Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Fathers 4 Justice UK ~ Angry dad takes protest to rooftops

Published Date: 25 June 2009

An angry father who has been banned from seeing his teenage daughter for the past 15 years, took drastic action by protesting for fathers' rights on a tower rooftop.

60-year-old Roger Crawford climbed to the top of the Carfax Tower in Oxford where his estranged daughter and wife live, where he dressed up as a court jester and protested against the family court system.

He took part in the protest last Thursday afternoon, along with a another New Fathers 4 Justice member, who dressed up as the Incredible Hulk.

Mr Crawford, of Shefford Road, Meppershall, held a banner over the roof top saying ' Fathers are for life, not just conception' and another with a message to his daughter saying 'Heather' and 'My love for you.'

He told the Chronicle: "I have been through the courts to try to get access to my daughter, but I am allowed no contact with her when I have done nothing wrong.

"The court system really is a compete joke, they seem to punish non-resident parents and that's what they have done to me.

"They have stopped me seeing my daughter for no good reason."

He added: "I am extremely angry with the whole process and I will keep protesting in Oxford in the hope that Heather hears about it and maybe one day will realise how much I care for her and how much I want contact with her.

"But I'm not doing this for me I'm doing this for fathers everywhere. It's just not right how they are treated."

Mr Crawford who has already protested twice in Oxford this year, was denied access to his now 17-year-old daughter Heather, when his relationship broke down.

He carried on seeing her until she was two and half years old, but was denied access after that point by her mother.

He went through the court system, but despite a High Court judge ruling that full access should be given to him, the family court in Oxford denied him any access to Heather.

He added: "Not being allowed contact with Heather has just been awful.

"I would describe the feeling as a living bereavement.

"Of course no parent should ever have to bury a child I understand that must be awful, but it is it similar.

"In some ways it's worse because you know that your child is out there and you're not allowed to contact them.

"I will never give up hope, that's what keeps me going and I know hat there is a powerful bond between a parent and children and that just shouldn't be broken.

"I just hope that one day Heather will realise that as well."

A video of the protest has been posted onto popular website YouTube. (ed note see below)

F4J-USA ~ Marginalized fathers capitalize on unofficial Fatherless Day
California protesters for equal parental rights

A special group of California dads will be gathering at the state capital in Sacramento Friday to honor and bring attention to their missing and exploited children. Left behind and marginalized fathers and their supporters will be gathering at state capitals across the country on June 19th, unofficial Fatherless Day, to communicate the necessity of equal parenting rights.

Acknowledging that some mothers lose contact with their children by way of the same corruption, equal parenting advocates say this week is for the dads. National representative Donald Tenn said he can't keep up with the calls and emails coming into Fathers 4 Justice, especially now. "This week is one of the hardest for most of the dads I know," said Tenn, whose daughter Madison was abducted to Illinois by her mother Shannon Phillips three years ago.
Madison's daddy Donald Tenn

These men say they've been robbed of their right and duty to be fathers by a corrupt legal system. Claiming the current family court system not only ignores, but rewards deceit, they point to this video of Nancy Schaefer speaking of how corruption in family courts devastates parents and children, including families of divorce.

Tenn told the story of a local father who missed his children so much he became overcome with grief. On a website describing his plight, the father had included plans to commit suicide. After being contacted by fathers advocates the man changed his mind and took down the website. "He now has hope," Tenn explained, "it's all I can give him, but at least I can give him that."
Fatherless rally in Sacramento '08

Northern California father Nate posted to the California Fathers 4 Justice forum, "For the past five years I have felt I was alone. No one could understand what I was up against, not even my parents or siblings."

"There is unity when you align yourself with like-minded individuals," responded Fathers 4 Justice member Robert Saunders, "I see empowerment as one of the most important things a wronged parent can do to gain and maintain the strength to fight the oppressive, immoral and corrupt anti-family court system.

Those interested in family law reform are encouraged to meet Friday at the north steps of the capital at 9:00 am. Participants will lobby with legislators, then return to the north steps at noon to rally until 3:00 pm. Last year's speeches, like Tenn's story of his daughter's abduction drew tears, indignation and applause. (Tenn's speech here)

Nate spoke for many marginalized parents who I've spoken with when he wrote, "They can take our freedom, our money, our rights, but they can not take our love for our children."

For more info: Fathers 4 Justice, Robert Saunders: (916) 370-8251

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie