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July 29th - A Natural Response to losing your Sun / Meeting with Senator Clinton

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Mon Jul 22 2002 - 11:47:18 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith (a short message),

My son Domenic and I had a great six weeks of summer vacation
together. It was just a wonderful time: riding bikes, flying a kite,
Niagara Falls, cooking out, visiting family & friends, playing with
our pet rabbit, working in the garden, building airplane models,
Sunday church, watching fireworks, and just hanging around.  Next
Monday, July 29th, I (and perhaps a few others like you), will quietly
walk the halls of the Federal Building in Syracuse -- outside the
office of US Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, waiting for her to have
a personal meeting with parent's who have lost the Sun from their
lives.  Most likely I will spend Monday night in a jail.  Why?


The most natural thing in the world.  I have lost my Sun.  That most
brilliant and important part of my life was taken from me by our
"system" of Family Law.  Many of us have come to understand that one
of our most basic Human Rights (the right to nurture our own
children), has no real protection in this country.  I guess formal
protections weren't really needed before, but they are now.

Over the past years we have tried repeatedly to contact Members of
Congress and at least get hearings into the need for reform started.
More specifically, we have contacted Senator Clinton's staff and
simply not been able to start a dialog about the need for reform.


Representative government doesn't work very well when your
representatives don't talk & listen to constituents.  I was angry for
a while, but that was a bit silly.  The Senator is a good person and I
know she cares about children and families (along with being
reelected).  Family Law reform is a "dangerous" political topic and
she would have to be superhuman to champion a cause when there
doesn't appear to be any public outcry. 

Personally, I can't blame her.  How many of us were concerned about
divorce and child abuse laws until we lost the Sun in our lives?  We
had read about it, probably had it happen to friends -- but would we
have sacrificed our job to change the system.  Probably not.

A lot of us are looking for a "magic bullet", or should I say a 
magic "court decision", that will make things right.  It will never
happen if past Civil Rights movements are good examples.


I don't know why, but real civil reform is always accompanied by real
personal sacrifice.  Many of you may feel that you have suffered &
sacrificed by just going through the "system" -- but you haven't even
started.  We need voluntary sacrifice.  Why?

Because the basis of NonViolent Action is that demonstrating love
(http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm) through personal sacrifice
really changes how people think about you.  I myself have seen the
power it can have. Some think the solution lies in anger, ridiculing
people, and others even want to hurt people to bring about family law
reform.  Imagine that!

What's the most dramatic thing I can do to impress on Senator Clinton
the importance of this issue.  By being willing to voluntarily
sacrifice my freedom outside of HER office, waiting for a meeting with
HER -- she is OUR representative.  By showing her that my Sun is so
important to me that I am willing to sacrifice my freedom (and potentially
my job and what I own).

We all know how hard it is to get media coverage of our efforts. Can
Senator Clinton ignore us?  Easy to dismiss if we are just angry
protesters; quite different if we carry ourselves as loving parents.
If these loving parents get TV interviews -- what will happen to my
political career?


I have talked to Domenic a lot about Faith and our Loving God -- how I
hate to practice what I preach!  I have no doubt that loving personal
sacrifice always has value and promises a great "return on
investment."  As a coordinator for the group, the primary emotions I
encounter from many parents are anger and hatred. I know they really
love the Sun in their lives -- but it's like the fifth or sixth thing
to come out of their mouths.  That somehow telling me what a jerk
their former spouse was, or the Judge, or a lawyer -- is going to make
a stronger impression on me than just saying, "I love my child.  I
want to be a parent to my child"

This has surprised me the most. On the day I was willing to sacrifice
my Freedom to demonstrate the love I had for my Sun -- a lot of my
anger (not quite all) vanished toward those involved.  Imagine that!


Please check the site for details, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr,
and consider joining us next Monday. We have about 5 people signed
up so far.  Even if you want to just come to talk and listen, that
is valuable (you don't have to be from New York). The two important
roles are:

   WALKER - if you are ready to carry a picture of your children in
the hall and risk arrest. Most likely you will be released on bail
that night or the next day and charges will be dismissed (we doubt
Senator Clinton wants to see peaceful and loving parents undergo a
public trial all because they just wanted to talk to her).  BUT -- there
is a chance you could be hammered and maybe sentenced to ONE YEAR in

   SUPPORTER - if you can just be there, participate in the meeting
that morning prior to the event.  While the people are "walking"
outside, stop by the Senator's office and drop off a letter and let
them know you stand behind the other folks outside.  The more
people in SUPPORT, the more likely our efforts will produce the
meeting we desire.


None of what we will do on Monday requires money or other resources.
Potentially, I could be doing this alone.  I think we will find our
elected representatives very responsive once we as citizens demonstrate 
with our actions how important this issue is.

If we can engage Senator Clinton in a real dialog, maybe this will
serve as an example of what you can do in your state.

John Murtari

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