Breasts Not Bombs/ The White House/S26
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The Right to Bare Breasts
S26 White House Breasts Not Bombs
When demonstrating for peace, the time has come to turn to the radical, the simple and essential. Though some who have witnessed the appearance of BREASTS NOT BOMBS in San Francisco, Berkeley, and now D.C. seem to think it is a beauty contest. Others who are courageous enough to participate feel it is an act of pure liberation, in fact a true example of what peace is, a true example of what freedom is. We discovered this in Wasington D.C. this past weekend at the Moibilzation for peace.
During the march on Saturday we spontaneously gathered our courage and dove headlong into actionin two locations. We were applauded, laughed at, encouraged and widely photographed. At one point it looked as thought the cops were coming through the park to get us, but they retreated quickly. We were standing in great power and it was perfectly legal.We were joined by women and young men who stood half naked with us to proclaim their solidarity. One beautiful young brother handed me a bullhorn (ours was on the fritz) We called out our chant. "Breasts Not Bombs, Titties Not Tanks, Nipples not Napalm, Mammaries not missles. The issue is SOFT TISSUE! Baring our Breasts in front of the White House and defining decency was the most radical, non-violent, effective action we could create for ourselves that day. And while many were arrested for sitting on the sidewalk and refusing to move. We were never threatened with arrest. Wow!
I have a feeling George Bush was peeking out from behind one of those curtains, how could he not?
This action gives women, of all sizes and shapes, which most of us are, an opportunity to ignore the ignorant and speak to the dangers that threaten us all. We are not concerned with your judgement of our breasts or underarm hair. We have got your attention and we will speak about the indecencies of the Bush Regime.
Illegal war against Iraq is indecent.
War on the Poor is indecent.
Fixing intelligence to go to war is indecent.
No bid contracts for Halliburton and Bechtel are indecent.
War profiteering is indecent.
Using depleted Uranium and chemical weapons in Iraq is indecent
Torturing prisoners of war is indecent.
Lying to the American Public about going to war is indecent.
Using 911 to justify every act of war and agression is indecent.
Karl Rove outing an undercover CIA operative is indecent.
Letting the People of the Gulf Coast Suffer for days after Katrina is indecent.
Ignoring a grieving mother sitting on your doorstep is Indecent.
and the list goes on and on.
Here are some of the comments from women who spontaneously joined our demonstration in D.C
"I wanted to extend my gratitude towards you both for giving myself and all the others such a beautiful oppurtunity for expression and demonstrating peace. A truly unique experiance - and beautiful at that. It is women like you who empower so many people. It was a true blessing to meet you both - and to come together through true sacredness."
"namaste sacred feminine!!!
thank you sooo much for such a liberating opportunity! thank you for being out there in the world and spreading such a sacred message!! i think it is soo important to remind people of those sacred truths!! that the body, especially the feminine body, is pure and *definetly* decent!!! the chants were great too! how clever and meaningful!! on so many levels!
It was a beautiful experience overall. you both have great eye connection too, very deep-felt.
it was wonderful to talk to you and share love and support!!!"
So it is at this time that we choose to make herstory (not his-story). We are birthing our a movement. A movement to recognize our breasts as the source of life, as the holy grail, survival itself not a titilating photo for your web page.
There were some fine photographs taken at the White House. I'll post more as they come in. Check out the links below.
Why Breasts not Bombs?
Why are we baring our breasts in public?
What do breasts have to do with the Iraq war?
We say this war as indecent.
We reject that exposing our breasts in public is indecent.
We say torture and cluster bombs are indecent.
We say using depleted uranium in our military hardware and spreading radiation throughout Iraq and in the bodies of own soldiers is indecent.
We say that there is something terribly wrong in a culture that easily allows the media to show thousands of violent images daily to our children but says women’s breasts are offensive.
We are here to bring attention to the fact that our young men and women have been sent to Iraq under flase pretenses and are needlessly killing people there and being killed as well - over 1,900 of them to date and over 15,000 more are terribly injured. We are here to bring attention to the fact that well over 28,000 Iraqi women and children and men have died since the beginning of the war.We are here as women who are the bearers of life and responsible for nursing into maturity, stand opposed to our children being killed around the world.
We are here to symbolize that we can live in a culture of nurturance (symbolized by the breast) not a culture of war. We are offering an alternative to war.
We will use our feminine nature to wake people up, to cause a stir, to arouse people from their (apathy, complacency)slumbers.We stand in a long line of women who have used their bodies, their femaleness to bring attention to a dire situation, among them:The brave women of Nigeria who won concessions in 1984 and 2002 from international oil companies who were destroying their towns and their communities. Several thousand women disrobed in 1984 and hundreds threatened to disrobe in 2002 at the oil facilities. The companies met their demands.We are not exhibitionists here to entertain perverted pleasures. We do not do this action easily or blithely. We know women’s bodies are used, abused and humiliated in this country and around the world. We know we are subject to this energy. But we cannot sit silent while this war continues. We will use our bodies to bring attention to the immoral injustices of war, its torturous prisons and obscene profits.
We know this is controversial and that we will be criticized.To our critics we say, if this action is not for you, please find one that is. Do not waste your energy in judgement of us; use it to further the cause of peace in our world. The world needs us now to take a stand. We believe that if women were safe to walk through the world with their breasts exposed we would all be safe. We are sick and tired of war. We are heartbroken over the senseless and ongoing loss of life.
This is our stand. What is yours?
There are even more reasons to expose our breasts.
Here are the threats to the breasts.
Bombs, cluster bombs, mercury, cancer, rape, molestation, silicon poisoning, pcbs in breast milk, Nestle's baby formula, arrest for indecent exposure, fines, and so on. If we look at it from the point of view of the one carrying the breasts, the mother, we see War, poverty, oppression, religious fundamentalism, slavery, prostitution, Child pornography, etc... etc.
