She was not your typical radical protestor - so who was Helen Steven?

1 Privately-educated, brought up in a Christian household, and teaching at an all-girls school – Helen Steven does not sound like your typical radical protestor. But the Glasgow-born justice and peace campaigner was exactly and her protests at Faslane led to her arrest and a spell in prison.

2 Helen was born in Glasgow in 1942, and she went to Laurel Bank in the west end. She was a keen mountain-climber, inspired by her father, the writer Campbell Steven, and she joined the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club in 1959. In 1970, she led the first women’s climbing expedition to Greenland.

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3 After studying at Glasgow University, Helen taught history at Laurel Bank, before moving to Vietnam as part of a Quaker project working in orphanages in Saigon. It was to prove life-changing and she became a committed justice campaigner. Here she met her partner Ellen Moxley, and the couple adopted a Vietnamese orphan girl, Marian, together.

4 In 1979, Helen became a full-time peace and justice worker with the Iona Community. Inspired by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, she developed and delivered non-violent direct action training. In 1985, supported by the Iona Community and the Quakers, Helen and Ellen opened Peace House in Braco. Over the course of 12 years, more than 10,000 people attended the residential centre and participated in its courses about peace, justice and non-violent direct action.

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5 In 1987, Helen Steven was arrested for her part in a demonstration at Faslane. She refused to pay the fine and was sentenced to five days in Cornton Vale women’s prison. In 1999, she was one of the people involved in setting up the Scottish Centre for Nonviolence in Dunblane. In 2004, Helen and Ellen were jointly awarded the Ghandi International Peace prize for their work for justice and peace. She died, aged 73, in 2016.