Still Doing Our Very Breast
There is a national dialogue going on right now regarding Breasts Not Bombs act of Civil Disobedience which took place on Election Eve, November 7th at the California state Capitol to protest Arnold Schwarzenegger's special election. (As the world has seen, his offensive initiatives were summarily rejected.) We came to Sacramento to exercise our First Amendment Rights in a political demonstration. That we did.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Many are caught up in the fact that we bared our breasts and whether that was illegal, indecent and obscene, or an ingenious, intelligent, magnificent, courageous action. We find this conversation inspiring and important at this time. We have chosen this dramatic, urgent expression because these are matters of life and death. We are outraged and appalled at the amount of indecencies and obscenities being perpetrated by the U.S. government and agents thereof. We think this vigorous dialogue in a democracy is essential at this time.
Breasts Not Bombs is an affinity group. An affinity group is made up of people who choose the same type of direct action to bring about political and social change. It is decentralized and non hierarchical but the strategy is agreed upon and members come to decisions based on consensus. In other words, any woman or man who believes that breasts are decent, wholesome and natural can bare them in a political demonstration in an effort to shed light on the glaring indecencies that we are subjected to in the name of American Imperialism and aggression.
We find that going to Corporate headquarters, Government buildings or Military installations and holding up very clear signs of what truly is indecent while we bare our breasts brings about extraordinary results. We have taken our message to Union Square in San Francisco, The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa and even the Gates of the White House and have never been arrested. During our demonstrations we distribute the Bill of Rights and a handout on Ten things you can do to stop war everyday.
There are many different ways to demonstrate against repressive regimes, war, environmental devastation and disappearing civil rights. Some people choose to march in protest, some write letters, make phone calls, sign petitions, some blockade buildings, streets. We have done all these things in an effort to wake the sleeping people and arouse their sense of outrage. When all of those efforts fail some resort to extremes to get their message across. Some even cross over into violence including destruction of property or even bombs. We took the other extreme, total non-violence with big emotional impact.
We also believe that our actions serve to protect definitions which are slowly being altered by sophisticated right wing think tanks along with media complicity. For example, when Bush uses the term "liberation" describing the status of people in Iraq, we would like to remind people that liberation connotes freedom and relief. What the American Military in Iraq are doing is called "occupation" which means having jurisdiction over, power over. In Breasts Not Bombs we are challenging the court on the word "decency". In the act of doing so we safeguard it's definition for generations to come. Decency is kindness, grace, truth, humility, purity and humanity. We believe breasts fall under that definition.
As mothers, grandmothers, and young women we are finding that we are more threatened than ever as far as sustaining life on this planet. We are using this simple act of nature to remind folks that we all come from the mother. We are doing our best to make the world a bit safer, better. We believe that the image and presence of breasts in the world is a healthy image, a loving image, a normal image. We believe that if women were safe to walk the streets bare breasted we would all benefit from that safety. We found it comforting that many of the beautiful state buildings were adorned with bare-breasted statues. Some towered above us. Some stood as guardians at the doorways. I suppose that as long as women are made of stone having bare breasts at the Capitol is acceptable.
It is our responsibility as decent, peaceful Americans to make extraordinary and creative statements against the reckless behavior of our government and the multinational corporations who profit from our collective losses. In the act of baring our breasts we hope to bring attention to the dire situation that mothers and children find themselves in here and abroad, when all of our attention and finances go to bombs instead of breasts. If we subsidized women's health and safety what a world it would be. If the police at the Capitol saw it as their responsibility to protect us in that arena instead of arrest us that would indicate a devotion and respect for the mother, a society that knows the value of life. We can choose to support the mother so that she may raise her children in an environment of sanity and abundance. This is fundamental to our survival. If you create a secure home for the mother she will inevitably raise her children to mirror her values which naturally sustain life. If we used the entire war budget (or even half of it) for the benefit of women and children instead of the military industrial complex imagine the kind of world that would be. We could focus on healthy food, universal healthcare, education, clean water. Women and children first.
We must certify true acts of obscenity like a president who relies on fixed intelligence to drag the whole world into war, Indecent we shout! Over 2000 American soldiers dead and tens of thousands of Iraqi's: tragically indecent. A government that has secret detention centers throughout the world to be able to conduct torture without the meddling of the International Red Cross; Indecent! A senate who nullifies the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Obscene! A secretary of State that is shoe shopping in New York City while people are drowning in the wake of Katrina. Indecent! Tampering with elections in Florida and Ohio, Obscene! Gutting the clean air act, clean water act and adding genetically modified ingredients to our food supply; Indecent! Priests in Catholic Churches molesting innocent children; Obscene! Weapons manufacturers and private security firms making enormous profits off of war; Indecent! Energy companies that shape energy policy in secret meetings with the Vice President Cheney; indecent! Operation "Steal Curtain” resulting in at least fifty civilians dead on the Syrian Border? White Phosphorus! Horror! Who profits from this? What pigs are eating at this sickening trough? Obscene we say! Arrest them.
We were arrested on indecency and obscenity charges. Our action did no harm to anyone. No, all we did was show our nipples in public and we were arrested in ten seconds. Wow, wouldn't it be a miracle if that had happened to any of the folks who perpetrated the aforementioned crimes? Think of all the precious lives that could have been saved. Who gets arrested? Does it have to do with Class? Race? Power? Money? We must ask ourselves as a nation, when are we going to demand that those responsible for truly obscene, indecent and murderous behavior be arrested and go to prison?
As mothers we are answering the call of a spirit that moves us. We defend our rights to act in a non-violent civil disobedience in a time when so much is at stake. Baring our breasts is a non-violent radical remedy to our imminent demise. Honor the mother in all her forms and we can reverse the course of history perhaps awakening a culture that nurtures and protects its most vulnerable. It is up to the women to claim their power in all its forms. As one blogger wrote, "Aristophanes would be proud". That is a reference to Lysistrata, the tale of Greek women, so tired of war refused to have sex with their husbands until war was done.
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. we say: If we are indecent then nature is indecent. If we are indecent birth is indecent. If we are indecent, babies are indecent. If we are indecent, life is indecent. If we are indecent, then God is indecent. We beg to differ.