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Conference & NonViolent Action Planning

Federal Building, Syracuse, NY 
Jan 2002 - Last update: 06/11/08

This page contains both planning and registration information for  a  ongoing peaceful action which will call for Congressional hearings into Civil Rights legislation to protect the parent/child relationship.    

 Goal - Family Law Reform

Draw favorable public and media attention to the need for Federal Civil Rights protection of the parent/child bond.  Also provide an opportunity for many different Family Rights group to gather together for a shared goal. Our first step will be a call for Congressional Hearings into reform and development of a Family Rights Act.  Specifically:

  • Presumption of equal physical/legal custody in separation/divorce.
  • Protection of a Jury when the parent/child relationship is threatened by a spouse or child "protective" services.
  • Right to representation by Counsel.
  • Right to speedy trial and cross examination of all witnesses.

Our answer to the question, "Why are you doing this?"  We are parents who LOVE our children and want to be restored to an equal relationship.   We need Federal protection of our Civil Rights and want Congressional hearings into reform.

We won't be there in anger, or to "barbecue" our legislators. We will be there to:

  • Show the strong love we have for our children. 
  • Plead for their sponsorship of Family Rights legislation. 
  • Demonstrate our willingness to sacrifice.

To get a real Family Rights Act started in Congress, we need a House and Senate Sponsor to introduce the bill. In that building, we have one member of the House, Congressman James Walsh (R) and Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rhodam Clinton.

There are now several groups recognizing parenting as an "inalienable" right, deserving our highest protections. We encourage you to visit their sites, read the draft legislation.  We all have something we can be "for" now!

You can check the Legislative action area of our site, (http://www.AKidsRight.Org/actionb_syr), for details. We have made several efforts and are being ignored. Congressman Walsh was kind enough to say he didn't believe parents had any Federally protected rights to that children (that was for your state legislature to decide!). The two Senators have simply refused to say anything or return phone calls (it's hard to believe they think they can ignore us and we will just go away). Remember, they are good people. They have large staffs, maybe they don't even know what's going on, or think we are just a few 'cranks.'

This is the POLITICAL PROCESS, it is our duty to show them how much we care about our position. That the consideration of serious Family Law Reform is the single, most important issue that should occupy their time. To convince them it is in their best interest to sponsor reform OR to be fairly labelled a Senator who doesn't think Parents have a Constitutionally protected right to be with their own children.


As we all know, news coverage for an event is hard to get. But when your event is outside the offices of elected officials it becomes a dual-edged sword. There is a chance five parents could be arrested outside Senator Clinton's offices, and no one notices. There is also a chance (which the official must consider), is that a news source will carry the story -- and what a story it must be!

Not one of angry parents spouting off against the corrupt system -- but one of loving parents, respectful, faith filled people, that were trying to convince their Senator to at least talk to them!

Politicians much prefer groups protest "outside" or "in general." Like any of us, they wouldn't want to be the specific target of such an action that would force them to take a public position. A few months ago some groups had a large effort to get parents to join hands for a "Bridge across America." Think how much more effective it would have been to target a few legislators and form a Bridge around the Office of Senator X" -- we'd like them to make a public statement in support of reform!

Those of you who have done "lobbying" have heard the standard answers, "Gee, the Senator feels your pain, but he doesn't sit on the subcommittee that would be responsible for a bill like that. I can give you a list of those members, much better if you contact one of them. Bye, bye!"

We have to be firm and acknowledge all that, but know that "The Senator still has the power to introduce the bill" and the "Senator, if he feels strongly about it, can talk to colleagues on the committee and convince them to support it. You see, we don't vote for those other people -- BUT WE DO VOTE FOR THE SENATOR. We have a Family Rights Act we would like her to introduce, we'd like to start a dialog with our Senator and get her help with making a good bill. Will she or won't she?"

United States Senator Hillary Rodham ClintonI

Hillary Rodham Clinton is the "family" person and if our movement were looking for someone to sponsor a Family Rights Act -- she is certainly the one. It is not to hard to believe that she probably intends to run for President in the future. After hearing a lot of other reviews, I actually went to the library and read her book "It Takes a Village" -- and you know what, it's not too bad. In all honestly, if I had read that book 9 years ago, I would have probably nodded my head when she talked about "moving quickly to terminate parental rights" when it's not in the best interest of the child. Probably many of you would have also -- until the system got you!

She includes many true stories in the book, and you may find a lot of irony there. All of us know the story of from President Bill Clinton, and how his Mom got into an abusive relationship with an alcoholic who beat her - until Bill finally stepped in as a growing man. Many of you know the enthusiasm of Law Guardians, Psychologists, and Social Workers -- if our 'modern' methods had only been available then:

"Mrs. Clinton, we're sorry, we are going to take your son Bill out of the home and put him in foster care. We have told you about this abusive relationship you are in with your new husband -- it's not a good environment for your child, you still foolishly persist in thinking you can change him. We don't think thats the best thing. We in the village are terminating your Parental Rights... Bye!"

Maybe she does have a point about the "village," but we need to help her see that the village is not a Judge, Psychologist, or Social Worker with too much authority. Before the government can impose it's will, it must convince a "village" of twelve jurors, twelve parents -- that something is SERIOUSLY wrong.

Method - NonViolent Action

NonViolent Action.  For all parent's who have been denied an equal relationship with their children. If you want to make a stronger statement and risk arrest in NonViolent Action. You can carry a picture of your children outside the offices of our Federal Representatives, who refuse to acknowledge that parents have a Constitutionally protected "Civil Right" to be with their children, John Murtari, a coordinator, is ready to join you. .Again, we are trying to keep a positive and courteous attitude at all times. These are good people that we are dealing with (certainly no worse than any of us are!). They may have trouble understanding our situations and goals. We will help them understand, NOT by insults, but by demonstrating OUR willingness to sacrifice for the sake of our children.

See this effort as an example that can be used by other parents as part of a "grass roots" effort across the nation.  We can all share lessons learned.

 When/Where -  Federal Building, Syracuse, New York

Hanley Federal Building, Syracuse, New York.   As part of his efforts John Murtari has already established the "right" to walk and carry a picture of his child inside the building.  We will try to extend this to more people.  We are there as parents to "petition our government" for change.  Can you help -- check here for details.

 Participants - signup to help in the ongoing Action

Parents can help in many ways with this action.  

Role Responsibilities/Notes
Walker Mothers & Fathers willing to peacefully carry a picture of their children inside the building and risk arrest.
Supporter People willing to come and just watch as bystanders and offer moral support to Walkers.
Spokesperson Someone who can be at the scene and by phone afterwards, to answer media questions.
Legal An attorney who can at least take care of arraignment and potential trial representation.
Fax Someone with PC fax software who could transmit News Releases to National and local media (hometown area of each Walker).
Financial Willing to make a pledge to offer financial support to the Walkers involved.  A fund for both legal and personal expenses will be established.
Any group which shares similar goals and can help in spreading the word among its membership.

People considering the role of Walker, Supporter, or as a Spokesperson should closely review the NonViolent Action Checklist.  Please get questions answered before participating.  The Walkers will be making a big sacrifice, we will support them with a single voice:  "We are parents who LOVE our children and want to be restored to an equal relationship.   We need Federal protection of our Civil Rights and want Congressional hearings into reform."

 Not Goals

For this effort we will NOT make issues of child support, judicial conduct, or other professional conduct.  These are valid issues in their own right, but are just not the focus or the message to be heard from this effort.

 Registration - Action

Please complete the following form to participate or ask questions.   We will be posting more information and also links to other groups supporting similar goals.

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