(AKidsRight.Org) Meeting Senator Clinton - Federal Court results / effort continues

Submitted by Editor on Fri, 03/09/2004 - 01:27

Good People & People of Faith,
This is a 'quick' message to keep you updated on what has happened this week at the Syracuse Federal Building. Efforts continue to get a meeting with group members and Senator Hillary R. Clinton. I had a conference with the Judge and prosecutor yesterday in US District Court and the results, while disappointing, have served to make future direction clear (although the road appears very rocky!). The two big items were: No stipulation, but a trial on pending charges & the Judge said it was 'all right' for security to push me away from thebuilding. For full background and details, see:


John Murtari
September 2, 2004
This is a message from the AKidsRight.Org mailing list.

No Stipulation
The Judge had a change of opinion regarding the 'stipulation' that was going to resolve the 4 pending charges without need for trial. He told me and the US Attorney he would not accept our agreement (to use the previous trial transcript as a statement of the facts). Then, for about the next 30 minutes, he proposed some solutions and was 'encouraging' me to either plead "guilty" or "nolo contendere" (no contest) to the charges -- that would allow for a quick decision and sentencing.

We have a lot of mothers and fathers in the group that have written and told me how they plead 'guilty' to things they didn't do -- because of pressure and promises from Judges, lawyers, and social workers. Being a 'lie', it is never the right thing -- but it happens, we are just human. Well, yesterday, I really felt the squeeze.

As the Judge was talking about rejecting the stipulation I felt my stomach dropping. The way I (You) used to feel in Family Court when you get the Judge's decision, and even before you get all the details, you know you 'lost' -- you are not seeing your kids as you hoped!

All I could think was "When am I going to see Domenic?" My son lives out West and I can't buy plane tickets to get my weekend 'visit' until this sentence was served. I had been hoping to get a verdict and sentence and hopefully be able to see him by October.

For a long moment I almost wanted to say 'guilty' just to get it over with so that I could see Dom as soon as possible, but I did not -- and my thanks to the many of you who shared your experiences. How easy it is to forget how wrong a 'lie' is, what a denial of Faith (even though everybody does it!). An old explanation - a 'lie' is a false attempt to participate in the Act of Creation. By the power of a word, to bring substance from void. To make 'be', something that 'was not'.

Finally, the Judge set a trial date of September 21st.

Okay to 'push'

I was glad to have the opportunity to raise the issue of being 'pushed' out of the Building by security and being 'blocked' from entering. I had written a letter earlier with more details:

I told the Judge the conduct was inappropriate. That this was a Civil Right's issue and it was an indignity for authorities to push someone away when they are trying to peacefully petition their Member of Congress... He did not seem disturbed and said he would not interfere while they are doing their duties -- that maybe this was something for a 'civil action'.

Again, I was reminded of those of you who had your rights trampled in the system. Sometimes through out-right fraud -- but who has the money to hire a lawyer to pursue justice when facing the power of government?

NonViolent Action

Tomorrow, Sep 2nd, at about 2pm I'll be going back to the Federal Building and again 'press' for entry even it we end up in a 'dance' blocking both doors to the building. It is an uncomfortable thought. It will provide another reason for arrest and perhaps even an extended detension before trail (although I still have a 'right' to speedy trial if detained). In some ways I may be doing exactly what they want -- shifting the focus from the hallway outside Senator Clinton's office. It will also be what will show my (our) conviction that being separated from the children we love is a GREAT wrong, and worthy of GREAT sacrifice to restore.

Being a former Air Force pilot, I never thought I would learn anything from an Army Sergeant -- but I heard part of a conversation a few days ago as I was outside the building that really stuck with me.

As he was walking into the building, I heard him say to a companion, "There are only two things in life worth fighting for -- your Country and your Family."

I thought about 'fighting' and the images most of us think about: weapons, combat, injuries, death -- personal sacrifice. I don't know about you, but I'm a bit glad I'm not in the military right now. I have a friend who is expecting rotation back to Iraq and the knowledge that at any time as he is passing down a road -- a bomb could explode and he could be killed or maimed (just that easy!).

What about us here as parents? I certainly DO NOT think any kind of weapons are need for Family Law reform. It is not that kind of 'fight'. But it will require a real struggle and real sacrifice. That is what NonViolent Action is about.

If we really think this is a GREAT Civil Right, we are not exempt from sacrifice as parents. Sometimes what we will do will have great external effect, sometimes it will be meaningless, and sometime we'll be hurt by "friendly fire." I can't help but think of the NFL player Pat Tillman, gave up millions to be a 'grunt' and killed by one of our own soldiers in Afghanistan. Did that change the value of his sacrifice? No.

Current Events

Will I be doing the 'right' thing tomorrow and in the future? God only knows. It is especially frightening when I find myself alone there (I want to thank many of you who wrote the Senator. I think it made a difference and her contact info is at the web site, above). But in the last two weeks ZERO people have stopped by the Federal Building to participate or even lend a word of support. Yesterday I hoped some folks would come by to talk and perhaps be at the Court session. ZERO.

