The Danish Peace Academy

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp Songbook

20 Reclaim the Night

Though Eve was made from Adam's rib,
9 months he lay within her crib,
How can a man of women born,
Thereafter treat her sex with scorn.
For though we bear the human race,
To us is given second place.
And some men put us lower still,
By using us against our will.
And if we choose to walk alone,
For us there is no safety zone.

If we're attacked we take the blame,
They say that we began the game.
And though you prove our injury,
The judge may set the rapist free.
Theefore the victim is to blame,
Call it nature, but rapes the name.

Chorus -

Reclaim the night and wih the day.
We want the right that should be our own.
A freedom women have seldom known.
The right to live, the right to walk alone, without fear.

A husband has his lawful rights
Can take his wife when'eve he likes.
And courts uphold time after time,
That rape in marriage is no crime.
The choice is hers and hers alone,
Submit or loose your kids and home.
When love becomes a legal claim,
Call it duty, but rape's the name.

This system gives the prize to all
Who trample on the weak and small.
When fathers rape they surely know
Their kids have nowhere else to go.
Try to forget, don't ask us to
Forgive them, they know what they do.

When exploitation is the norm,
Rape is found in many forms,
Lover wages, meaner tasks,
Poorer schooling, second class.
We serve our own, and like the men,
We serve employers it follows then,
That body's rape is nothing new,
But just the servant's final due.

We raised our voices in the past,
And this time will not be the last.
Our bodies gifts is our to give,
No payment for the right to live.
Now we've outgrown their status quo,
We claim the right to answer
If without consent he stakes a claim,
Call it rape, for rape's the name.

[Author and composer: Peggy Seeger.
Period Pieces: Women's Songs for Men & Women.
Included in:
Seeger, Peggy: The Peggy Seeger Songbook: Forty years of songmaking.
- New York ; London ; Sydney : Oak Publications, 1998. - 364 pp. - ISBN 0-8256-0344-7 ]

Reclaiming Dignity
by George Washington Tuesday, Jun 29 2004

Wih acronym: What I Have.

Hear Reclaim the Night sung by Peggy Seeger.
Se also: Carry Greenham Home.

[Rape: The Male Club. Peace News, no. 2129, October 1980 added by Holger Terp.]

[Reclaim the Night marches and rallies have traditionally been organised by collectives of unpaid women who have worked together in their communities to organise peaceful protests against sexual violence towards women and children, and to promote women's strength and survival. Reclaim the Night represents a claim for women's basic human right to live in freedom from discrimination and fear of violence.

The first rally took place in Rome in 1976, as a reaction to reported rapes reaching 'Astronomical' figures (16000 per annum). Around 10,000 women and children marched through the centre of the city. 1 & 2 Marches followed in 1977 in West Germany. Women there demanded, "the right to move freely in their communities at day and night without harassment and sexual assault".

Herstory of Reclaim the Night ]

20 Yes we have been evicted again

Wednesday March 7 1984
Wednesday April 4, 1984
Greenham Common demonstrators ring the frame of a shelter after bailiff ripped off the covering.

THE GUARDIAN Wednesday February 15, 1984 Eviction begins 'final push' at Greenham camp. Peace News May 28, 1982, p. 4.

At secret hearing in the High Court in London on Friday May 14, Newbury District Council was given the right to evict the Greenham Common Peace Camp. Newbury Council had chosen to use a legal procedure which was not automatically public. Despite defence requests, the judge refused to use his power to hold the hearing in open court. The desire of the women to have an open hearing was "political"; the council's desire to keep it private was not.

Outside the court, scores of supporters of the women peace campers took part in a cheerful picket, with singers, jugglers and musicians. But the mood was shattered when police suddenly grabbed two Buddhist monks who were chanting prayers and banging small drums and dragged them off. Picketers sat down around the monks and joined in their chanting, and when the monks were finally dragged to a police van about 50 people sat down all around it to prevent their being taken away.

About fifteen minutes later, after police reinforcements had arrived, they swooped without warning and arrested about 20 people until they had cleared a path to take the Buddhists away. (See picture). It was five hours before they started letting people out of Bow Street police station, having charged them with obstructing the highway.

The people arrested had to appear at Bow Street Magistrates' Court a few days later, and were then remanded to a series of different dates-presumably in an attempt to defuse the support surrounding their first appearance. Anyone wanting to express support will find groups of these defendants at the same court (Bow Street, London WC2) on the following days: May 28, and June 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9. For further information, or if you witnessed any of the arrests or have photographs of them, contact: Fiona Stevenson, 4/6 Loughborough Park, London SW9 (tel 01.274 3464) .

At Greenham itself, a group of ratepayers have found a procedure for issuing a formal request to the council to debate the matter of the eviction, which a council committee will now have to do. Also last week, women from the peace camp occupied the entrance to Newbury Council Offices for an hour af ter an announcement that the eviction was to take place "as soon as possible". More women would be welcome to join the camp in opposition to the eviction threat. Contact: Women's Peace Camp, Outside Main Gate, Greenham Common Air Base, nr Newbury, Berks; or Angela Philips, Tel Newbury 34284; or Lorraine Leigh, tel Newbury 27541.

A second Greenham Common peace camp has started at another air base gate. This (mixed) camp is at the works entrance, and is also threatened by the blanket possession order granted in the High Court two weeks ago. Contact: The Other Peace Camp, Outside the Works Entrance, Greenham Common Air Base, nr Newbury, Berks.

On Tuesday May 18, Cambridgeshire County Council voted by 35 votes to 28 to take court action to evict the Molesworth Air Base peace campers, though the number opposing the eviction move was higher than expected. Molesworth along with Greenham Common is a proposed site for US cruise missiles to be based in Britain. Details from: People's Peace Camp, Outside Molesworth Air Base, Old Weston Road, Brington, nr Huntingdon, Camps; or Helen Lowe, tel Clopton 257.

For news of any of the other six peace camps, see contact addresses and numbers in last fortnight's PN.]

Blackwood, Caroline: On the perimeter : Caroline Blackwood at Greenham Common.
- London : Wiliam Heinemann ; Fontana Paperbacks, 1984. - 112 pp. - ISBN : 0-00-654123-2

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