Chalk Campaign for Family Rights/ It gets pretty scary/ Tweets!

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Fri Jan 22 2010 - 16:55:05 EST

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Good People & People of Faith,

This message has info on a few items, but most importantly some
thoughts on being scared. I feel that a lot!

1. Chalk Campaign for Family Rights - it's all good!
2. It gets pretty scary - how it feels on the inside.
3. Do you see me - a little background.
4. NonViolent Action on twitter -- tweet, tweet!

1. Chalk Campaign for Family Rights - it's all good!
Want to see some surprising pictures of a County Courthouse marked up
with one foot lettering "Help Family Rights"? Just check here:

Even more amazing -- I do it in the middle of the day, walk in and
tell security when I'm done, and its OKAY!  The building is getting
pretty coated and I even offered to wash it off at the end of each
week -- they haven't asked yet.

The link above includes a photo collage. You're welcome to join me in
distributing it to News media. It should make a fascinating story and
hopefully encourage other parents to take real public action.

The "Declaration of Family Rights" petition signatures are growing
daily, you can even leave a message with your signature.

2. It gets pretty scary - how it feels on the inside.
Many of you write and say, "John, it won't work!"  I often have those
same feelings.  At times my gut gets tied up in knots wondering what's
going to happen.  Will I come home tonight or will it be jail?  Can I
pay the bills in a few months?

Before I go to the Courthouse I have to secure my home, turn off the
water, turn down the thermostat, etc..  I might not be back for
weeks/months?  I'm lucky to have a cousin in town who can periodically
check on things while I'm "tied up."

The biggest thing is "not knowing" what will happen. Last month I had
four pending charges for misdemeanor "graffiti" -- each could have
carried a six month jail sentence.  Using chalk, I didn't think I
would get the max, but I was expecting several months of jail time.
They were all dismissed Jan 6th (see link above).

I've some good friends I can talk with and that helps a lot.  I keep a
sense of humor through it all and also humility. I pray for guidance,
leave it in God's hands, and try not to worry about results.

I'm fortunate to be able to sleep like a baby! Speaking of sleeping, I
have to share a video of some local Monks at night prayer: 

Domenic & I have visited there since he was little and I'd hold him in
my arms as they chanted.  The words became a lullaby for him and
comfort (through the many terrors of Family Law) for me.  Anyone is
welcome to visit there.

My actions are much easier when other parents are with me, even as
spectators.  I welcome your participation and appreciate your
supportive emails and the phone calls/letters on my behalf!  We are
close to making reform happen -- we just need the courage & faith to
act on our beliefs.

Oh, and even though I feel scared at times -- it feels GREAT on the
inside.  The anger & frustration I felt after having my rights abused
and watching my child suffer are mostly gone once I started taking
NonViolent Action.  I don't get mad at "them" anymore now that I am
actually doing something about it.

3. Do you see me - a little background.
I hate to quote a line from the movie Avatar, but I hope the following
allows "you to see me" more clearly so that John Murtari is not a
mystery and perhaps we can all join in more common actions.

FAMILY - I'm 53 (feel younger, but look older!).  I don't have any
brothers or sisters.  My parents were Italian immigrants. My Dad
passed away in 1989 (age 97) and my mom in 2006 (age 89).  If you do
some math -- I'm very lucky I'm here!

Got married in 1987 and Domenic was born in 1993.  A bitter divorce
started in 1995 (pretty standard stuff, unlike many of you I was lucky
no abuse allegations were made. If you want to see the Court material,  Custody to her.  Then
she got permission to relocate out West in 1998. The only win I got
was that Dom and I were given Christmas and Sprint break together in
Lyons, and a solid SIX WEEK block every summer.

I was worried about alienation (she hated me). I did everything I
could to stay in contact. He's now 17 and we have a great time
together.  Those great fears have been relieved and I ache when I hear
some of your stories. I know it was a close call for us!

HOME - I live in a rural community (Lyons, NY), and can't drive (child
support arrears -- see http://www.AKidsRight.Org/support_jm.htm).  I'm
lucky to have a home I inherited from my parents. It is literally on
the south side of the tracks, value about $42,000. In pretty good
shape (if you don't mind the shaking when the trains go by)!

EDUCATION - A BS in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force
Academy (I was lucky to get in!). Most of my career was spent as a
T-37 Jet instructor pilot. An MS in Computer Science from Syracuse
University and enough hours for a Minor in Philosophy from Lemoyne

The military training served me well for NonViolent Action and dealing
with jail time and 'no win' situations. I learned it's never over
until you decide to quit.  There is always hope.  (More at

FAITH - The single most important thing that gets me through all
this. Belief in an Almighty God who loves and cares for me even more
that I do for my own son.  That loving personal sacrifice always has
value, whether it be one person or one million.  Faith is essential
for many participants of effective NonViolent Action:

WORK/MONEY - For many years (when I could drive) I ran a small
Internet web hosting business (  I
had great people working with me. It allowed me to go to jail and
still have a job to come back to.

When I had Dom for those six week summer vacations; I worked from
home, we had a lot of fun together. 

Last summer (2009) I finally had to close it down.  I had one
co-worker and couldn't even get to the office (license suspension).
There was enough money to pay off most of the business debt.  I knew
that I would be starting this NonViolent Action in October and I
wanted to see it through.

I can't keep a bank account open.  My expenses are low. Right now I
have about $2000 in cash -- and that is it!  I can make it till about
May and then "something" has to happen. I try not to think about that
for now.

MOTIVATION - The strongest thing making it easy for me to risk arrest
is the driver's license suspension.  It is an absolute indignity and I
refuse to be a willing "bag lady" as I walk around town for
groceries. I can't take care of my obligations.

I don't make it the 'issue' in my efforts. This indignity is just a
side effect of our failure to recognize Family Rights, but it helps
provide motivation.

3. NonViolent Action on twitter -- tweet, tweet!
If you want to know the moment the chalk hits the Courthouse,
pictures get posted, or an arrest occurs.  I'll know be making
twitter updates (@akidsright).  To follow go to:

Tweets will only be about NonViolent Actions by myself or other
parents - not general news or events.


                                          John Murtari
Coordinator                              AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org           A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
(315) 944-0999(x-211)               http://www.AKidsRight.Org/

A Kid's Right to Both Parents!
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