The size and the use of my breasts is a subject of national debate because of a story in the San Francisco Chronicle that reported our breasts sizes.
Baring their anti-war feelings
Fighting in Iraq is indecent, not their nakedness, they say
Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, July 1, 2005
During an interview I did on the radio with Talk Show Radio's Michael Medved wanted to spend most of the first hour we talked on the size of my breasts. Luckily I had read George Lakoff's brilliant tutorial on reframing the debate. "Don't think of an Elephant" Check it out.
Personally I muust say that the size of my breasts is a factor that I consider when doing these actions. I realize that they are enormous, they seem to have a life of their own. It takes tremendous courage for me to reveal them because unlike some of the courageous small chested women, who you can still squeeze into immature teenage fantasies, mine are large and pendulous. I believe they are actually getting bigger. I feel them sweeling each day. Why? Because I believe they are full of sorrow, full of grief for the ungrieved suffering and death. Believe me, I try to deny this work, ignore this calling. I cannot.
Since we have taken our bodies into the streets I've been the focus of much conversation and speculation. Some of it rings with such hostility. I receive e-mails that are downright stunning as to what my body looks like to them. "Beastly" HUGE TITS" "Disgusting" "hideous" "Things like that. People calling me a moron, suggesting I should go to a mental hospital.
What to do in the face of such harsh criticism. So I tried it on. I'm wrong and I'm ugly and I'm crazy. And somehow it was allright. It was a relief, in fact, to stop fighting it. To surrender. A women wrote to me with extremely harsh words regarding my body and she went on and on about Hitler and Pol Pot and "Let Freedom ring" All I said to her was. "You're right. I hope that makes you happy." She told me her daughter was stationed in Iraq. I told her that I hoped her daughter comes home safe and sound." She wrote back "If I'm right, then you're wrong". Then she went on to say hse was sorry that she was so upset and she just wanted everyone safe. And I agreed. We found common ground. It wasn't until I gave up the need to be right that everything changed. Then when I gave up the need to be beautiful it was even more thrilling. To be liberated from this person's opinion of what is beautiful and what is not. Knowing my own beauty. And knowing that even if I am wrong and even if I am ugly and have "saggy sorry jugs" that they are the happiest jugs in the whole U.S.A.
My favorite interaction came from a retired Army Sargeant who served in Viet Nam. His e-mail began
"Do you have any "members with a DECENT HUMAN set of tits? All I have seen are OINKERS. Now I know the meaning of pornography. Put your shirts on Mothers" Our correspondence began that way and went on for a couple of weeks with a total of about five messages to each other. We came to realize that we were both angry and it wasn't really about each other. It was about the system that feeds the war. In the end we had built a bridge where we understood that neither meant the other any harm.
I said, you and I having a conversation and resolving in this way is an act of peace. It's an awesome ting to realize. Making peace with your "enemy". What a relief
Here's some accounts of Earlier actions. I'll post more when I have a chance.
Memorial Day Breasts Not Bombs - Press Democrat Santa Rosa, CA
I just wanted let you know about the the Breasts Not Bombs demonstration that happened outside the Press Democrat, In Santa Rosa California on Memorial Day.
We were blessed by a beautiful day and a busy street in Downtown Santa Rosa. Representatives from Grassrootswest.org, folks from ever active Mendocino County and The Butterfly Network, gathered at 427 Mendocino Ave at noon. It appeared that no one was in the building, however, shortly after we removed out shirts an employee of the PD came out and apologized for the lack of people at work. He was extremely respectful and supportive toward our action. He did eventually find a photographer who came out in the street and took a series of photos, from behind. Many people drove by and honked so much appreciation for our presence. After about an hour a police officer on motorcycle drove by and then parked on the corner where we stood. He said nothing. A patrol car came by and the two conferred. As they did, we spoke to a woman bicyclist who was wondering how it was that we were not being arrested. She happened to be in the traffic lane, so the motorcycle cop came up from behind and told her to move along out of the traffic. He said nothing to us. We remained on the street with signs saying, Media lies, people die. War Is Indecent
Honk for Peace, Breasts are beautiful, war is indecent. Cheney and Halliburton want you to Donate your children to their Cause. Butterflies not Bombs. Many passersby took photos. Folks from the Chinese restaurant across the street were extremely supportive and that really was a surprise to us.
It's an extraordinary experience to stand out in public exposed in this manner. At first it is a feeling of fear, but that is quickly replaced by liberation and power. A couple of us felt a presence, a strong presence of decency. A feeling that somehow that street at that moment was some how safe. It became ordinary for us to be standing with our breasts out in the world and claiming the streets like that. We hope for a day when all women in every country will be safe to walk freely through her life safe, proud and strong in her body.
After about an hour and a half a police officer returned and asked that we put our shirts on because he was concerned that there might be a traffic accident. He seemed genuinely concerned, but we assured him that we had been there a while and with the traffic light right there, we felt it was a truly good location and all was well. The funny thing is, we were standing there half naked having this very cool conversation with the cop. Like I said, extraordinarily ordinary. By that time we were tired, hot and hungry and agreed to get dressed. Folks were very pleased, empowered and inspired by the whole thing. I know those who witnessed it will definitely tell the story.
We plan on doing more actions in the near future and hope to give folks more advanced notice.
By the way, according to the County, being bare breasted in Sonoma County is an infraction of the law. But according to Alan Moore of the Butterfly network, Federal law protects nudity in the act of demonstration under the 1st amendment. I will look into that and pass it on to you all.
There was no mention or picture in the Press Democrat yesterday or today, so I've written a letter to the editor. We'll see.
May those who died in war, rest in Peace