Report on the DC Rallies/ F4J active in Vancouver/ Amnesty International rejects film.

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Fri Aug 06 2010 - 11:58:33 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

1. DC Rally - Your reports/pictures.
2. Vancouver - F4J Canada Parade participation.
3. Swedish Film - Baskerville & Amnesty International.
4. Coleman Hunger strike - how you can help.
5. Your FEEDBACK - reform rallies & goals?

There were two Rallies in Washington, D.C. at the end of July. 

(#1) The Family Preservation Festival ->
-- held at Upper Senate Park (in any photo you just see office buildings in
   the background)


(#2) We The People Family Preservation Festival (DC Rally Fest) ->
-- held on the lawn of the Capitol building (you will usually see
the US Capitol in the background).

It was all very confusing between the blend of names & websites.
Below you will find some first hand reports from participants and
organizers. Your thoughts on the rallies and what we need to do for
the future are welcome.  The next message will be dedicated to your
FEEDBACK on that topic! (For a faster reply, send FEEDBACK to

Briefly, I feel we are failing miserably to gain any traction as a
movement. We need to critique ourselves and try to understand why.

I've been to many DC Rallies in the past -- the last impressive
Rally was in 2007. It had a single key organizer who dedicated
himself to bringing people and groups together for an effective
event.  There were hundreds in attendance!  He was Rev.  Ronald
Smith from Chicago.  There were big plans for the future, but he
died from a heart attack (some notes on Ron):

Here are some thoughts & pictures I had from that Rally

1. DC Rally Reports/Pictures
[ There was no main-stream media coverage of these events. I'm
including links to stories/photos sent to me. Let me know if there
are others. ]

- Reports on Examiner.Com:

By: Daniel Weaver

By: Teri Stoddard

- Video & Picture Links:  (Ray Lautenschlager & NOPE, #1 

- Reports from participants:

--- Bessie Hudgins  <>

... While I understand the bitterness that so many of us feel over
our children and our grandchildren, I have come to understand what
is more important.
We must move beyond the bitterness and anger and pull together to
make our movement work for all.  I have witnessed so much conflict
and infighting within this movement that it breaks my heart that we
all want the same thing, but yet we can't work together to make it
happen.  Shame on us all that can't figure out a way to make this
movement work in numbers that they could not ignore.  OUR BABIES

--- Jeff Golden <> (long time reformer)

The two rallies that were allegedly to take place in Washington the
weekend of July 23rd through 25th were a HUGE disappointment.

First, why would there be two separate demonstrations for generally
the same issues scheduled in DC for the same weekend and just two
blocks apart?  Couldn't organizers of the two events have put aside
their egos and negotiated a merger?  If they had, there could have
been a single bigger group that would have attracted media

... There were a few people at the We The People DC Rally on the
west lawn of the Capitol Building, but this is a very big space for
a small group.  There were people representing too many unrelated
and non-family issues situated around the shady edges of the area.
The speakers were too far away to heard, it was very hot, and we
didn't stay long.

And something else -- a warning that I foolishly ignored -- neither
of these events had anyone or any organization identified as the
organizer.  There was no one's name, no phone number, and no email
address.  The "contact us" link on the websites went nowhere.  Even
their websites were privately registered so you couldn't find out
whose it is with a "Whois."  Why wasn't anyone proud enough to
willingly identify him or herself with these events?  From now on, I
will NEVER promote any event unless I can personally speak with the

Bottom line, except for David Wilson's annual DC Fathers Day
demonstration (thank you, David), this year there was NO
demonstration for noncustodial parents in Washington.  No wonder the
legislators ignore us.

Jeff Golden
Fathers and Children's Equality

--- Ray Lautenschlager (from Facebook - organizer #1 Rally) 

I have to say that the rally in DC was fun but exhausting for
me. Those that were there do not need to be reminded of the heat,
those that were not, just say 100+ with indexes in the 115 range
which is more than even a healthy person should be exposed to for

The crowds were light but good and we were able to engage many
people as they walked by the site and explain to them the problems
that many of us face on a day to day basis. I got the opportunity to
speak face to face with many that I have known by email or internet
for a long time and make many new friends...

Saturday was kickoff and the work did start early and was
non-stop. Because of the circumstances that were presented I did end
up being the MC for the rally. L was having some problems with the
heat and my old training kicked into gear. No complaints and many
good speakers told their stories and that of their own

I especially want to thank Mark Young for posting the video of the
speeches and for http://MNOW.TV/ for videoing every day so that a
DVD of the entire event will be available for all.

Sunday was started off by the presentation of the Pledge of
Allegiance by a 6 year old Gavin. Steven Walker from Institute for
the American Family presented special awards to many that have put
forth a special effort in this fight. I continued with my MC duties
and had the chance to talk with Mike McCormack from ACFC, Stan
Thorne, Steven Walker and many others that I have know for a long

One big thing that I did see is who walks the walk and who is only
talking with no solutions. While some of the talkers are complaining
now, they are also the ones that did not show up... Arm chair
critics are a dime a dozen and if you can't back your words with
action you might be best to keep your mouth shut.

