Friday, March 28, 2003

Flying Pacifist Arrested for Violating Italian Airspace

From Reuters:

An Austrian man flying a motorized paraglider trailing a peace banner swooped into St Peter's Square on Friday to protest against the U.S-led war in Iraq.

He may have expected officials at the Vatican, where Pope John Paul has led a vigorous anti-war campaign, to greet him with open arms, but instead he was met by police.

The flying pacifist and a group of supporters waiting to help him with the landing were taken to the Vatican police station for questioning, a police spokesman said.

"A total of eight people were taken in, six Austrians and two Germans," he said.

Police accused the group of holding a demonstration without permission and said the paraglider, who took off from a park west of Rome's city center, could be charged with violating Italy's airspace.