West Marin women bared their bodies on Tuesday in Point Reyes Station
for a photo protesting America's plans for armed conflict with Iraq.
MAKING THEIR BODIES FIGURES OF SPEECH – West Marin women are serious enough
about PEACE to spell it out. Wearing nothing but afternoon rain, 50 determined
women lay down on Love Field near the Green Bridge Tuesday afternoon to literally
embody PEACE and "show solidarity with the people of Iraq," said the
organizers. "Women from all ages and walks of life took off their clothes,
not because they are exhibitionists but because they felt it was imperative to
do so," the organizers added. "They wanted to unveil the truth about
the horrors of war, to commune in their nudity with the vulnerability of Iraqi
innocents, and to shock a seemingly indifferent Bush Administration into paying
attention." The coordinators, who came up with the idea only a day earlier,
said that the coming together of this group on short notice was a testament to
the seriousness with which the women view the threat of war with Iraq. "Remembering
that tens of thousands of civilians have already died in Iraq as a result of US
bombing and sanctions, these women are not convinced by Bush Administration fear
mongering that one more person should die," organizers said. They hope the
president and news media take notice. (Photo by Art Rogers)
Participants using solely their bodies spelled out PEACE" as a light
Portrait photographer and Light correspondent Art Rogers captured the
moment from high atop a ladder using a homemade tripod standing about 15-feet
above Love Field near the Green Bridge.
Participant Cynthia Clarkson of Point Reyes Station told The Light she
hoped the photo will have a strong impact in America and abroad.
"Im hoping it gets distributed so that the message gets across that
women in America want peace," said Clarkson. "I want to do everything
I can to stop the war thats impending."
Marshall resident Donna Sheehan, who organized the group called "Unreasonable
Women" for the photo, said shes been pondering for four years a way
women can "be heard on a very deep level."
Decades since last protest
Other participants said it had been decades, in many cases since the 1960s,
since theyve been in a protest.
Sheehan said the group first got the idea from a
similar protest in Nigeria this past year. Sheehan said women fighting corporate
exploitation stood nude in a vigil that lasted several days outside of Nigerias
"[The Nigerian women] shamed the men and won their cause," she said.
As the women circled together and readied for their cause Sheehan lauded the
group for showing their courage. "Would you be willing to stand [naked] in
front of the White House?" Sheehan said amidst cheers from the participants.
"America is destroying the world in its pursuit of resources," said
Melinda Leithold. "Its thoughtless and feelingless."
As the women anxiously eyed gathering rainclouds, photographer Rogers moved
them into position, posing each from his perch atop his ladder.
Afterward, organizer Sheehan said the day had proved to be a beautiful and
powerful experience for all involved. "I think its going to a make
a mark in the political and art world," she said.
Ana Carolina Monterroso contributed to this story.
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