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Our Goal - A News Report as follows:

Syracuse, NY (Hanley Federal Building) - Today a group of mothers and fathers presented their petitions for a Family Rights Act at the offices of Congressman James Walsh, Senator Charles Schumer, and newly elected Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Their petitions took the unique form of pictures of their children, with a handwritten message asking for restoration of their Civil Right to be a parent.

A few of the group members then spent some time quietly walking in the halls outside of the offices of each of the members of Congress, 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 [they were arrested and released]. 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..."  The other members of Congress had acknowledged the issue, but just hadn't seen enough public demand for reform.

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 the Representatives as a "bad people" 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 his sensitivity to their cause. They are hoping for 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 first see Federal Civil Rights action and failing that, Congressional action to amend the US Constitution to formally recognize this right.