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Foreign detainees get Jury protection -- What about parents & children?

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Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 12:28:33 EST

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Good People,
(NOTE -- sorry if you received an earlier copy sent in error,
this version is correct).

This message (a short one!) contains info on:
1. A new Essay submitted - Protecting Parents & Children.
2. Letter to NY Senators - help us protect parents and children?

1. A new Essay submitted - Protecting Parents & Children.
Please check out our Essays page, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/essays.htm,
for a new submission from Carolynn Middleton from Canada. It
summarizes a lot of "common sense" items regarding protecting the
rights of Parents & Children.

2. Letter to NY Senators - please respond!
We are planning on returning to the Syracuse Federal Building
on January 8th, to continue a walk outside offices of Members of
Congress.  Your participation is welcome!  For more details see:

The Members of Congress have been very unresponsive to any type of
communication -- the first step in "how a bill becomes a law."  The
following letter will hopefully urge them (and us) into action.  Your
contacts with them are welcome also (see above link for details).

Many of us feel they are "busy", but a recent News story, mentioned
below raises the question: If alleged foreign terrorists get Jury
protection and "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" -- What about our
parents and children?

Senator Schumer, Senator Clinton & Representative Walsh:   4 Jan 2002

I'd like to make this last minute appeal to you from Mothers and
Fathers seeking reform of our Nation's Family Law "system."  In the
next few weeks I (and perhaps others) may be arrested and jailed in
peaceful NonViolent Action outside your offices in the Syracuse, NY,
Federal Building.  Why?

Senator Schumer and Senator Clinton, after initial meetings with staff
last spring -- we have had no follow up dialog.  It seems almost
unbelievable that we have not even received a written reply after
several letters and petitions were sent to both your local and
Washington offices.  It may be that each of you is not even personally
aware of what is happening?  Do loving parents need to risk jail to
focus the attention of our elected representatives?

Each of you has my sincere respect and I can appreciate your busy
schedule and overworked staff.  If a National Family Rights Act is so
important, where are the hundreds of phone calls to your offices, the
thousands of letters, the many thousands marching in the streets?

We can only ask each of you to consider stepping forward, being
"proactive" and taking a leadership role in calling for Congressional
hearings into the need for Civil Rights protection for families.  Many
of us, including myself, never gave the patchwork of well meant
"family/child" legislation a second thought -- until being caught in
the system ourselves, along with our children.

I hope each  of you will be able to appreciate the agony of
parents and children unjustly separated -- without the need for first
hand experience.  In the same way I hope you would have been able to
appreciate the horrors of slavery, the injustice of being denied the
right to vote, and the indignity of being seated in the "back of the
bus." As parents we hope you will dare to exercise leadership to guide
us in a struggle, that many foresee to be very contentious, but does
not have to be so.  That you will use your tremendous resources to
help shape and educate public opinion.

We certainly can't expect you to immediately call for such hearings.
Instead of jail, all of us would much rather work on dialog with your
staff so we can both better understand the nature of the
problem. Allow us to help in collecting witnesses and evidence of a
system gone terribly wrong.  At the end we expect to not only hear
your decision about the need for Congressional hearings, but also the
rationale.  Does the parent/child bond require Federal Civil Rights

Why voluntary jail?  Because we are not well funded lobbyists, nor are
we a local group looking for funding for a project, or an improvement
to existing laws. We are parents who have been deprived of our very
dignity, the right to nurture our own children.  Certainly the depth
of our response should match the importance of our cause. As a
military officer I was ready to make great sacrifice for my Country,
does not my very child deserve that same devotion?

Please, this is an urgent matter and a year has almost elapsed. I
noted with some irony a recent article in USA Today, about Members of
Congress calling for hearings to discuss the nature of military
tribunals to be used in the War on Terrorism.  They wanted to apply
our Constitution's greatest civil protections -- the standards of
"proof beyond reasonable doubt" and "unanimous verdict of a jury" to
these actions.  If there is time for that -- don't the parents and
children of this country deserve a discussion of those very same
protections before being separated for potentially a life time?

On a personal note I wanted to let you know how impressed we were with
the local staff of Senator Schumer, Jill Harvey did a simply
outstanding job of "listening" to our group and providing important
feedback. I also want to thank Representative Walsh for always taking
the time to provide the courtesy of a written reply to our letters. We
hope that will turn into a more meaningful dialog.  We look to you all
to help us through the political process.

I have attached some documents and references.  There is so much more
to say and do -- but first we need two sides interested in serious
communication.  Please let us know you are ready.  You are welcome to
contact me at my office (315) 635-1968,x-211; or also Yvonne Cook, our
Public Relations person, at (219) 341-1925.

John Murtari

CC: Kathy Calhoun, Senator Clinton Regional Rep.
CC: Jill Harvey, Senator Schumer Regional Rep.

Attach (both hard copy and web site link):
1. Recent Letter regarding reform - http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionb_syr/cover2.htm
2. Potential Congressional Witnesses - http://www.AKidsRight.Org/legislative_resources.htm

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