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Voices for peace: Antiwar groups spread their message of nonviolence

Silent vigils, peace demonstrations, and billboards that tout the message, Say no to war, are just a few of the ways Women Against War are trying to get their message across in the Capital District.

The group's founding in 2002 preceded the deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq in March 2003. It was started by group of women who, at the time, felt the need to speak out against the possibility of war.

"We represent 300 women, and we make our concerns known about the way foreign policy should be conducted," said group president Maud Easter, a Delmar resident.

Ending violence as a way of dealing with conflict and empowering women to educate people about the impact of war are some of the core values of the group.

"Our deeper concern is to create a culture showing violence is not the way to solve our differences, either domestically or internationally," said Judith Fetterley of Glenmont.

The membership has held several events in the area to highlight the impact of war with their latest message aimed at avoiding a second conflict, this time in Iran.

The organization has paid for a billboard on Fuller Road that shows an Iranian woman and child with the question and answer, "Iran Next? No War, No Way!"

Easter said the feedback from the $1,200 billboard, which will be up through the month of August, is mostly positive.

"Overall, people have said it's a very clear message and thank you for raising this issue," said Easter.

Women Against War is not the only area organization opposed to the Iraq invasion. There is also the Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, whose members regularly shows up on Monday evenings at the Delmar Four Corners with signs protesting the war. Another group called Grannies for Peace has also united with Women Against War.

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