I came off this will a very positive for all involved and look
forward to next year when we will make this better and bigger for
all. Work has already begun and you all need to make your plans to
be there.

--- Jack Frost <>  (Participant at #2 Rally)

These are my honest impressions good and bad.

I arrived late Friday night about 10:00 PM I was staying with some
relatives. Apparently Thursday and Friday F4J members were suppose
to be meeting with legislators. I got the impression that some of
the meetings were kind of "preliminary" and I saw reference to
concrete meetings with them next year? I was not involved in these
and was just there for Sat, Sun events.

... I arrived in Upper Senate Park around 9:30-10:00 I saw some
random tables set up and a few people wearing F4J shirts and I saw
an F4J banner hung on a port a potty (nice).

I had talked with a few f4J folks online and was involved with some
of the "talkshoe" discussions about the rally so some people
recognized my name and I theirs. They were very friendly and
welcoming. I asked about getting an f4j t-shirt which I purchased
for 20 bucks. I sure this is one way they raise money. I think f4j
has very good marketing/flair and are easily recognizable.

I helped set up the stage for the speakers. They were running late
according to the schedule they posted and someone stated the
schedule was more or less a rough guide. After having driven 7.5
hours to get there I wasn't very pleased with the later start, 10:00
am, and the schedule being refereed to as a rough guide. I left my
house on time at 12:30 PM the previous day...

The speakers were very professional and all of them were taped (very
good idea). I hope they are posted somewhere where they can be
viewed by people who couldn't attend the event. I can not stress
enough that all of the speakers in f4j had very relevant and
worthwhile things to say. At one point one father who had been
broken by the system and actually became homeless shared his story
and thoughts. During his speech which I found to be very passionate
and worthwhile I left to visit the "other rally".

This leads into one of the biggest issues which is a lack of unity
among group, huge problem. When I arrive at the other rally I met
Ray L. who was one of the main organizers of that rally. Very friendly
welcome and it was nice to met one of the leaders whom I had talked
to several times online.  I was wearing my f4j t-shirt and I was a
little uncomfortable with how it might be received (completely
unnecessary and no one should feel that way IMHO). I was essentially
trying to show support for both groups but had an utterly awkward

The stage for this rally was very nice and colorful whoever put it
together did a fantastic job. The only thing that gave me pause was
a string of lights in the shape of a cross along the front. Not all
supporters of equal parenting may agree with having such a religious
symbols. At one point someone gave a very impassioned prayer on the
stage with the "fire and brimstone" feel which again could have
turned some people off. I heard one person (from f4j) say out loud
that this is a political rally not religious. Personally I don't
have a problem with there being some prayer being said but I felt it
was over the top.

I heard one speaker, Jill Egizii, at this rally who described
herself as working with disabled adults and children and how she is
as passionate about working legislative change and judicial reform
in the family courts. After her speech I approached her and asked
her for contact information so I could she may sotry with her about
what I had to do for my disabled son. I asked her to reference my
story if she found it helpful and I sent her info shortly after I
returned home.

The location of this rally was great for picture taking because of
the capital building directly behind the stage. However the intense
heat caused everyone to seek relief form trees along the side of the
open space. This caused all the other groups to be spread thin
across this long tree line well away from the stage. Anyone passing
by would probably not have have thought that the stage and these
groups were all related and their for the same cause. What was
really needed was a large tent right in front of the stage without
this it pretty much makes this location useless because of the hot
July sun...

After lunch we re-grouped in one of the local hotels. This was a
nice because of a/c and cold water provided by the hotel. The
speakers were awesome! Again I think the videos of these speakers
would be invaluable to whomever watches them. There was talk of
splitting of into different groups to talk about certain topics
interested to people. It seemed to me that most people were
interested in parental alienation and most people gathered in that
group. I wasn't interested in that per se. 

I wanted to talk about what I could do at a very local level or even
a state level to bring about change. Some of the speakers talked
about what could and should be done at this level and I was hoping
for some discussion on coordinating these events in each state or
somehow cooperating within or between states, however this didn't
happen. There was talk of kind of doing a speed dating type thing or
otherwise sharing of ideas. I think this was again a lost
opportunity. You had some very good leaders that could have
coordinated these types of discussions but after some brief
enthusiasm the discussions kind of dissolved.

