Today’s Midtown Pictures of the Day were taken Monday afternoon along Ponce de Leon Avenue near Myrtle Street.
That’s where 68-year-old Laura Swanagan was spotted walking with a homemade sign draped over her shoulders imploring Atlantans to “Stop the Violence!”
“What prompted this is after the children in Connecticut were killed,” said Swanagan, who moved to Midtown five years ago from Jackson, Miss., to be closer to her children. “Everyday you hear on the news somebody has killed somebody. So the Lord said to me, are you willing to be different and go out with a sign on your back and say stop the violence?”
The front of the sign reads:
Cain, where is your brother?
His blood cries out to God from the grave.
“Thou Shall Not Kill!”
The backside reads:
Stop the Violence!
-Put down your guns!
-Don’t sell drugs to your brother
-Don’t put our babies on the streets
Tell your brother that you love him!
God Loves You!!
Swanagan, who said she is a licensed and ordained minister from the Breath of Life Church in Jackson, hits the pavement six days a week with her sign. She said she’s currently walking along Ponce de Leon, Boulevard, Parkway Drive and Freedom Parkway and will soon head to the West End. Her plan is to cover Atlanta before heading to Decatur.
Gravitating to major intersections so stopped motorists can read her message, Swanagan said the response to her sign has been mostly positive.
“The responsibility is not mine, it’s the Lord’s responsibility,” she explained. “As a minister, this is the field He told me to work, so it’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to come out with the message and He’ll do the rest.”