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Yoko Speaks Out on Horrors of Violence

(Entered December 7, 2000)

Thanks to Nicole Wilde

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,47028,00.html

Yoko with Anti-Gun Billboard

In an article at The Times (see address above), Yoko asked the world to reflect on the horrors of gun violence in a special message to mark the 20th anniversary of the week of her husband's death.

In her message, given to PA News, she spoke about how John's death is being marked around the world, but points out it is "a time we should also remember how he died."

She painted the picture of how John, "the king of the world" - was taken from her and his belongings brought back in a "brown paper bag."

Yoko recently paid for billboards to be put up in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland, Ohio, drawing attention to gun-related violence. They feature a pair of smashed, blood-stained glasses, accompanied by the words, "Over 676,000 people have been killed by guns in the USA since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980."

Yoko said: "The last millennium was so violent, particularly the past century. When I flipped through the pages of a book of photographs,'The 20th Century,' I almost wanted to stop seeing what was coming next. So much cruelty was revealed, page after page. It was a reminder to me that I am not the only one who suffered a sudden and painful loss in my immediate family."

Yoko continued: "The year 2000 marks the 20th anniversary of John's murder, and I've learnt that almost every country in the world has planned some sort of memorial to remind people of his life and work. I believe this is a time we should also remember how he died. The number of people who have died by gunshot since John's death is ten times larger than the total number of American soldiers lost in the Vietnam War. It's like we are living in a war zone. I want us all to realise that, so hopefully the healing process can begin. John would have wanted to say this to you."