This was a change in approach brought on by
events of the last few
weeks. In John's words:
Earlier this year I had tried to streamline the amount of legal
processing for my arrests. But events in September showed me that
authorities (Senator Clinton's staff and the US Attorney's office)
did NOT want arrests to occur; however, they also did not want me to
be allowed to proceed. This resulted in the use of physical force to
prevent my access to the building and dedicating two members of
security staff to block my access to the building.
I was quite surprised by this. In a trial I add last November,
Federal Magistrate DiBianco had found me NOT guilty on two arrests
which occurred in the lobby of the building. Security staff had
arrested me based on my 'intent' to go to the 14th floor of the
building and walk outside the offices of Senator Clinton.
Before an appearance a few weeks ago I had written both the
Magistrate and the US Attorney's office regarding this conduct -
there was no response. Even during the Court appearance the Judge did
not seem concerned and suggested I might file a 'civil suit' to
address my concerns. I have many times drawn analogies to the Black
Civil Rights movement and I could recall incidents in which police
would not arrest a Black person attempting to sit in the front of the
bus - they would just throw them off and let the bus go on ...
After some thought and discussion, it seemed that making officials
use 'force' to 'process' me through the system might be appropriate.
I found the very idea that our government would just 'push away' a
peaceful parent unacceptable. Like many of you, I was 'rolled over'
by the Court proceedings and power of authorities in Family Court.
They did not have to respond to my written concerns. I had no rights.
I also remembered the incident with the Secret Service from earlier
this year. How many of us have seen the power of 'false accusations'
at work in Family Court proceedings? You don't have to prove
anything - the damage is done by just the accusation.
PLEASE - this action is not meant as a demonstration of 'contempt' or
'disrespect' for the officials involved. I have gotten to know them
and they are all good people, but I do not agree with the actions
they have taken (and at the same time I also acknowledge that if I
was 'in their shoes' I might have done the same thing).
HELP - our goal is a meeting between parents and Senator Clinton
regarding the need for reform. Your calls and letters have made a
difference. If you have the time, please let officials know how you
feel (complete contact info below my signature below).
Lastly, I'd like to share a message from Robert Brothers
(firstname.lastname@example.org), his frank remarks (which are views many people
may share) may make some things clear:
> John, I don't know what to make of the lack of support you're
> getting. I suppose, though, I should speak to my own previous
> indifference. I saw your site and newsletter, and the tone of
> seemingly naive passivity mixed with a little religion made me
> wince. I like to think of myself as someone of a more
> "revolutionary" bent--not violent, by any means, but with a taste
> for a hearty dose of active agitation at least. Like I said, I
> don't think that much of Gandhi--after all, unlike his followers,
> HE didn't get killed and, in spite of his Great Man status, he
> seemed to be fine with his country's caste system. "Untouchables"
> dying in the street . . . and it's still happening today--while
> Gandhi is venerated as an immortal. So I seem to have a
> temperament different from yours and some serious issues with
Thanks for the frank comments. I think you reflect what a lot of
folks think and it is difficult to get passed some preconceptions. As
I have said myself, I don't know what I would do if I heard of
someone I didn't know personally doing this stuff. Regarding Gandhi,
you may be giving him a bum 'rap, especially on the untouchables --
that actually bothered him a LOT and he had them live with him. On
our bio page we have an excellent book on his life,
> But I haven't been to jail for my beliefs, John. In spite of my
> full recognition of the problem, I have not put my ass on the line
> like that. I don't know anybody in the "revolutionary" camp who
> has, either. And that is no small thing. If "revolutionaries" are
> unwilling to face jail, it has to make you wonder just how real we
Yes, that is the crux of the matter and what we have to face. If we
think it is such a GREAT right to see your kids -- where is the
> You, on the other hand, have gone over and over again. And that is
> VERY real. I owe you my support. There is no moral way around the
> recognition of that. I think we all owe you support, but I leave
> that to the this cyber assembly of interested parties.
> Let me know whenever I might be of help.
> Somebody should be there.
Again, thanks for the kind words and I do this because I
'have' to. Regarding the money for someone else, I don't think that
is necesary. Really, just the nice messages mean a lot and especially
the folks who have taken the time to call/write the Senator.
Obviously this would be good story for the 'media' and it
could break at any time (I just hope the story 'breaks' before I do!).
If it does get media coverage, I think we do get the meeting with the
Senator -- and once people see that NonViolent Action 'works' -- it
may even become a trendy thing to do!
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211) http://www.AKidsRight.Org/
Please send a fax or make a phone call to the Senator's offices both
in Washington and Syracuse. They are paying attention to what is
going on here. The Senator is a member of the Senate Subcommittee on
Children and Families.
You don't have to be a resident of New York to call her offices.
Syracuse Local rep, Cathy Calhoun,
tel: 315-448-0470, fax: 315-448-0476
Washington Scheduling Office, Lona Valmoro (Senior Advisor to the Senator),
tel: 202-224-4451, fax: 202-228-0121
Most of all, you don't have to express anger. Just let her staff know
that you care about Civil Rights protection for families and the
Senator should meet with parent's groups regarding the need for
National reform... Let them know being a parent is one of our
GREATEST rights. It needs official recognition and protection.
If you take the time to send a fax, try to send copies to the Judge
and US Attorney (also email us a copy or tell us about your phone
conversation). Let them know you care.
Honorable Gustav J. DiBianco
US Magistrate Judge
RE: United States v. Murtari
P.O. Box 7396
Syracuse, NY 13261-7396
US Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby
RE: United States v. Murtari
Hanley Federal Building, Room 900
100 S. Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY 13261