We had a picture taking event at the "other rally" in front of the
capital building. Many f4j flags and t-shirts showed up in these and
the advertising/flair of f4j was prominent in any pictures taken. At
this point these pictures had people from of all of the different
groups and consequently was a benefit to f4j because of the flags
and t-shirts displaying f4j messaging. I think the marketing by f4j
and the name recognition is "spot on" and definitely one of the
things the f4j folks are doing correctly. At one point while I was
having a discussion with another f4j person a member of the general
public came up to me to thank me for my/our (f4j) efforts. This was
really nice thing and again points to the success of f4j

Unfortunately I have to make special note of the discord between the
two groups and especially the leadership of both groups. I was just
a "innocent" member and I had feelings of awkwardness and of general
sadness about the obvious lack of the presence of the leadership of
f4j to show themselves at the "other" rally. Overall I think the f4j
rally was more beneficial and organized - could have been better in
many respects.  The biggest failure of both groups was the lack of
unity displayed by the leadership - simply no place for that.

,,, oh I wanted to mention that I did not attend anything on Sunday.

There was a march scheduled at 2:00 PM which ended up starting at
3:00 or 3:30 again very late start and with people traveling back
home that day I imagine many didn't participate, including me,
because of this - another lost opportunity. One f4j member who
attended the march(Fred Schueler) posted on his blog that this was
one of the best events and the main reason he attends the rally.

2. Vancouver - Report of F4J Parade participation.
Submitted by: "Burnaby batman"

Greetings everyone from Vancouver BC. As you may already be aware
Fathers 4 Justice Canada participated for the 5 year in the annual
Vancouver Pride Parade on August 01/10. The day before the parade
F4J team members and family gathered together for a nice BBQ held at
the BC Bat Cave and a great day of food and fellowship was had by

Sunday, August 01/10, F4J Canada team members gathered for 11:00 AM
in downtown Vancouver to Participate in the Parade. Our float this
year like last consisted of a 30 foot trailer decked out with
structures to stand on, a mock family court, many banners and flags
and about 30 every day heroes. F4J Canada everyday heroes consisted
of our float driver Don Williams, a cowboy, an Indian, a
construction worker, biker dude, two police officers, fire fighter,
Navy dude, BC Hulk, Robin QC, an Egyptian, Cat Woman, Superman,
Wonder Woman, Spider Man, Venom, Sandy, Spider Woman, Bat Girl, a
Gladiator, Burnaby Batman and many other everyday heroes.

The Parade began at 12:00 PM noon under grey skies and wound its way
through the downtown core of Vancouver. There was an estimated
800,000 spectators at this years parade and Fathers 4 Justice Canada
entry was well received by those in attendance .

We would like to thank all those who participated with us in this
years event and all those who helped in making this years event
another successful opportunity for us to spread our message of
equality to the masses. More pictures, video and a web page will
soon be made available to you all.

My Very Best To All of You: Rob Robinson - NAC - Fathers 4 Justice Canada

Fathers 4 Justice Canada's participation in this world class event
may now be viewed directly at -

There are over 100 hundred pictures on the page and a short video
clip included as well.

Once more we would like to thank all those helped us in making this
event another one of success.

3. Swedish Film - Baskerville & Amnesty International
Dr. Stephen Baskerville is probably the best known author and writer
on Family Law reform.  He has been interviewed many times by the media
and has had many articles and also a book, "Taken into Custody"
published.  His contact info is:

Below is a link to an article he wrote about a Swedish movie on
reform being removed from a Film Festival of Amnesty International
because of political correctness? The YouTube link takes you
directly to the movie.  It is nicely done.

4. Coleman Hunger strike - how you can help.
For more background and info on Mr. Coleman, including his
address and news articles, see:

Submitted by: Geoff Coleman <>

Bill coleman has now been on his hunger protest for over three
weeks. His condition as deteriorated and he has lost some
weight. His Family and friends are denied any telephone contact with
him as the DOC will not allow Bill to make calls.

The reason Bill is on a protest to highlight the failing justice
system and to point out that innocent people are convicted through
lack of judicial support.

Please help! 

> I wrote a letter to bill and sent your message out on our last
> newsletter.  What would really help is the name/address of the DA
> and Judge involved, along with the Governor.
> It seems he should qualify for some type of "early release" or just
> "probation" in lieu of jail.  If anyone has that info, please let
> me know.

--- From <>

Judge William Cremins of Waterbury Superior Court. Waterbury, CT.
Assistant State Attorney Cynthia Serafini prosecuted the case.
Governor M.Jodi Rell, State Capital, 210 Capital Avenue, Hartford, CT
Sentence was 15 years to be suspended after he serves 8 years. There
is no parole or probation. He has to serve 8 years.
Thanks for your help. 

5. Your FEEDBACK - rallies & goals?
This message was getting a bit long!  Your thoughts on the rallies and
what we need to do for the future are welcome.  The next message will
be dedicated to that topic.

John Murtari
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                              A Kid's Right to BOTH 
(315) 944-0999(x-211)                                        

A Kid's Right to Both Parents!

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