34 Franklin St.
Lyons, NY 14489
July 31, 2003
Honorable Gustav J. DiBianco
US Magistrate Judge
RE: United States v. Murtari (03-M-298 (GJD))
P.O. Box 7396
Syracuse, NY 13261-7396
Dear Judge DiBianco:
I am enclosing a copy of a Notice of Motion and Affidavit regarding the matter pending before your Court. I realize your deadline was August 18th, but I wanted to submit it as soon as possible to hopefully avoid more problems. I have tried not to repeat the exhibits attached to the earlier motions. The ‘new’ material is at the beginning of the motion and supporting affidavit.
I do plan on returning to the building on Monday, August 4th. I hope the Court will understand this is not something I ‘enjoy’ and I mean no disrespect. This is not an attempt to show others you can ‘flaunt’ the rules or ignore a Judge (nor do I present it that way to others). I am so thankful to have had the summer time with my Son and my mother in good health. I greatly appreciate the forbearance both you and Mr. Southwick have shown in the prosecution of this matter.
In brief words I can only ask the Court to adjudicate a ‘truce’ between two parties that are both compelled in opposite directions. Mr. Southwick is a good man and he is compelled to prosecute me to the fullest extent of his abilities as a US Attorney (and he has done a good job) – I could not expect otherwise. I have not tried to turn the Court into a ‘political forum’, but I wish to take a moment to explain the forces that might also compel a good parent and citizen to take action as I have.
Since my divorce I have made a strong personal commitment to the reform of Family Law. One of the simplest questions I face is ‘what makes a civil right?’ Do they come from our Constitution or from a Court decision? Part of the answer is clear: When we talk about essential civil rights (the right to life and liberty, freedom of religion) – they are all items for which people in the past were willing to sacrifice. Willing to put the rest of their life ‘on hold’ on the basis of what they believed. Their sacrifice affirmed the value of the ‘right.’ Just as in our Declaration of Independence, ‘We hold these truths to be self evident…’ – and these words took on substance because people were willing to sacrifice.
Presently, more people are also beginning to see that the ‘right’ to nurture your own child is valuable (how often we don’t appreciate something until it is gone?). I am a member of many mailing lists on the Internet, I see the news – and I’m disturbed by the trend to violence as a force for social change. Some even believe that explosions, suicides, or murders will bring the media coverage and public attention necessary to bring about Family Law reform?
This is something I reject strongly. The group AKidsRight.Org was formed based on strong historical lessons from the past. Most recently we draw examples from the efforts of Gandhi and Martin Luther King in bringing deep rooted social change where many thought impossible. Their method was ‘NonViolent Action’ and it may be an approach we all need to remember.
When I began my actions several years ago (when my son was relocated out West), I felt a strong commitment to use the same approach. I am certainly no Gandhi or King, the risk of ‘jail’ is nothing compared to some of the threats they and their followers faced. The web site is an ‘experimental log’ of what happened. The method calls for sacrifice and I certainly needed to show the method ‘works’ – even in the 21st century!
=============================== NonViolent Action – What is it?
The groups holds up the ideal that people willing to demonstrate: Faith, Love, and Personal Sacrifice can be the means of effective social change. More specifically, that Parents can promote reform by demonstrating:
1) Faith in a loving God,
2) Love for their children, former spouses, and other “brothers and sisters”, and
3) Willingness to make Personal Sacrifice,
NonViolent Action allows you to demonstrate through “unambiguous physical action” the depth of your Faith and belief in your “cause.” It is a positive demonstration of love given at sometimes tremendous personal cost. ( http://www.AKidsRight.Org/ )
Many people are aware of the activity in Syracuse and most are frankly skeptical that it will do any good, ‘You can’t fight city hall…It’s no use beating your head against a wall…’ I made a commitment to see the process through before I started – but this is not a blind path. So far I have been pleasantly surprised by how things have gone. It is a lesson many can learn from.
Yes, I am frightened every time I walk into the building and what may happen and will I be going home tonight? But I have never felt this is a waste. My summer with Domenic certainly shows me the effort must continue.
I hope the preceding helps you understand what ‘compels’ me to action (and NO, my goal is not to become a martyr for some cause). No one more than I would like to wait for the Appeal process to be completed. It would certainly make it a lot easier. But my goal in coming into the Federal Building, was NOT to gain the right to walk peacefully around the halls. The goal was to start a dialog with our US Senator, Ms. Clinton, about Family Law reform so that the needless misery caused by our present system can be stopped. That cannot wait. Perhaps this willingness to sacrifice, will help Senator Clinton begin to see the issue as important.
I walked for many weeks in the building without any problems. I hope that may continue.
CC: Asst. US Attorney Southwick
Hanley Federal Building, Room 900
100 S. Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY 13261
CC: Senator Hillary R. Clinton (Syracuse & D.C. Offices)