Nude Peace Protest Prevails: Make Love Not War in San Francisco
On a bright Spring day on a San Francisco
nude beach, the latest Baring Witness peace action took place, with over 100
men and women lying naked in the sand to form the words Make Love Not War.
The participants gathered on Baker Beach, near the Golden Gate Bridge as beach-goers and National Park police looked on. After an inspirational ceremony in a circle, the organizers, Alan Moore and Nicole Savage, arranged the men and women into the letters as several photographers and videographers recorded the event.
Moore organized the event with Nicole Savage to occur on Saturday, April 19 to mark the one month anniversary of the US incursion and start of the war in Iraq. Nicole's website at sfheart.com was the first to chronicle the 'Naked4Peace' events that Baring Witness began.
The organizers said that while the war in Iraq is winding down, there is still a need to head off future military action around the world. Other participants said that the world's violent history has reached a point where the only sustainable, survivable future is one in which peaceful solutions to political differences are found.
"It's really not about the war in Iraq, it's about the fact that the conditions that breed war are still here," said Alan Moore, director of Musicians & Fine Artists for World Peace, which organized the event with Baring Witness, a peace group based in Marin County. "Our organization is about creating and preserving the peace."
Moore plans to use the photo on the cover of a double peace CD that they are planning to produce with the Unity Network as a benefit for their group. "We also intend to use a portion of any funds for educational, environmental & nonviolence programs for children & to sponsor future peace events & concerts," Moore said.
The fact that we plan to produce a CD with this nude photo on it had caused the National Park Service to request that we get a commercial photographic permit. We insisted that this a non-commercial activity and a first amendment sanctioned right, and did not pay the $250 fee they were asking for," Moore added. "We had no idea if they might try to stop us when we arrived at the beach."
When the group arrived, several NPS rangers approached them and asked to speak to Moore. Moore was armed with a press release that mentioned that US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks wrote an order stating that "nude overtly political speech in the form of a 'living nude peace symbol' is expressive conduct was well within the ambit of the First Amendment. The rangers were very cordial and offered to issue us an immediate first amendment permit," Moore said.
Judge Middlebrooks' order was the result of a similar situation in West Palm Beach, Florida, when he barred the state of Florida from trying to block plans by a group of women that wanted to gather in a state park, strip nude and form a peace symbol with their bodies in protest of the US war on Iraq on February 14, 2003.
Moore, director of the nearly 600 member Musicians and Fine Artists for World Peace, organized 10,000 children to raise butterflies in their classrooms for Earth Day in 1999 as a program sponsored by his Butterfly Gardeners Association. According to Moore, "Imagine how many children we could reach if this CD raises the funds to do more. I am happy that the Park Service decided to cooperate with us so we could carry out this very symbolic act of peace and love."
Photo courtesy of Larry Tenney of San Francisco and photographer Randi Motson.