Syracuse Update - Your help is welcome!
Good People & Friends,
I wanted to share an update on events at the Syracuse Federal Building and also make a request for help. This may sound surprising, but I have had about 6-8 different people express an interest in joining me and undergoing arrest, spending a night in jail. So far, I have managed to talk every one of them out of it (it hasn't been very hard!).
For the most part I can tell from their original message that they won't make it. The messages are usually full of anger toward someone and they want the world to know how wrongfully they have been treated (and really, I don't deny the reality of what they say). But the anger (or desire for revenge) is a problem. It's funny, this list has been around for years now. We keep saying the secret of success is a simple message ("I love my child. I want to be an equal parent. This is my Civil Right") - but people just don't seem to be interested in that.
I ask them to review our Checklist for NonViolent Action, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/checklist.htm and I tell them there might be cameras there, maybe an in-jail TV interview. But for sure they can expect a Police Officer who will tell them they can expect a year in jail for what they are doing - and how would they like that? So far, no takers!
I'm a former Military Officer (a graduate of the US Air Force Academy) and let me tell you a hard truth. Anger and a desire for revenge are poor motivation for soldiers in a difficult military campaign. You would be surprised how quickly anger disappears when you find your own life is in danger! You've got to be FOR something. Love of Country, the family back home, or simply just the guy next to you.
MOTHERS & FATHERS ----------------- This message if for you if first & foremost, you love your children and also the children of others. This message if for you if you have a strong Faith in a loving God. If you understand it is the readiness to make personal Sacrifice which always has value - not the net result. If you can appreciate your own faults and failings as well as those of your former spouse?
With all sincerity I can say we are on the dawn of new Civil Rights movement. The participation of just a few more people will bring the media coverage. Will force the Senators to answer the question, "Shouldn't we better protect the Civil Rights of Families?"
But let me share a SECRET, something I didn't even realize till a short while ago. Unlike the loss of control I felt in my life when the "system" stepped in, I am now in "control". A lot of the anger I used to feel toward the people that had destroyed my son's life (well intentioned or not), is mostly gone. My Faith has deepened. I still go through all the indignities of being an NCP (Non Custodial Parent), struggling to talk to my child on the phone, scheduling vacation time together, etc... - but now I am doing something about it. The absolute most I can, by willingly sacrificing my freedom as a demonstration of my Love.
When the handcuffs go on, I am liberated. My future is in the hands of other good people, and most importantly, in the hands of God. It is a good feeling.
BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW, I can really use your help. If I continue to be the only one and keep bothering the "system." I could eventually end up with the year in jail, and I really don't want that to happen! The stakes are very, very high. I could lose much contact with my son, my business, my home, and that is a tall order. I am an only child and have an 85 year old mother who lives alone. It's tough on her, but she understands.
I am humbled by the fact that I do not know if I would respond to this type of request a few years ago. We all have so many things going on in our lives. But this is more than a one person job and I know that more people are out there -- who are moving toward making the "leap of Faith."
We do have a new picture at the site of NonViolent Action in "action", contributed by Don Harting, a free lance writer, check http://www.AKidsRight.Org/events.htm
John Murtari (jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org) More details below.
Well, I have been there twice, charged with trespass twice, spent a night in jail twice, and been released the next day twice. I am fortunate to have an assigned counsel who is dynamic, not afraid to raise Constitutional issues, and effective (about a year ago he got over a dozen charges against me dismissed for the very same activity). His name is Charles Keller, and he is in charge of the Criminal Division for a local Legal Aid society.
Another Mom & Dad were there during the first arrest, Yvonne Cook and Richard Eichinger. I was very thankful for them driving all the way from Indiana - it let the officials know that this person is not alone. Last week I didn't have any company, and today (Monday the 29th), I don't know of anyone coming. I may be stuck in jail for a while this time if they set bail (as a policy I refuse to make bail). After the last arrest the Judge issues an "Order of Protection" for the building (similar to what happened before). I am only allowed there for official business - and of course I am there to quietly petition our Representative for reform - and I can't think of a more important official reason to be there.
I think you all know that before this approach can be effective in getting Senator Schumer, Senator Clinton, and Congressman Walsh to take note - more people have to get involved. After all we have done and the meetings we have had in the past, ONLY Congressman Walsh has given us the courtesy of a reply. The others have just been silent. We have there contact information at the web site (above) - take the time to make a quick phone call.
If you wish to join directly in the effort, just send me a message at jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org.
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