Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cities for Life

Today, 1307 cities around the world are participating in "Cities for Life - Cities Against the Death Penalty", an annual event organized by the Italian Community of Sant'Egidio. This international event commemorates the 1786 abolition of the death penalty by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the first such abolition by a European state.

For Italian readers, here is an article about the event, describing the participation of murder victims' family members Marietta Jaeger Lane, Bud Welch, Bill Pelke, and Ron Carlson.

This write-up, posted yesterday at the online version of America magazine, a Catholic weekly, gives a good, brief description of Cities for Life:

Tomorrow is the the anniversary of the first ever abolition of the death penalty by a state -- the Grand Duchy of Tuscany on 30 November 1786 -- celebrated for the past few years as the International Day of the Cities for Life campaign organised by the Rome-based Catholic community of Sant'Egidio. It begins tonight with a vigil in Rome; 1,300 other cities across the world -- 61 of them capital cities -- in 85 countries will light up a monument or a square, to declare themselves against the death penalty. It is the largest international mobilisation against the death penalty there has ever been, bringing together local governments and civil society organisations under the slogan, "No justice without life".

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