My favourite website at the minute is the fascinating digital archive of the Women’s Peace Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice. This is a truly groundbreaking collection of material related to the peace protest staged in Romulus, NY, just outside of the Seneca Army Depot. Cruise and Pershing II missiles were due to be transported from the depot to Europe as part of a NATO strategy to counteract the threat that new Soviet SS-20 missiles posed in the region.
In the summer of 1983, thousands of women descended on Romulus and established a peace camp, mirroring the efforts of women’s peace protesters who had been famously performing their own stand against the imposition of Cruise missiles outside of RAF Greenham Common in the UK. Although primarily responding to worrying developments in the nuclear arms race, organisers drew a clear link between the location of their encampment and the 1848 Convention on Women’s Rights, held in nearby Seneca Falls. Women from across the world gathered at the Seneca Women’s Peace Encampment to discuss peace, justice, rights, and the herstory of women. The camp lasted until 1994, when it transitioned into a “Women’s Peace Land.”
Members of Women Strike for Peace were involved in the organisation and running of the encampment. Dagmar Wilson gave a class on women’s peace herstory; Connie Van Praet served as a liaison between the Seneca camp and the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp; while WSPers in Philadelphia helped develop the city’s own local chapter affiliated to the Seneca camp.
The Peace Encampment Herstory Project has gathered a trove of interviews with participants and contributors to the Seneca Peace Camp, alongside documents, photographs, news articles, songs, contemporary video reports, subsequent articles, and links to other sites of interest. The website is regularly updated and related events continue to take place for anyone interested in discussing women’s peace herstory.