Our Stories: Being Arrested & Singing the Muppet Show

Today I told a personal story. I didn’t mean to, but it just came out when Lorena mentioned Peggy, a star in the Muppet Show. I sang a bit of the tune “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady” Peggy used to sing in the show, and said — oops — that that was one of the songs we sang when we were arrested! 😀 It’s inaccurate. We sang this song once, in a very risky action! The song we USED TO sing while waiting to be processed was “I Will Survive”! 😀

Well, the story goes like this:

From 1989 to 1992 I was on and off at camp, meaning at Blue Gate, in Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, in the west of London, at about half an hour by bus, if I remember correctly. We practiced nonviolent direct action (NVDA, ADNV in Spanish), wrote newsletters on a wheel under the rain, and got arrested for all kinds of actions, mainly trespassing but also blocking convoys so they couldn’t carry weapons on conventional roads and stuff. In England, you can defend yourself at court, so we would prepare our court cases by the fire, out in the open, and by going to the Newbury library, Newbury being a town near camp. I learned a lot about zillions of things. And enjoyed it, too!

Image result for metal ladders buildingI remember an action which was really scary because we climbed a building but going down was simply terrifying, so we asked the MODs (ministry of defence police) to bring a helicopter to take us back to earh! 😀 Or “Simon” (but we were far too high), the crane. Anyway, they wouldn’t. They decided to climb the steel ladder running along the wall and carry us on their shoulders! And we feared we could be dropped! So we were refusing to be carried down. So we sat on the floor, in a line, drawing a circle: each of us had her legs around the woman in front, as well as our arms, holding really tight. The MODs were trying to separate us, but didn’t manage to. And well, it was hours like this, so we sang all the whole repertoir of the Muppet Show, including Lydia, of course!

When I came back to Spain, I tried to create a webpage for all this at mujerpalabra.net but failed. Women’s herstory is of no interest to “the general public”. And I suspect it’s always been so, which is to say, I believe a lot of adorable people have done amazingly good things for humanity, that the best things we have today come from this saga of anonymous people, and that we don’t know about it, or don’t care to find out because patriarchal culture tells us it’s not a good idea. Funny all the nonviolent strugge doesn’t ever make it to history and how people doing it are perceived as dangerous, as if war, corruption, discrimination, etc. were not violence because they are so natural. Nonviolence is natural too, and harms much less! (Here you have another topic to mull over and discuss!) So this is why the site is half-way through and it’s been so for over 15 years, I think (?) Anyway, here’s the link. If you have spare time, you can read. But do so in English! Actually, I didn’t manage to translate that much, anyway.

http://www.mujerpalabra.net/activismo/greehamcommon/greenham.htm

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6 comments

  1. Absolutely amazing story! woo its like to watch a movie but happened in a real life . Im very proud of you defending and fighting for the peace well for me it would be better to try to sing a song from John Lenon called imagine one of my flavourist . I made a video on youtube https://youtu.be/didz7k8zuuk

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG!!!! BRILLIANT! We should post this! Do so, please! I’m totally with you in this. But see how funny (=strange) things are in our patriarchal society?: peace action is minor (ridiculous, fairy-like, blah blah), violence is serious and realistic! It’s such a crazy world! And “Imagine” is still making a point, yes! Let’s hope one day we’ll trust the use of intelligence in positive ways better than the use of violence! ❤
    That memorial to Lennon is in Central Park, NY. Have you been there?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for reply and no yet but one day I wish to be there to feel the magic vibration for the peace he left us with his beautiful song 🙂

    Like

  4. Such an amazing story!!!! I wouldn’t have ever imagined you like a risky person. I like it. I teach my students a play which is exactly the same as the passive resistance you did in front of the MODs. We call it “the wolfs and the sheeps” and its goal is to make them trust each other. It’s really funny and I can assure that likes everyone in every age. Thank you so much for showing me another way to use it!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really happy to hear about that. You are doing something amazing! ❤ In class, a great deal of amazing / apparentely insignificant things can be done.

    If you allow me, let me give you an update on "passive resistance". That's a Gandhian name. Today we call it Direct Nonviolent Action or Nonviolent Direct Action (NVDA, Acción directa noviolenta, ADNV) because we didn't like the idea of "passive", not finding any passivity in that, but the fact: we were doing "nonviolent struggle", which means human struggle in different ways, and nonviolent struggle is the most ignored but the kind of struggle we use every day. I'm not someone into risk. I don't enjoy risk in itself. Oftentimes, I find that ordinary actions are far more risky than physically-risky actions. Like defending what you believe is right when that means that people will reject you. What do you think?

    I've also escaped rape attempts through nonviolent direct action! and because I'm such a chatterbox! 😀 Humanizing yourself with the rapist tries to objectify you is a classic in nonviolent self-defence. I used to address this topic in Tutorías in secondary, to help teenagers consider scenerios and responses in a crisis.

    Nonviolent action has often saved our lives, and it has also played a key role in all the good the social movement brought along for us all in the 20th century! So it's always a good idea to learn to be aware of where we find it, and how we can work on it.

    Thanks for your post! ❤

    Like

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