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Religious message to appear in skies around Nation's Capital

Advertising banner behind aircraft with message "Thou Shalt Not Kill" to fly around Capital

March 07, 2003

A message will appear in the skies over Washington DC suburbs this Saturday. The message, "Thou Shalt Not Kill," will be revealed in the form of an aerial advertising banner towed behind an airplane.

A small group of private citizens and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has hired the plane to remind government leaders, military officials, and people everywhere that the universal prohibition against killing is a fundamental affirmation of peace among all human beings.

"'Thou shalt not kill' is a clear, forceful, and unequivocal expression of our deepest experience of peace," said Mary Day Kent, Executive Director of WILPF/US. "It's like a 'WRONG WAY' sign directing us to continually reject violence, murder, or war and seek a peaceful path to resolving our differences."

The airplane towing the banner will not fly directly over the nation's capital due to security restrictions: the FAA has declared a no-fly zone within a 15-mile radius of the Washington Monument. Weather permitting, the banner will fly over Maryland and Virginia suburbs throughout the day on Saturday.

Saturday (March 8) is International Women's Day, and WILPF is a key participant in the Women's Peace March, White House Convergence, and other DC area activities planned to celebrate the day. WILPF hopes the day's events will inspire Americans and people everywhere to reaffirm their commitment to peace and back it up with personal actions such as contacting their government representatives to express firm opposition to an irrational war.

"I have been so moved by all the beautiful and unique ways people have been finding to express their love of peace," Kent said. "People everywhere are waking up, and WILPF supports all of our members in taking urgent non-violent creative actions, such as the vigils and flights this weekend, to stop our government's irrational march to war."

"Eleanor Roosevelt said: "It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." Such teaching about Peace is echoed by all of the great spiritual leaders of human history, including Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr."

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is the world's oldest peace activist organization, founded in 1915. WILPF works to create an environment of political, economic, social, and psychological conditions which can ensure peace, freedom, and justice for all. For more information, visit the WILPF website at www.wilpf.org.

Aerial banner flights with the same "Thou Shalt Not Kill" message are also scheduled for this weekend in several other US cities including Atlanta, Miami, Kansas City and Los Angeles. (For more information on those flights, contact campaign coordinator Tony Peet.) All flights subject to weather conditions.

Source: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom


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