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What is NonViolent Action/ Murtari Update/ Statistics?

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Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 15:46:07 EST

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This message contains some brief info on:
1. Murtari action update.
2. The difference between NonViolent Action and "protesting"?
3. Use of statistics to justify family law reform.

1. Murtari protest update
John Murtari was released yesterday after about 9 days in jail (he refused
to post any bail). Many thanks to those who contacted the local
Congressman on his behalf. Congressman Walsh's office has been in
contact with the DA and Judge and appears to want his name removed
from an order prohibiting John from the Syracuse, NY, Federal Building.

John plans on resuming his action next Thursday (March 2) at 2 PM. He
could really use the quiet support of folks just willing to go to the
building and watch what happens. You would be under not threat of arrest
and it would "ease" John's efforts by showing the authorities growing
support for reform and Federal action.

For details see:

2. NonViolent Action vs. "protesting"
This is something which requires some important clarification.
For most people the classic image of a protester falls into one of two

1) Marcher - Someone who does things by the "book", files for a permit, then
carries a sign and walks around. The sign may express some degree of
"contempt/support" for a group or idea.

2) Rioter - Someone who doesn't play by the rules, is willing to create some
amount of chaos and/or violence against people or property to call attention
to their cause.

The entire approach of Kids-Right.Org is NonViolent Action based on a strong
personal Faith. Being willing to impose suffering on yourself while showing
love toward your opponent (with the Faith that your example of sacrifice
will convert their way of thinking). The site contains a lot of info and
historical examples:

As you read this message consider this question, "What are you willing
to SACRIFICE to reform the system?" If history is an example we must
realize that until good people are willing to sacrifice for what they
believe in -- not much is going to change. Many folks have contacted
Kids-Right.Org and are willing to participate in an "action", and maybe
even go to jail -- but would like some type of guarantee it will make TV
or "work"; unfortunately, that would not make it a sacrifice!

Here are a few items to consider by way of example.

John Murtari has been conducting an action the last few months.
In each of his attempts the authorities were more than happy to allow him
to march outside the building -- but that was not really his point. There
is not much personal sacrifice in that.

He knew his attempts to carry a picture of his Son and walk inside
both the County Court House and the Federal Building would be
considered "illegal", BUT anyone would be able to see his intentions were
not criminal or a threat to the peace. He was willing to be arrested/jailed
and he was always polite and peaceful.

For those of you skeptical of "conversions", what happened in the County
Court House even surprised John. The "system" backed off and John was
allowed to carry a sign inside. WHY?????

The "system" is made up of mostly good people (just like the people reading
this message). Initially the Sheriff Deputies and Court Officials just saw
John as a "protester", as an "object" and treated him as such. His
persistance and pleasant manner when being arrested/jailed caused them
to reconsider. After a few arrests John was on "friendly" terms with police
staff who grew to admire his method and could appreciate his "cause".

Unfortunately, at present, there has been very limited media attention --
this is important for obvious reasons. When that attention does come and
more people are aware of what is happening, reform will come quickly!

3. Use of statistics/science to support reform.
It is not uncommon to see various statistics presented as justification for
Family Law Reform, e.g. 63% of children raised in single parent homes
grow up with this problem, OR, you get comparisons of the effectiveness of
men versus women as parents!!!!

Please give this some thought. This is about YOUR Civil Right to have a
relationship with your children -- we are not talking about a technical
issue of road construction or fresh water management.

Can you imagine "modern sociological studies" done before the Civil War on
the issue of whether the slaves should be freed? OBVIOUSLY, we really are
concerned about their physical well being and that of their children. To
release this great mass of people all at once would be fool hardy. Some of
them can't handle freedom, their children would starve, what are they going
to do for work? MAYBE a phased approach would be best, we'll release some
of the more educated ones (after they pass some tests) and take it slow with
the rest. (We would still have slavery now!)

Please REMEMBER our criminal law system, you are PRESUMED innocent
until proven guilty. Even if 80% of teenagers picked up by police are
eventually found guilty -- would you just want to remove the "formality" of
a trial and just find everyone guilty?

The entire goal of the Family Rights Act,
is the recognition and protection of our most basic right to associate with
our children. The slave had a right to immediate freedom, and so do we.

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