Love Field, Marin County, California
December 2
, 2009

No War in Afghanistan

                                                                                                                                                               Photos: Elizabeth Fenwick


On December 4, 2009, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Point Reyes Light newspaper, in West Marin County, California, published a front-page photo of a Baring Witness naked protest. Seven years ago, the paper published the first Baring Witness photograph, protesting the impending war on Iraq. This time, thirteen women (and two men) spelled out “NO WAR” with their naked bodies, in protest against the escalation of the Afghanistan War.

“We are so alarmed that President Obama would continue the lie of “War Is Peace”. The only excuse for it would be that he is under threat from the military-industrial complex, as were John and Bobby Kennedy.”  said Donna Sheehan, who co-founded the organization with her partner, Paul Reffell. “The simple act of lying naked on the earth creates feelings of connection and peace from which all decision-makers could benefit. We encourage all our elected officials and the lobbyists who influence them to try it on the next sunny day in D.C.”

Baring Witness uses the power of feminine vulnerability to express the need for peaceful social stability and frustration with violence. The public and media reaction to the original photographs was so intense and positive that it inspired Sheehan and Reffell to write a book on evolutionary behavior and gender misunderstandings, Redefining Seduction: Women Initiating Courtship, Partnership & Peace. (

Perhaps the book inspired the Dalai Lama, who recently said “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” Sheehan hopes the Baring Witness photo, which can be seen at ,will encourage women (and men) to speak out against armed conflict everywhere. 

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