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At the Threshold: Mother & Father needed to cross.

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Sun Aug 11 2002 - 21:08:05 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

I want to thank all of you who called, emailed, or faxed officials on
my behalf, and in our effort for reform.  I was not sent to jail for
six months, 30 days, or even a day.  I was able to go home for the
weekend!  It seems the "system" isn't quite sure how to handle what is
happening.  Details follow further below, or you can check the web
site at: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr -- Thank You!

I want to talk about next Thursday, Aug 15th. I'll be returning to the
Syracuse Federal Building again.  Again, I'll be quiet as I carry a
picture of my child and others separated from loving parents. Again,
I'll be outside the offices of Senator Hillary R. Clinton asking for a
serious dialog with parents. This will be the fifth trip.  The first
time there were three other parents with me who stopped by her office
to also ask for reform -- there has been no one in person since then.
We need a mom and dad willing to make that sacrifice for just one day.

We stand at the threshold of serious reform.  We stand at the
threshold of achieving that goal many of us have been "aching" for --
protection of our right to nurture our own children.  In every Civil
Right's movement there are genesis events which make the history
books. Events where people can look back and say, "here, what these
people did made the difference. It showed others the path."

Another mom & dad will make getting that personal meeting with Senator
Clinton, probably "the" politician on children's issues, very easy.
It will be too difficult for the media to ignore or for her.  Can you
believe we have to "plead" with people to actively participate in
this!  We really don't want too many, just two or three -- you'd think
we'd have to turn people away!

I've always said that doing this has been "relatively" easy for me due
to my background and experience -- and that some of you will make far
greater sacrifice than I.  I always think of those parents who's
children have become so alienated, they no longer love them.  All your
words cannot convince them of the deep love you have for them -- this
is a chance for you to participate, to send a loving message by your
actions and willingness to sacrifice a few days of freedom.

Boy, to these sound like some BIG WORDS and BIG PROMISES.  I have to
say I don't have a lot of hesitation in the prediction. I'd be more
amazed if it didn't happen.  Please, don't see these messages as
"nagging", but just as a bit of a challenge.  I understand many of you
aren't in circumstances that would allow this, but I know a few of you
are also at the threshold.  That a few of you may be ready to take the
Leap of Faith.

I know that a few of you are approaching the point where you are
willing to carry a picture of your children (and others) outside the
offices of a US Senator until you get a face-to-face meeting.  Why?
Because it is that important of an issue. When you get that meeting
with the Senator you are not going to have to yell or slam the desk to
make your point.  By the virtue of what you did, that Senator will
know you are very serious about what you believe in.  Because the
willingness to sacrifice for others is what love is all about -- there
is nothing greater.

Oh, there is a little "fine print" with all of this.  In the movement
to destroy segregation in the South, certainly the arrest of Rosa Parks
(who refused to sit in the back of the bus), was one of those genesis
events.   But please, don't think she was the first black person to 
say "no."  There were others before her, arrested, jailed (if you were
lucky), beaten (if you weren't).  I don't know any of their names.
I don't imagine many people do -- but they know, and God knows.

That could happen here, and let me tell you, as I sat in jail Thursday
night waiting for the arraignment on Friday -- that thought crossed my
mind a few times (quite a bit actually!).  WHen I kissed my mother
goodbye that morning (she's 87), I really didn't know when or if I
would see her again.  Please, understand I'm not making this up for
drama.  If you are thinking about participating, it is serious business.
As the Federal Police officers will be more than happy to tell you --
you could be sentenced, if convicted, for six months to one year.
Do I think it likely. No.

What makes it possible to do?  What do you have to find within
yourself?          Faith, Love and Sacrifice.

1. Faith - in a loving God that cares about you even more than you
love your own children and who is as "real" as the computer in front
of you.

2, Love - for others. Not only your children, but also your brothers
and sisters the lawyers, judges, social workers, and don't forget your
former spouse!

3. Sacrifice - We are not talking about a contract.  You give up this
and you win that.  We are talking about you giving up your freedom
and maybe not getting anything from the "world" in return.

If you think you are ready to cross the threshold, please register
for the event at the web site, or email me, or even give me a call.
BUT -- before you do, please check the NonViolent Action checklist
we have at the site, http://www.AKIdsRight.Org/checklist.htm
It will give you some things to think about.

P.S.  Some of the details on what happened FRiday follow below:
P.P.S.  I should say there will also be some Sherrif's Deputies and
other police staff who will be very happy to see you join in.  Many
of them ask me when other people are going to show up. All I can tell
them is soon.  Many of them realize how bad the system is also.

Kind regards!
John Murtari
---------------------------- From the website:
8/9/02 - John was arraigned by Judge Cecille.  His assigned council
quickly spoke up and said the whole "accusatory instrument" was
defective and the charge should be immediately dismissed, that you
can't have trespass in a public building.  The DA also spoke up and
told the Judge the people preferred to see Mr. Murtari released.  That
this matter would best be served in motions on the preliminary hearing
date of Aug 29th -- and that he expected the charges would be
dismissed.  The Judge asked John if he had received a warning from
Judge Young during his last visit and hadn't Judge Young warned him
that a bail would be set if he returned.  John told the Judge that
Judge Young had said he would hold him in Contempt of Court and jail
him immediately.  Judge Cecille let John know that he would be doing
arraignments on Saturday and that if he saw John, he would set a bail.
John was released.  He plans on returning to the Building on Thursday,
Aug 15th (he will not be returning on Monday due to conflict with a
dental appointment for his mother which cannot be delayed).

"I have to say how greatly relieved I was by the day's events. It was
an exhausting experience in Jail the night before. Very crowded and
noisy, no sleep at all just sitting in metal chair all night.  In the
morning one of the deputies who had been at the prior arraignment with
Judge Young told be that Young was scheduled to do arraignments and
that I was "done."  I don't know what happened, but I certainly
appreciated the efforts some folks made on my behalf -- they could
have made the difference!"

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