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July 29th - NonViolent Action and meeting with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 11:34:34 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

I'm composing this message early in the morning, the birds are
singing, my son is sleeping in the next room (we're half way through a
6 week summer vacation together), and the sheep are grazing in the
fields nearby.  The place is Mt. Saviour Monastery
( and I have come for retreat here for over
15 years.  You won't hear any TV or radio or even see a newspaper -
just an ability to spend quality time with yourself and your creator.

On July 29th a significant NonViolent Action is planned outside the
offices of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton from New York. The goals are
to arrange a personal meeting with her and parents deprived of their
children and to have her communicate a public position on the need for
better protection of the civil rights of parents & children. This
message contains details. I hope many of you will be able to take a
role in an event with one simple goal - to convince a Member of
Congress it is in their best political interest to take a public stand
and call for Congressional hearings into the need for a Family Rights
Act which will protect the parent/child bond from government
interference. http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionc_syr

I'm anxious to see Family Law reform happen quickly and with "no
nonsense."  I love my son Domenic (age 9) and he loves me, but what
has happened to us both (and many of you) in our Court system has been
a disaster and an indignity. We have been treated not as people, but
as paper work to be processed.  It is the most gut wrenching
experience I have ever been through (and I am an Air Force Academy
graduate and former Air Force pilot).  I count myself quite fortunate
as I know many of you have either been cutoff from your children - or
the worst horror of all, have children who just don't love you

Many of us are frustrated that our political system does not work if
you don't have "money" or that our leaders just don't care.  That
could not be farther from the truth.  In my meetings with
Congressional staff I have met some great people, who were touched by
our stories and shared our feelings about the problems in the system -
but it was also just another issue for them.  They weren't going to
run into their Senator's office and say, "stop what else you are
doing, and please call for hearings into reform...."  Why?  I think we
can all remember a time (before the system took our children) where we
had heard stories about awful divorces, etc....  What was our
response?  Unfortunately, until the "chicken came home to roost" - we
just didn't appreciate how bad it was.  Now, we need to demonstrate to
these Members of Congress by our actions - how really bad the system
is and how very important it is for them to stop what they are doing
and act.

The purpose of the group (AKidsRight.Org) has been to promote the use
of NonViolent Action. A way to gain favorable public and media
attention in our efforts to achieve meaningful Family Law reform.  Can
people with a strong sense of: 
* Faith in a living God (who has the power to act), 
* Love for their children (and for all other people), 
* and a willingness to make personal sacrifice (to demonstrate the depth
of their beliefs),

change the course of history?  Can such moral ideals be converted into
pragmatic action that will help bring political change?  The site
documents the success of past actions and hopes to provide a blueprint
by example of what individuals can do now.

After the military I had considered a vocation to the Catholic
priesthood (it was a great experience, but my desire for family was
too strong).  While finishing a minor in philosophy I can remember the
library at Lemoyne College - stack after stack of shelves devoted to
Christianity.  Why?  Because Jesus of Nazareth didn't just talk about
love and faith and God - he didn't "leave town" when he had the
chance, but he mounted the cross.  More than anything that sacrifice
demonstrated the depth of his feelings. While this is a group based on
Faith, not just for Christians, but all people of Faith - certainly
one of our strongest examples of NonViolent Action comes from Gandhi,
a Hindu of India. http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm

I believe the most important contribution the site makes is
demonstration.  We are all so busy and have so little time (very few
people will read this entire message) - but a "news event" captures
our attention and seeing concrete action is always easier to
understand than theory.  I have been arrested over 20 times and
charged with a variety of criminal offenses. I have never paid bail
and have always ignored any Judges order to cease in my conduct.  What
was so disturbing about my conduct - attempting to quietly walk the
halls of public buildings (a County Courthouse and a US Federal
Building) with a smile on my face and carrying a picture of my child
(and others) in my hands. What is surprising was that all the charges
were dismissed, I have no criminal record. But what is most surprising
is the effect it had on the people. I earned the admiration of people
who at first seemed hostile.  I was amazed that Sheriffs' deputies
would shake my hand and say, "John, I respect you for what you are
doing and your methods.  It is obvious you love your son very much..."

What does protection from government interference mean?  At present
each of the 50 states has developed their own complex criminal law and
procedures, but no matter where you are you have a:

* Right to representation by Counsel.
* Strong presumption of innocence.
* Protection of a Jury.

These are rights guaranteed under the US Constitution, but more
importantly, we should all understand they are inherit rights
belonging to free people.  The Constitution or Supreme Court did not
GIVE us these rights - they just recognized our God given right to be
free.  In a very similar manner, due to the explosion of well
intentioned Family Law in the last 40 years, we now need to recognize
similar protections need to be in place for probably our most valued
human liberty - the right to nurture and raise our very own children.

Before the government can help a former spouse (via
divorce/separation) or social services (via child abuse allegations)
can presume to reduce your contact with your child or use their
determination of "best interests of the child" - before they can
interfere -- they simply need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,
while giving you counsel and the protection of a Jury, that you are a
demonstrated serious threat to the safety of your children.  There is
a draft of these ideas in a Family Rights Act that can be reviewed at
http://www.AKidsRight.Org/act.htm.  Your thoughts and feedback are

If you want to make probably the strongest statement possible for how
much you love your children and how badly the system needs to change,
please join us and me on July 29th.  For more details please check the
web site, http://www.AKidsRIght.Org/actionc_syr

My son leaves me again on July 18th, it will be a miserable day for
both of us - but 11 days later I look forward to demonstrating that
Faith, Love, and personal Sacrifice can make a difference.  I know
many of you are skeptical, what can just a few people do to change
this entrenched system of ours?  At times it seems out of place in 
our modern times, but there was a time when many firmly believed 
that, "with God, all things are possible."

John Murtari

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