Encampment.

PeHP 2007; revised 2015

Front cover
Back cover

Saturday, February 20, 2021

BRoCHuRe: Why a Woman's Peace Camp?

Tri-fold brochure produced in the early summer of 1983.
PeHP source: Linda Fields

Saturday, February 13, 2021

MaGaZiNe 12.83

Publication: Ms. (Arlington County, VA)
Date: December 1983
PeHP source: Suzanne Sowinska

* Grace Paley (Dec. 11, 1922- August 22, 2007) "There'a a case to be made that Grace Paley was first and foremost an antinuclear, antiwar, antiracist feminist activist who managed, in her spare time, to become one of the truly original voices of American fiction in the later twentieth century." Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, May 2017.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

FooTaGe 023

   "Chain Gang" affinity group women chain themselves to the main gate of the Depot.

*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.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

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