Senator Clinton News Release July 2002

Parents use “NonViolent Action” outside office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton


Syracuse, NY (Hanley Federal Building) – On Monday, July 29th, a small group of mothers and fathers will try to encourage Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to take a personal interest in their search for National Family Law reform. After attempts spanning over a year involving many letters and faxes — they are upset that no real dialog has taken place. Their only reply from the Senator was a simple form letter. A personal meeting with the Senator is their goal.

A few of the group members plan to spend some time quietly walking in the hall outside of her office, not making any noise, but simply carrying a picture of their children. This was described as the use of NonViolent Action to demonstrate their willingness to make sacrifice our of their love for family. This has resulted in over 18 arrests in the past, but all those charges were dismissed by both Syracuse City and US District Court Judges. A spokesperson for the group expressed frustration that even after several letters and a meeting with staff, Senator Clinton had refused to acknowledge their plight and the need for Federal protection of parents and families. One person stated, “her staff won’t even talk to us about civil rights protection for parents…”

While the group acknowledges their small size they feel they speak for millions of parents and children across the nation who’s lives have been affected by the present system. “Everyone knows someone hurt, but the ‘monster’ is so big, everyone feels helpless when it comes to positive change. We pray that our example will provide a model for a grass roots effort for reform. That even a single good person, acting with sincere conviction, can be a catalyst for change.”

In contrast to the bitterness and anger which is normally associated with protest efforts and family issues — these people expressed a positive attitude. The spokesperson was careful to note they were NOT there to condemn Senator Clinton as a “bad person” or as someone who doesn’t care about family or children’s issues; however, as a natural part of the political process they were there to show their concern over the issue and to increase her sensitivity to their cause. Risking arrest and jail is a tremendous sacrifice for anyone and their hope is that public pressure will cause Senator Clinton, and then other Members of Congress, to take time to meet with concerned parents.

They would like Congressional Hearings into Family Law reform so that the many parents affected by the present patchwork of laws across the nation will have a chance to tell their stories. The group wants to see strong protection to the parent/child bond. Recognition of their right to an equal relationship with their children, and the protection of a Jury when that relationship is threatened by either divorce, separation, or the action of child protective services. They seek Federal Civil Rights action to recognize these protections across the country.

For more information: contact: John Murtari, a group coordinator, at (office: 315-635-1968,x-211)(cell: 315-372-4830). Background information at the web site: http://www.AKidsRIght.Org/