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[AKidsRight.Org] Reforming Family Law: Our Goals, Methods & Actions

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From: John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org)
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 10:56:24 EDT

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Good People and People of Faith,

We have a lot of new people who have been introduced to the
group over the past several months.  It may be time for a brief
reminder of what our Group of Mothers AND Fathers is about:

--- Our Goals, Methods & Actions.

We are an 'action' group with a focus on Federal Civil Rights
protections for families.  Our goal is to help parents who have lost
contact with their children through divorce/separation or the actions
of 'social services.'  We hope to turn that pain & despair that so
many of us have experienced into a positive force for real change!

1. NonViolent Action - needed to cross threshold.
2. Our Goals - recognize and protect our right to be parents.
3. NonViolent Action and an amazing arrest - it does work.

1. NonViolent Action - needed to cross threshold.
The key to our success is a non-violent approach based on NonViolent
Action. Please follow the link and read about a very positive
approach! We are not loud, rude, or vindictive.  We treat everyone
with kindness and respect -- especially people with whom we disagree
(which includes the other parent, lawyers, and other officials in the
"system"). http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm

We have held up the ideal that people willing to demonstrate: Faith,
Love, and Personal Sacrifice can be the means of effective social
change. More specifically, that Parents can promote Family Law reform
by demonstrating:

1) Faith in a loving God, 

2) Love for their children, former spouses, and other "brothers and
sisters", and

3) Willingness to make Personal Sacrifice,  

NonViolent Action allows you to demonstrate through "unambiguous
physical action" the depth of your Faith and belief in your "cause." 
It is a positive demonstration of love given at sometimes tremendous
personal cost.

2. Our Goals
Our Goal - Many of us talk about the right to be with our kids.  But
I guess what we are really saying is there ought to be a "significant
barrier" the system has to cross before they can interfere with our
family life.

We are not looking for MORE laws, but protection.  That before the
"system" can interfere with you and your children you have:

1) The right to counsel.

2) The right to be presumed innocent and deserving of an equal
relationship with your kids.

3) The right to protection of a jury.  The "state" needs to prove you
were a demonstrated serious and intentional threat to your child.

3. NonViolent Action and an amazing arrest - it does work.
A lot of people write and tell me NonViolent Action doesn't always
work.  About a year ago that was brought home to me during one of my
arrests.  After about 40 times I'm getting pretty knowledgeable about
arrest procedures, I usually see the same officers and usually they
mellow as they get to know me.

Well, Officer X was going to be the exception. He slapped the hand
cuffs on hard the first time around and made a point of pushing me in
the right direction.  The second time round he managed to give me a
hard tap in the "balls" as he was frisking my legs.  He would always
look at me with disdain and would not start a conversation.

Well, the third time was the charm.  It was 95 and a sunny, humid
day.  He and his partner put me in the patrol car with the engine off
and the windows rolled up.  I sweated like a pig for 10-15 minutes
while they talked outside.  Now, I didn't say anything, but my
thoughts were clear, "Why you stupid A## Holes!"  On the way to the
jail he called home and told someone he would be late off his shift
to look after the kids.  Then he asked me if I knew the hassle I was
causing and that I was just a selfish human being.

Now, I just said "no," but in my thoughts I added, "you stupid jerk!"
We drove for a while, and he made some similar comments.  I tried to
change the topic by telling him he was lucky to have some kids to go
home to. He then responded with, "Well, by that comment I know you
don't care about anyone buy yourself.  You protesters just don't
care."  I didn't say a thing, but my thoughts were, "buddy, why don't
you just go F#ck yourself."

By this time I thought, "this guy is a lost cause. All the NonViolent
action on earth wouldn't get through to this blockhead."  We got to
the jail, his partner left, and he and I were alone waiting to be
admitted.  He then walks up to me and says,"I want to apologize for
what happened on the way over here ... it's been long day and these
guys in booking are so slow, I'm always late getting out of here...
That is no excuse for me giving you a hard time."

Man!  My jaw just about hit the floor. All I did was nod my head and
we got to talking about the force, the job, and retirement.  He asked
me if I could do my thing a little bit earlier in the day (I usually
walk into the building around 2pm) so it wouldn't be near the end of
the shift.  I told him I had to take the bus and I tried to get some
work done in the morning.  But that I would try (and I will) -- next
time will be closer to 1PM.  He asked me about what I was doing and
trying to accomplish.  It was a regular talk.

Did I apologize to him for my thoughts, no, it never even came to
mind. I was just so shocked.  If I would have gone "off" and said
what I was thinking.  There would have been an entirely different
ending.  One that would have confirmed my worst suspicions. Imagine
that!  It was a look in the mirror. -- John Murtari

Best regards! 
                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

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