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[AKidsRight.Org] Expecting arrest - our effort to meet with Senator Clinton.

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Wed Aug 25 2004 - 11:18:03 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

I'd like to bring you a more personal update in what has happened in
the last week and what we might expect in the future. I won't spend
time recapping what has past and our goals, for those:
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/approach.htm (Goals)
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr (Effort with Senator Clinton)

This message is a little rambling because of the content. In brief I
will be making a dedicated effort to enter the Syracuse Federal
Building today, Wednesday, Aug 25th, at about 2pm. This will most
likely result in my arrest (although I still hope officials will
reconsider and allow me to walk as I have in the past).  The web site
will be updated with what happened.

Our focus is on our elected Federal representative (Senator Clinton)
regarding the recognition and protection of our Civil Right to raise
the children we love.

Events of the last week.
Last Tuesday, Aug 17th, I returned to the Federal Building fully
expecting to be arrested.  I was not.  I was not even allowed to enter
the building.  Federal Officers blocked my path.

They had done this in the past, but when they realized I was willing
to stand there all afternoon, they allowed me into the building and
then arrested me.

This time they were prepared and had a rotation setup with building
security so there was always someone blocking my path.  I really
didn't know what to make of it?  I stood outside from 2-4pm, holding
up our petition to Senator Clinton and just thinking -- now what?  If
I stand there right near the door they may just decided to charge me
with blocking the entrance....

I went home that day, a pleasant surprise, and decided to come back
the next day at the same time -- and again try to enter, and again try
to see if they would wait me out.  They blocked my path and again had
a rotating shift of officers.

Finally, on Thursday, Aug 19th, I decided to make my FIRST point to
visit the Federal Court Clerk to get some paperwork.  After some
confusion at the door -- they allowed me to go to the Clerk's office,
with an escort.  I wasn't sure what they would do once I was inside
the building, they had never used physical force to push me out
without an arrest.  Well, that day they did.

I realized there was no way around it.  They were not going to let me
up to the 14th floor where the Senator's offices were located.  I
decided I would just have to make the effort at the front door and
probably be arrested there. For a while I thought I would go back on
Friday and "do it."  But then I thought I also needed to write to both
the Judge and the Senator to make clear what was happening (letters at
the website, link above).

On Monday and Tuesday, Aug 23 & 24, I went to the building in the
morning and just stood outside for a couple of hours holding our
petition for help.  I knew people had written and called and I wanted
to give that a chance to 'work.'

NonViolent Action is 'working'
It is sometimes hard to put all this in perspective for people who
haven't come by the building to 'see' what is happening (and there
haven't been any of those lately).

I still have four pending arrests from the Spring.  Both the Judge and
US Attorney were kind enough to 'delay' proceedings so I could have my
six weeks of summer vacation with Domenic.  The 'understanding' was I
would probably be convicted and sentenced in August (I fully expected
to be serving a sentence for those four offenses by now).

What I found was no desire to proceed even after writing the Judge and
US Attorney's office.  I began to get the distinct impression that if
I just 'went away' and never came back -- the pending charges would
just be forgotten.  Everyone knows I am not a 'criminal' -- they want
to stop me from what I am doing, but with some reluctance...

NOTE - I DO NOT turn the Courtroom into a political forum on Family
Law reform.  I DO NOT hassle the various police officers as they
'handle' me through the system.  If anyone asks me my motive, I tell
them.  Our focus is on our elected Federal representatives regarding
the recognition and protection of our Civil Right to raise the
children we love.

Regarding recent events.  It is clear they do not want more
arrests. Perhaps your calls/letters had an affect and the Senator has
made it clear she doesn't want a peaceful constituent arrested outside
her doors. There is always the potential for the media to pick up the
story and it could require an awkward explanation.  Perhaps the
officials think, 'this guy is a crack pot, but he is a well meaning
and good intentioned crack pot -- and we'll try to give him a

NonViolent Action
I don't look forward to what will happen over the next few days. But
at the same time I have no second thoughts -- it is the right action,
it is the right level of sacrifice, something that corresponds to the
depth of the injustice and pain inflicted on my family.  My GREAT
right to be a parent to my own child was trampled upon like a bit of

The last couple of days I got to be a classic 'protestor' or maybe a
'demonstrator' standing outside the building and holding a 'sign'.
Boy, did I feel silly at times. It was a little inconvenient, but
pretty easy to do.  I could not help but think, "THIS is suppose to
change history?  Doing THIS is suppose to change how our nation thinks
about parents and children?  It just doesn't seem like 'work'."

Please don't get me wrong, if we'd of had hundreds of mothers and
fathers out there. It would mean something and I think those days are

But is THIS parent going to wait for even two others, no.  If you have
the time go to the web site and jump around to the various sections.
I think we have some GREAT quotes leading the various sections, and
here is one I like:

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do
something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do
the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do and what I
should do, by the Grace of God, I will do." Edward Everett Hale

Yes, what about that 'Grace of God' stuff?  So much of what I do and
the purpose of the website is to document an effort at NonViolent
Action.  We compare/contrast historical examples at the web
site. Information on other 'civil rights' movements,

I don't know about you, but I am a skeptical person. I'm an engineer
by training and I've always like things I can touch & measure. I read
a lot of history on NonViolent Action, most recently the actions of
Gandhi and King -- it all made sense.  But we haven't followed their
example in a while (almost 50 years) and times have changed. The new
'vogue' is blowing things up: buildings, airplanes, cars, other
people, yourself.  It is suppose to bring much needed media attention
and show how 'oppressed' you are. Imagine that!

In some ways I look at this as an 'experiment.'  I've read the theory,
but how do you actually practice it?  It is one thing to read about an
internal combustion engine -- quite another to build one! The web site
documents our experiences and mistakes in deep detail... 

But the other thing going on 'behind the scenes' is Faith.  There is a
church a few blocks away from the Federal Building -- and on every
trip I will stop by just to pray and reflect.

"God, I know you love A.(my former spouse), Domenic, and I. Please
open our hearts so that A. and I can both be parents to
Domenic. Please keep watch over Mamma while I'm gone.  Please protect
us all and keep us safe.  Help me and guide me in what I do
today. That my actions show my faith in you -- please keep me from
doing anything stupid...and guide my actions... there is so much at
stake here... give me the confidence and Faith I need to
continue. Amen."

As hopefully more of us prepare to take NonViolent Action -- will
there be painful experiences? Yes. Will something 'bad/evil' happen to
us?  It is inconceivable.

                                       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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