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Syracuse, New York (Nov 24, 1999) - Mr. John Murtari, a former Air Force Pilot and Academy Graduate, was arrested Monday at the Onondaga County Courthouse while continuing his protest for children's rights to have an equal relationship with both parents. Mr. Murtari returned to the Courthouse lobby carrying a picket sign with a photograph of his young son Domenic. This was a violation of a previous order barring him from the Courthouse. He says he's a parent going "on strike" for the sake of his 6 year old child.

Mr. Murtari had been quickly released by a judge after his two most recent attempts--both of which occurred within the last two weeks. He is refusing bail or voluntary release until an investigation into his case can restore him as an equal parent in his child's life. "My son and I have a warm and wonderful relationship -- the long distance good byes and the counting of days till the next visit was just too much for us to bear. I never had a good answer when he'd ask, 'Daddy, why can't I be with you more?' -- it is an awful situation." Murtari had spent three weeks in Jail during a similar protest in February of this year.

"It is unfortunate that busy public officials 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 the same good result -- I hope it is not too long for both Domenic and I."

Mr. Murtari is the founder of a web site,, recognized as a Human Rights groups by the editors of Yahoo.Com.   Made up of both mothers & fathers, they would  like to see investigative and reform action at both the State and Federal levels.  They have proposed legislation in terms of a Federal Family Rights Act of 1999 and believe committee hearings into custody proceedings would give shocking testimony from parents unjustly deprived of meaningful contact with their children.  The solution his 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 both practiced a style which involved respect and love for your opponent, while demonstrating your own belief through personal Non-Violent Action.

After being involved in a custody dispute, and exercising his right to appeal as far as the United States Supreme Court -- Murtari was devastated and shocked by the rejection of all his legal attempts, the failure of legislators to take effective action in response to his letters, and most recently the relocation of his son, Domenic, to San Diego, California.   

Murtari is a former Air Force Instructor Pilot and Cum Laude graduate of the Air Force Academy. He has a Masters in Computer Science from Syracuse University and is the president of the Software Workshop, a small Internet company he founded in 1995. He has a long record of volunteer work with both the elderly and homeless in the Syracuse area, along with involvement in local politics.

For more information check the web site,, or contact:
Murtari's office number (message can be left) is: 315-635-1968,x-211