People of Faith,
On March 31st I will be getting
back to real NonViolent action.
Returning to the Federal Building
with some chalk and I'll start writing
on the exterior building walls --
that will probably result in arrest
and an easy conviction. In
the past I have always plead not
guilty to various charges, but this
time, even I will say I must be
guilty of something, people can't
draw all over the sides of Federal
Buildings! What could motivate
this? What can it accomplish?
Again, as I write I'm on a flight
out West to pickup my son for Spring
Break and a whole week together.
It is going to be hectic, we have
a lot planned, so I need to get
this written now. Once I am
with Dom, everything else can wait.
I want to thank the people who sent
in some excellent FEEDBACK to earlier
messages, that will be coming soon...
As many of you know, during the
last month I have been going to
the Syracuse Federal Building a
couple of times a week. Each
time I take out some chalk and write
on the ground near the entrance
"Dom - I Love You. Senator
Clinton - Help Us!" After
an initial arrest, the US Attorney's
office asked that charges be dismissed
and no one has bothered me since.
Writing it on a wall will be different.
A Quick Summary - details
In early February it was a great
thing to have Cathy Hughes (chughes@AKidsRight.Org)
actually volunteer to stand with
me. Participate in the effort to
convince Senator Clinton she needs
to meet personally with parents
about reform and call for Congressional
Hearings (if they have time to do
it for Baseball and steroids --
how about Family Rights and our
Kids?). At the time we didn't
know what officials would do and
there was a very real chance we
would both be arrested. Cathy was
willing to face handcuffs and jail
to send a message -- and do it out
of love for her kids with a smile.
Wow! Is she great or what!
We got some TV coverage and I really
thought this might be the start
of a larger effort. Since
then I have returned to the building
on Tuesday and Thursdays at 2 PM.
Each time I have waited till 2:15
pm before taking out the chalk.
Who was I waiting for? Other parents.
How many showed? None.
What does it say about my abilities
to coordinate and motivate people
to participate -- poor results.
NonViolent Action is about demonstrating
belief by personal sacrifice --
and other than standing in the cold;
there hasn't been much of that either
lately. It is time for a change,
to get back to 'roots.'
Talk/Writing vs. Physical Action
I don't know about you, but sometimes
I get tired of all the talk. Seeing
a list message about the latest
'scandal' or 'injustice.' The Internet
makes it easy to 'talk', but if
all we do is shake our heads and
swear under our breaths, and feel
persecuted -- if we don't take 'action',
is anything going to really change?
If we just 'talk', can we really
'communicate' with others?
Please the following is not science,
but it may get the idea across.
We are used to talking/writing,
but in the great evolutionary scale
-- it is pretty untested technology.
For millions of years communication
was just basic sound and conveyed
simple information: romance, prey,
predator, aggression, injury.
It is still used by almost all other
life on the planet.
What about talk, using finely modulated
sound waves to control the behavior
of others? What about writing,
the use of visible glyphs to communicate
detailed thought. The use
of words? Pretty cutting edge
stuff -- has a lot of advantages,
but maybe we haven't worked all
the bugs out of it. How about
parents that think you can raise
kids by 'talking' to them about
how they should act? That
a lot of 'talking' will make up
for 'showing'? Is that crazy
We want to convince the Nation how
unjustly we have been treated. How
pained we are over the loss of our
children. How GREAT a RIGHT
has been violated and needs protection.
You think that is going to happen
by just writing and talking?
History says no way.
I don't know about you, but I react
to 'imagery'. Sometimes people
talk and talk and talk to me about
how the 'system' screwed them --
but I just don't know. I wasn't
there. If they tell a good
story about them and their kids,
I can see the image in my mind,
I can feel it -- but most people
aren't good story tellers (still
working the bugs out of the new
Stand in Action, create Imagery
But when I see a parent and child
together in a great hug -- I don't
need to hear a word. I don't
need to be told about their love.
When I see pictures of peaceful
blacks hauled off to jail -- I don't
need to be told about the depth
of their beliefs. When I see
a crucifix -- I don't need to be
told about Faith in a loving God.
The campaign of F-4-J, childhood
superheroes risking arrest for the
sake of their kids. Good imagery.
You don't have to tell me you love
your kids and the system 'wronged'
you -- your ACTION makes it clear.
Will some of you stand with me?
On March 31st, you are of course
welcome to come and watch. It is
nice to have someone there and always
makes me smile. But I hope
some of you will contact me and
say you are also ready to take some
chalk to a wall, face arrest, and
create imagery. I really would
like to send out a News Release
before the event to get some media
there -- but I've got to know people
are going to be there. No
more waiting till 2:15.
Some of you might make a very reasonable
argument, "John, wait a bit,
it is not effective if you are alone.
Try to get more people first."
Does that really make any sense
NonViolent Action and Faith?
If you haven't done so yet, take
the time to read some REAL history
about Civil Rights and NonViolent
I'd like people to stand with me,
but who do I stand with? Jesus
of Nazareth. The imagery I
want to create is simple, I LOVE
DOMENIC! The imagery he wanted to
create was huge: we are all brothers
and sisters, children of the same
'papa', a caring and loving God.
How many people were needed to create
that effective imagery -- mount
the cross. Just one.
Because he did that, I'm willing
to try to stand with him and act
with a very, very, small portion
of the Faith he had. To start
to paint a very small image and
I hope some of you will join me.
When you look at the sacrifice required
to produce some of the great images
of the past, the risk of handcuffs
and a few days in jail is a real
Will it be effective and have meaning
if it is ONLY me? Of course.
Can anything 'bad' happen when we
demonstrate our love? Of course
not. Perhaps some 'pain',
but nothing 'bad.'
Hope to see your there!
Best wishes for a Happy Easter!