Fathers bring city streets to a halt

PROTESTERS from a Suffolk-based fathers group today warned they would continue protesting - after bringing central London to a rush-hour standstill.More than 1,000 people from Fathers 4 Justice, including 80 from Suffolk, marched in London yesterday highlighting what they feel are "unfair" child custody laws.

PROTESTERS from a Suffolk-based fathers group today warned they would

continue protesting - after bringing central London to a rush-hour standstill.

More than 1,000 people from Fathers 4 Justice, including 80 from Suffolk,

marched in London yesterday highlighting what they feel are "unfair" child

custody laws.

After four hours of protesting, a group of people sat on a crossing for 15

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minutes outside the Royal Courts Of Justice in The Strand blocking all

traffic from moving.

The protestors were moved off the road by Charing Cross police and one man

was arrested in ugly scenes that threatened to overshadow what had been a

peaceful and good-humoured operation.

Matt O'Connor, founder of Fathers 4 Justice, was pleased with the protests.

He said: "I think it has been a tremendous success as it has raised the

awareness and fathers' rights are now on the mainstream agenda.

"It sends a message to the Government that we will no longer tolerate the

false removal of fathers from their children for absolutely no reason.

"We are shaking the cage of the family law industry and they are rattling.

"We will be back here again, we are a growing force and we are going to

change the law."

Earlier in the day the group left from Trafalgar Square at 12.45pm and,

under heavy police supervision, slowly made their way to the court building.

The protest was led by a tank to show the battle fathers face to see their

children and people had come from across the country to voice their

opinions.

A group of men were dressed in white chemical suits brushing the London

streets with the words "cleaning up family law" on their backs.

Protestors chanted "no jail for being a dad" and "two parents are better

than one" as they blew their whistles, banged their drums and held up

pictures of children they were denied seeing.

Another focus of the group's frustration was the Children and Family Courts

Advisory Support Service (Cafcass) who play a key role in deciding the

visiting rights of parents in child custody cases.

As the protestors, including women and children, approached the Cafcass

headquarters in Great New Street they chanted that they would get the

organisation closed down.

Fathers 4 Justice were founded in December 2002 and have grown to more than

3,000 members in ten months.

They plan further protests until fathers are given equal rights and will be

back in London on December 16 with more than 1,000 people expected to dress

up as Father Christmas.

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