Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Father's Rights Movement to Get English Invasion - Views - ifeminists - Father's Rights Movement to Get English Invasion

This is the latest Wendy McElroy article... You should also be able to access it at ifeminists.


Fathers 4 Justice -- a fathers' rights group that originated in Britain to crusade for child custody and access rights in divorce--has just landed on American shores with the creation of F4J-US .

What do F4J and its international chapters demand? F4J essentially seeks the removal of any anti-male bias from the family court system. The specifics include a wide range of measures, including the court enforcement of visitation orders and the linking of child support payments to visitation rights.

Father's rights advocates and their opponents have waged a public strategy war, to be sure, but their weapons of choice have generally been a flood of contradictory studies, re-interpreted data, personal tales of injustice, accusations, and blasts of fury.

F4J advocates "peaceful non-violent direct action based on the Greenpeace model with a dash of humour thrown in for good measure." In Britain, the group is famous for high-profile stunts that taunt and disrupt authority.

For example, last September a F4J member dressed as Batman scaled Buckingham Palace. (search) Standing for over five hours on a ledge next to the palace's main balcony, he unfurled a huge banner reading "Super Dads of Fathers 4 Justice." "Batman" was arrested "for suspicion of causing criminal damage."

Plans for similar but unspecified "guerrilla" acts in the United States have been announced. It is not clear how aggressive the stateside actions will be.

Jamil Jabr, head of F4J-US, has been quoted in the Telegraph as saying, "We will try to maintain the audacity of the stunts...but if anyone tried that [the batman stunt] at the White House, they would be shot."

Not just the American authorities but the American public is likely to respond more harshly as well. It is not likely that New Yorkers will tolerate a re-run of the London publicity stunt by which "Spider-Man" occupied a crane that "caused" police to stop traffic flowing across the heavily-traveled Tower Bridge from early Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

Two members of the British group visited NYC to help organize F4J-US and to scout the city for possible actions. They were followed everywhere. Jabr described one member of the surveillance team: "We learned later that he was the head of New York's terrorism intelligence branch. He had FBI connections and orders to make sure that there would be no Buckingham Palace-type incidents."

On the other hand, the father's rights radicals apparently went out for a beer with the men assigned to watch them.

I wish F4J-US well; I believe its cause is just. I also wish it prudence because I believe post-9/11 America is likely to stomp on anything that vaguely hints of violence against an official or the disruption of infrastructure.

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Blogger Emancipated said...

Planet Dadulon (based in Scotland) are working on changing the laws on fathers rights. Please accentuate our numbers by leaving a message, and your name and location if you like.
Although we already have the attention of the Scottish Executive minister for justice and a constituent MP, we would like to re-iterate our cause by asking you to leave a comment in the blog's FIRST post so we can SHOW these people that fathers who cannot see their children are NOT the minority.

7:36 AM  

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