Hanley Federal Building – Non-Violent Demonstrator allowed “inside”


Syracuse, New York (Jan 7, 2000) –  The fifth time was the “charm” for John Murtari at the Hanley Federal Building.  On four prior occasions he had been quickly arrested by authorities while trying to quietly walk inside the building, carrying a photograph of his son Domenic. Yesterday, Jan 6th, he was allowed to enter the building and walk for two hours before leaving. His group, Kids-Right.Org, is seeking Family Law reform at the National level and passage of the Family Rights Act. The decision to allow this action inside the Federal Building may also “open” Federal Building’s nationwide to such walks.

A resident of Baldwinsville (and a native of Lyons, NY), a former Air Force Pilot and Academy Graduate is doing this for the sake of his 6 year old child, Domenic. His ability to “walk” was assisted by local Congressman James Walsh who had no objections to Murtari being present outside his offices on the 13th floor of the building. In a letter he said, “I applaud your dedication to non-violent demonstration …”  -- and left the final decision to building management.  Murtari plans on returning again today and next week, walking between 2-4 p.m. every day. They hope to get more people involved in the action at the Federal Building and are arranging for a Permit so people can also “walk” in the Plaza outside the building on Thursday and Friday of next week

The group hopes for Federal hearings regarding reform which will give mothers and fathers across the nation the opportunity to share their personal tragedies.

A similar action was conducted recently at the County Court House. He would carry a small sign over his head with a picture of his son Domenic and the message, "I LOVE DOM.”   Sympathetic parents also walked outside in support.

In a time where the word “protester” brings up images of violent confrontation and name calling this approach, based on the Non-Violent Action practiced by Gandhi and Martin Luther King – is a study in contrast.  In Murtari’s words, "It is unfortunate that busy public officials and the media only seem to respond after tragic violence ... then investigations are opened and procedures are reviewed.  I reject violence, but believe non-violent action may have a much better result -- I hope it’s not too long a wait for Domenic and I!" 

By the end of the week [at the Court House] a lot of the staff was smiling at me and when I left on Friday I shook hands with three different deputies -- they all expressed respect for what I was trying to do and my 'method' -- I wasn't there to blame anyone or vent my anger. I felt I was among friends. My message was very clear -- I AM HERE BECAUSE I LOVE MY CHILD AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE MORE IN HIS LIFE -- who could argue with that agenda!
People are pretty good if you give them a chance.

Mr. Murtari is the founder of the Internet based group Kids-Right.Org, recognized as a Human Rights groups by the editors of Yahoo. Made up of both mothers & fathers, they would  like to see investigative and reform action at both the State and Federal levels.  The solution the group recommends to this would involve giving the parent/child relationship the same Constitutional protections offered most criminals -- the Jury.

The web site highlights the philosophy and experience of both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, two great practitioners of Civil Disobedience, who practiced a style which showed respect and love for your opponent, while demonstrating your own belief through personal Non-Violent Action.

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More info is available at:

For more information check the web site, http://www.kids-right.org/, or contact: webmaster@kids-right.org (there are video clips of the last protest available).Murtari’s office can be reached at 315-635-1968