Women's Peace Encampment Herstory Project Comes to Syracuse

Were you at the Seneca Peace Camp?

On Friday & Saturday, May 30 & 31, 7 pm, at the Women's Information Center, 601 Allen St., Syracuse, the public is invited to view the films: "Every Woman Here: Remnants of Seneca 1982-2006" and "Stronger Than Before", the award-winning video shown on PBS as well as a photo exhibit. Discussion, refreshments and music will follow the films.

A donation of $5-10 is requested.

The building is wheelchair accessible.

If you were at the Peace Camp, even briefly, and would like to be interviewed on video to have your experiences archived, please contact Susie Kossack, 607-277-1236 or mskossack@yahoo.com. Women from the Peace Encampment Herstory Project will be in Syracuse to collect oral herstories, images, music & other media about the Peace Camp. Please bring your stories & artifacts!

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, 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 US Cruise missiles. Though the US 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.

The encampment embraced feminism, nonviolence and consensus decision-making and politicized, radicalized and spiritualized its visitors. Housewives, radical lesbians and Buddhist monks alike became educated about the connections between militarism and other forms of oppression. In the infamous 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. For some the camp was over after that first summer, for many it continued through the 1980s as a nonviolent resistance community with several thousand visitors, hundreds of actions, and nearly 200 arrests.

In 1994 the Encampment transitioned into Women's PeaceLand, whose purpose is to promote greater understanding and implementation of the principles of peace, nonviolence and anti-oppression. The Seneca Army Depot was approved for base realignment and closure in 1995 and closed permanently in 2000. By 2004, the base land and buildings were converted into three prisons. The PeaceLand collective exists to this day, however, 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 Peace Encampment Herstory Project, http://peacecampherstory.blogspot.com