Elizabeth Marchant

Story Number:Story-014
Themes: CND, Greenham Common, nuclear

I just began to think about, you know, how many children in the world – um, do – suffer and are treated less than they should be. And – from that, I uh you know, the amount of money that goes into um, the development of weapons and finding more and more horrendous ways to kill human beings. And these weapons are directed at children just as much as they are adults. There’s no amnesty for children. And, uh, the military just don’t see them. And, I began to just feel really really strongly – about that and I decided to join CND and start – protesting.

And we were involved with the Greenham Common women. They would ring us and tell us when the bombs had left Greenham and we would stand at a round about near Amesbury in kind of silent protest really. It would happen in the middle of the night. These bombs would come round these roundabouts at massive speed actually. And one woman did run out into the road, um not long, just before they were sort of arriving, and the police grabbed her and, s-got her off the road. And my friend I was stood next to had no intention of hurling herself into the road, you know, but she took, just took one little step forward, not onto the road and this great big policeman absolutely flattened her. He hurled himself at her and just knocked her to the floor [laughs] -which, we’re all a bit – huh – ‘was that necessary?’.
I met women who’d just come out of Holloway –a nurse who’d just come out of Holloway, She’d been involved in some direct [like] action. And, um we all felt very very strongly for probably similar reasons.

I took – there was um, a mass – um trespass on the [Salisbury] Plain on one occasion around that time. The group of people I was with – um, one of them thought he knew where these bombs would be, so we went to where we thought they would be. And it was a public footpath we were on. But we could see from this public footpath that was probably wasn’t used very much, the bombs, dow-, they were down near the valley, you know. So we made no attempt to approach them, we just stood on the hillside. And a helicopter came over and hovered over us, a military helicopter. And we had children with us. And then the platoon of soldiers turned up with rifles – and we just left, we thought well we’re not here to [laughs] have a fight with anyone actually, you know, we are just here as witnesses.

And, yeh, we all felt strongly, I still feel strongly that – um – Why are we spending all this money on a –on a, you know type of weapon that, if it is ever used it’s the end of all of us ‘cos you’ve got mutual assured destruction. It’s like we’ve been gripped by some madness. And when I hear the government saying they can’t afford this, they can’t afford that, I think yes you darned well can because you’re spending billions of tax payers’ money on a completely useless defence system.