Letter to Judge Townes – Lift protective order.

       8 Jan 2000

Dear Judge Townes:

I had sent you a letter right after Christmas describing my goals in peacefully demonstrating at the Federal Building. Last week it appeared Congressman Walsh, the Building Manager, and I had come to a “compromise” of sorts – It was okay for me to continue my efforts on the 13th floor of the building (location of Congressman Walsh’s offices).

Last Thursday, Jan 6th, I went to the Federal Building and was allowed to “walk” for two hours on that floor while carrying a picture of Domenic and I. The next day, Jan 7th, I returned to the building to continue – and barely had time to stop by the restroom when I was informed by Federal Officer Berwald that he had received an Order of Protection signed by you that morning prohibiting me from entering the building – I was under arrest. I had not even seen the order until he showed it to me. I was arraigned Saturday by Judge Young and released again.

Your honor – I would like to see the order withdrawn so my actions can continue. I understand this can take some time. What I am about to ask for, I understand I don’t have a right to receive: But if you can, please withdraw the order immediately (I am sending a copy of this letter to the other people involved). While I cannot promise that in the future I may not try the same tactic on another floor of the building – I certainly can promise all my efforts will be peaceful and done with respect for others.

On Tuesday (Jan 11th) I will be returning to the Federal Building to resume my “walk” upstairs as before. I understand I should wait for the order to be lifted in normal “due process.” Certainly it is not my goal to make extra work for the both the Federal Police Officers and the City Police Officers that are called to respond. Please understand my concern is for my child – for both of us each extra day apart is an eternity (not to mention the many other mothers & fathers who suffer with less than an equal relationship with their kids).

Sincerely yours,

John Murtari

CC: Judge Thomas Higgins, City Court
CC: Daniel Fitzpatrick, District Attorney for Onondaga County
CC: Building Manager, Hanley Federal Building
CC: Charles Keller, Esq., Hiscock Legal Aid (assigned counsel).