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Realize how much your Civil Rights have been violated.

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From: Webmaster (
Date: Thu Dec 07 2000 - 14:41:27 EST

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Good People,

We pass on the following to you from John Murtari who is nearing
the end of a six month jail sentence:


As my December 28th release date approaches, I wanted to share
some thoughts and feelings with you. In the coming weeks I will
also be seeking your advice as our struggle for Civil Rights
continues. (http://www.AKidsRight.Org/protest_dm.htm)

I have to say how much I was moved by the story told by Lady
Litton in our last list message of November 9th
(http://www.AKidsRight.Org/archive/archive2000/). How she was
willing to risk being a prisoner -- all because she had been
denied the right to vote. Something many of us now take for

Why don't we see many parents involved in protests for reform?
Perhaps because so many just don't realize they deserve better.
They just don't know how badly their rights have been violated --
that the right to nurture our own children is certainly one by
which we have "been endowed by our creator," in the words of the
Declaration of Independence.

My cellmate here in jail recently found out his 15 year old son
had been shot in the face and blinded in one eye -- the bullet
still lodged in his skull. It really made me think. My son,
Domenic, lives far away. I have only "visits" and no legal
custody. It sunk in a bit deeper what that means:

     * If Dom is involved in a serious accident and lies near
     death -- no one has to notify me.

     * If there are different courses of treatment available and
     even though I have an excellent education -- no one has to
     ask my opinion.

     * Finally, if my child dies and is buried -- no one has to
     tell me. EXCEPT, I guess I would eventually get a letter
     from Support Collection: "Dear Mr. Murtari, on <date> your
     child died. You no longer need to make your regular payment,
     but we have attached a bill for your share of his final
     medical expenses."

Before we can expect others to appreciate our mistreatment, we
need to fully recognize it ourselves. How many of you out there
deserve this? For how many thousands of years
were other injustices such as slavery tolerated? In a more
recent example, what did it take for people to begin to realize
segregation was wrong -- a woman named Rosa Parks saying "NO, I
will NOT move to the back of the bus."

Today, we are told by so many people to just accept being
unjustly separated from our children -- with LOVE, parents need
to start saying, "NO, I will NOT move to the back of my child's

How many of you are troubled by what you "might have done" in
Court to make things different. How could you expect a
reasonable outcome when so many of your basic rights were either
not recognized or violated by the Family Law unique to your state.
     * Your right to a strong presumption of equal contact with
       your children (innocence).
     * Your right to the protection of a jury.
     * Your right to an attorney
     * Your right to a speedy trial and to cross examine all
Criminals have all these rights, what about parents? It is time we
get Federal Civil Rights legislation passed to recognize this in
all states. See the Family Rights Act for full details:

My faith has deepened here; certainly God sees, God knows, and God
cares -- about Domenic, my former spouse, me, and yes, even the
judges and lawyers. I know that by acting with LOVE, being
willing to sacrifice, and continuing to pursue justice -- I'm doing
the most I can to bring all this to a happy ending. [Note: this does
NOT mean everything these people do is okay, or that they shouldn't
be voted out of office, or even arrested or impeached. We are trying
to separate their actions from their basic worth as a person.]

I have come to realize the importance of the NonViolent Action
checklist (http://www.AKidsRight.Org/checklist.htm). I have been
able to sacrifice six months of freedom not because I was angry,
not because I wanted to prove a judge, my former spouse, or the
system wrong -- but because I was doing it out of LOVE for my
child and my desire to give him two parents. This is something
worth sacrificing for!

SOME GOOD NEWS: After months of no contact, I was finally able to
get my former spouse on the phone and make arrangements for me to
travel to see Domenic for a weekend in January and February. I
should also be able to bring him to my home for Spring Break,
March 22-31. I'm just so happy to see my child again! MY SPECIAL
THANKS to all those who made donations to ease the financial
burden. See the list at: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/letters_jm.htm.
You have helped make this Christmas Season special!

COMING ATTRACTIONS: There will be more on this in our next
message. I will probably be back at the Syracuse Federal Building
in April, to carry a picture of my son and walk for our Civil Rights.
I am hoping two mothers and two fathers will join me. It would
send a very powerful message.

In closing, let me share a poem I wrote as part of a Creative
Writing class here in the jail. The class members liked it, I
hope you will also:

                I LOVE YOU DOM

                I love you Dom,
                      you're far from home.
                My special guy,
                      I wish I could look and spy.

                You're my little man,
                      I hope some day we can.
                You're my life and joy,
                      did you ever get that toy?

                We meet and laugh and fly,
                      but tears when we say bye.
                How many days you sigh,
                      not too many little guy.
                I love you Dom,
                      you're my man.
                I love you more,
                      than green eggs and ham.

                Could I love you in a park,
                      could I love you in the dark?
                Over here, over there,
                      I will love you anywhere.

                I love you Dom, I love you.

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