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[AKidsRight.Org] Murtari arrested for 4th time - Response from Senator Clinton

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From: AKidsRight.Org Webmaster (webmaster@akidsright.org)
Date: Thu Apr 08 2004 - 10:49:07 EDT


This is a message from the AKidsRight.Org mailing list.  Unsubscribe instructions at bottom of message.
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Good People & People of Faith,

The message contains information on the recent arrests (April 1st, 5th,
and 7th) of John Murtari during his efforts in the Syracuse Federal
Building.  Their was finally a response from the office of Senator Clinton,
but not quite what we expected (details below)!

We also encourage you to contact the offices of Senator Clinton and let
them know you care about reform. If you email us a copy of whatever you
send them, we will try to include it in an upcoming list message.

To help please call or fax:
---------------------------
Syracuse Local representive, Cathy Calhoun,
tel: 315-448-0470, fax: 315-448-0476

Washington Scheduling Office, Lona Valmoro (Senior Advisor to the Senator),
tel: 202-224-4451, fax: 202-228-0121 


What happened
-------------
A letter (below) is faxed to the local and Washington offices of Senator
Clinton asking for help.  John returns to the Federal Building at 2 pm
and is again arrested by Federal Police. In a bit of a change, he is
arraigned by Magistrate Judge Lowe who is not familiar with the
proceedings.  He is released and warned not to repeat the activity.
John tells the magistrate there are no more events planned.  An interim
appearance in scheduled with Judge DiBianco for 2pm on April 15th (your
attendance is welcome).

In a rather bizarre twist John is told a Secret Service agent wants to
interview him.  The agent had received a directive that day from
Washington to conduct an interview (most likely in response to a letter
for help which was sent to the Senator).  Other than brief personal
info, John refuses to answer any questions.


What happened - From John
-------------------------
I was very worried returning to the building today and I almost called
it off.  I knew that Judge DiBianco would be furious when he saw me
(especially after issuing another order) and I knew I would be detained.
We have talked so much about sacrifice as part of NonViolent Action, but
I was really afraid I would miss the chance to see my Son at the end of
April (the loss of a weekend), and potentially lose our 6 week summer
vacation together starting in early June (which would have been
devastating to him and me).  I am still looking a jail time for these 4
events, but I hope a conflict with that vacation can be avoided.

As a personal policy I commit myself to going back to the building a
certain number of times before I start an effort, but I do not let
authorities know what my plans are.  I was relieved to find out
Magistrate DiBianco was not available that day!  Even though I planned
on telling him this was the final event -- I did not think it would
matter.

I was quite surprised by the Secret Service Agent.  He was very polite
and I felt bad refusing to answer his questions -- but it was so
un-called for.  I guess I can see the Senator's staff is trying to
justify the lack of response by trying to label me some type of
'fanatic.'  I think we have all experienced that in Family Court
proceedings.  Fortunately, in this case I do have a real presumption of
innocence!  This incident does underscore the importance of NonViolent
Action in keeping the focus on the real issues.

PLEASE READ THIS - I expect some people will use this Secret Service
episode as another reason to criticize the Senator.  Don't do that, it
is pointless.  The real question WE PARENTS need to ask is: if this
issue is so important that Senator Clinton should get personally
involved -- Why is only ONE parent outside her offices?  If you think of
all the excuses you have for not getting involved, maybe you will be
more understanding of others....

PLEASE, it would be a great help if you could just make that phone call
and send a personal fax to the Senator's offices!  WE need to let them know
it is an important issue.  Again, don't be rude or angry.  Share the pain
you went through and tell the Senator we need to look at protecting Family
rights!

Thanks - John!


Our Goal as Parents (excerpt from letter below) -  what do you think?
-----------------------------------------------
Our immediate goal is a local meeting between you and a small group of
mothers and fathers associated with our group. We hope that after you
have a chance to hear our stories and also from other groups -- you will
endorse a call for Congressional Hearings and eventually the creation of
a Family Rights Act.

An Act to recognize and protect the right of our children to have TWO
parents (whether they be good, average, or poor parents) equally
involved in their lives AND the right of parents to raise and nurture
their own children. That will require parents be found guilty in a
criminal court, with jury protection, of being a demonstrated serious
threat to their children -- before government can interfere in family
life.



Letter to Senator Clinton
-------------------------
April 7, 2004
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton 
United States Senate 
476 Russell Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510                      SCHEDULING/HELP REQUEST 

Dear Senator Clinton: 

PLEASE, At 2 PM today I will be facing jail again for peacefully
petitioning you for help. My NonViolent Action will be silently carrying
pictures of parents and children outside your office in the Syracuse
Federal Building. I have written you numerous times along with other
members of the group and we have had no reply?

My hometown is Lyons, New York. I am a lector in my parish and scheduled
to do the readings for Easter Sunday (but I may be in jail instead). The
folks in my hometown understand my love of family and donít see me as a
criminal. In the past I have been able to walk outside the offices of
both Senator Schumer and Congressman Walsh in that same building. It
recently came to my attention from the US Attorney's office that your
local staff was actually 'asking for prosecution' in this matter. I know
you care about family issues and I hope someone can take the time to
intervene.

I'm a coordinator for a growing group of loving mothers and fathers who
were unjustly separated from their children through divorce, separation,
or the action of child protective services. Our group's name is
AKidsRight.Org (http://www.AKidsRight.Org)

Our immediate goal is a local meeting between you and a small group of
mothers and fathers associated with our group. We hope that after you
have a chance to hear our stories and also from other groups -- you will
endorse a call for Congressional Hearings and eventually the creation of
a Family Rights Act.

An Act to recognize and protect the right of our children to have TWO
parents (whether they be good, average, or poor parents) equally
involved in their lives AND the right of parents to raise and nurture
their own children. That will require parents be found guilty in a
criminal court, with jury protection, of being a demonstrated serious
threat to their children -- before government can interfere in family
life.

We can appreciate the busy schedule you and your staff members must
have. I can only imagine the number of groups and different causes that
must appeal to you for support. I wish our group of parents was better
organized, had millions of members, and was better funded -- we are not
there yet. But many of us believe our cause is important: as much as the
right of a black man to sit in the front of a bus or the right of a
woman to vote.

Our method and strength is NonViolent Action and we are attempting to
follow the recent historical examples of Gandhi and Martin Luther
King. That positive social reform can be triggered, not by hatred,
revenge, or violence - but by parents motivated by Faith in a Loving
God. Parents willing to demonstrate to the public the love they have for
their children by voluntary personal sacrifice.

As a coordinator for the group I am attempting to follow some of those
goals. To demonstrate that NonViolent Action can work by my willingness
to sacrifice one of my most valued rights, my freedom -- to regain a more
valued right - to be an EQUAL parent to my own 11 year old son, Domenic.

The sacrifice of a few days in jail is minor compared to what people
suffered in the past to get basic rights recognized. I am neither a
saint or a devil, nor am I trying to become a martyr. Please do not see
this as an attempt to 'black mail' you into a meeting.

I have no right to demand a meeting between you and parents, but I hope
it will happen. As a former Air Force pilot it was not my goal to die,
but to serve my country by willingness to sacrifice. As a loving parent
I hope I have the courage and faith to show my son that same measure of
devotion. Please help!

Sincerely yours, 

John Murtari 
--------------------------------------



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