Tomorrow what do I expect? Someone. I always do. Am I 'mad' at folks for not showing up -- of course not. I realize how busy everyone is. We all see how much stuff comes across the Internet. I have seen pleas for help that I have ignored (you can only do so much). But I've also got Faith there are some good folks out there (better than me) and that any day now, someone will come. Does having ZERO company relieve me of my obligation to act? No.

This is the end of the message. I have some nice words below from Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. I think you'll like them and maybe someday we will turn these words into ACTION. When we do, we will have our GREAT right recognized.

Oh, and of course I feel 'good' about tomorrow. It is another chance to demonstrate the GREAT love I have for my child... Can anything 'bad/evil' happen to me as a result of that -- it is inconceivable.

John Murtari
Coordinator AKidsRight.Org
"A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)


Professor Gilburt Murray of Oxford: "Be careful in dealing with a man who cares nothing for sensual pleasures, nothing for comfort or praise or promotion, but is simply determined to do what he believes to be right. He is a dangerous and uncomfortable enemy because his body, which you can always conquer, gives so little purchase over his soul."


Martin Luther King: "We are American citizens, and we are determined to acquire or citizenship to the fullness of its meaning . . . We are here because we are determined to get the situation corrected . .(he reviewed how blacks were treated by the system) . . But here comes a time when people get tired. We are here this evening to say to those who have mistreated us so long what we are tired -- tired of being segregated and humiliated; tired of being kicked about by the brutal feet of oppression.

We have no alternative but to protest . . . we come here tonight to be saved, to be saved from patience that makes us patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom & justice . . (he spoke of the threats of division and apathy to the movement) . I want to say that in all of our actions we must stick together. Unity is the great need of the hour, and if we are united we can get many of the things that we not only desire, but which we justly deserve.

If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong . . .If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a Utopian dreamer who never cam down to earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie.

In our protest there will be no cross burnings. No white person will be taken from their home by a hooded Negro mob and brutally murdered. There will be no threats and intimidation. We will be guided by the highest principles of law and order . . . our actions must be guided by the deepest principles of our Christian faith. Love must be our regulating ideal. . . .

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that use you. If we fail to do this our protest will end up as a meaningless drama on the stage of history, and its memory will be shrouded with the ugly garments of shame. . . (when the history books are written) . . . There lived a race of people, of black people, of people who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights. And thereby they injected a new meaning into the veins of history and civilization.


Mahatma Gandhi: "He who is brooding over result often loses nerve in the performance of duty. He becomes impatient and then gives vent to anger . . . he jumps from action to action, never remaining faithful to any. He who broods over results . . . is every distracted, he says good-bye to all scruples, everything is right in his estimation and he therefore resorts to means fair & foul to attain his end. Not focusing on "results" gives one the inner peace to achieve final goals, this is renunciation."

Gandhi disliked the words and idea of "passive resistance". The term Satyagraha, is a combination of satya (truth-love) and agraha(firmness/force). It is the "the vindication of truth not by infliction of suffering on the opponent but on one's self ." Satyagraha is peaceful, opponents must be converted by a demonstration of purity, humility, and honesty. They are to be converted -- not annihilated. Violence and anger create bitterness in the victim, and brutality in the attacker.

Appealing to the common sense and morality of his adversary was key. "It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored by humiliation of their fellow human beings." Satyagraha assumes there is a constant dialogue between the opponents with a view to ultimate reconciliation. Insults, threats, and propaganda only serve to obstruct the goal.


Henry David Thoreau: "Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. . .

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man in also a prison.

. . . But the rich man . . . is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects . . . Thus his moralground is taken from under his feet. . .

When I converse with the freest of my neighbors, I perceive that, whatever they may say about the magnitude and seriousness of the question . . . the long and the short of the matter is . . . they dread the consequences of disobedience to their property and families . . . If I deny the authority of the State when it presents it tax-bill, it will soon take and waste all my property, and so harass me and my children without end. This is hard . . .

Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength."


St. Francis of Assisi: Francis was visible at the edge of the square, hopping, dancing, his robe was tucked up. "Come one, come all!" he was calling. "Come, brothers to hear the new madness!"

Behind him ran a hoard of laughing children, chasing him and throwing stones . . . He, calm and laughing, turned from time to time, held out his arms to the children, and shouted, "Whoever throws one stone at me, may he be once blessed by God; whoever throws two stones at me, may he be twice blessed by God; whoever throws three stones at me, may he be thrice blessed by God" -- whereupon a continuous stream of stones rained down upon him.

Blood was flowing now from his forehead and chin . . . He was jumping and dancing rapturously, all covered with blood. "Hear, brothers," he sang, "hear the new madness!" . . .

"Tell us, tell us, tell us!" came from every side, accompanied by a chorus of guffaws.

Francis mounted the steps of the temple, opened his arms to the jeering crowd and screamed: "Love! Love! Love!" Then he began to run from one end of the square to the other, jumping, dancing, shouting ....

"Peace be unto you!" he said to each person who approached. "Peace be unto you!" When a great number had assembled and the square was full he spread his arms. "Peace," he shouted, "peace be unto your hearts, your houses, your enemies. Peace be to the world! The kingdom of heaven is at hand!"


Above from: http://www.AKidsRight.Org/civil_back.htm

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