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Fathers 4 Justice member visits Men’s Centre

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 6:07 pm Tue 16th November 2004

A member of the UK Fathers 4 Justice organisation visited Men’s Centre North Shore last night. Paul Robinson’s mother Sonia told us that she was proud of her son for taking part in a protest which stopped London traffic for hours last February after they climbed onto gantries over arterial roads.

Five fathers are now being charged with criminal conspiracy by causing “banners to be on or over a road in such circumstances that it would have been obvious to a reasonable person that to do so would be dangerous”.

Sonia talked to about 25 local fathers and supporters about the increasing radicalism of the British father’s movement. She said that activists had been working for years lobbying politicians and making submissions “but no-one would listen”.

Since fathers have begun high-profile protests which cause major disruptions the numbers joining the movement have skyrocketted. Fathers 4 Justice has also received some large donations from wealthy supporters. Sonia told us that as well as the well-publicised appearances of superheroes, protests have included supergluing the doors of Family Courts closed and stuffing dead fish into a CAFCAS letterbox slot so that staff could not go to work. She said she thought it a pity that things had got so extreme, but there seemed to be no alternative way to get official attention.

As Sonia demonstrates, it is not just fathers who are behind the UK protests. So many grandmothers and partners of affected men have joined that a new group called Purple Hearts has been formed specifically for female supporters.

NZ Union of Fathers members at the meeting could be seen looking enviously at Fathers 4 Justice’s numerous media cuttings, not to mention their professional brochures and posters. There was no time to look at two videos, including one of Bob Geldorf, so these will be shown at a later date.

Also at the Men’s Centre meeting was a man involved with the newly-formed Fathers 4 Justice in Germany. Michael Hickman has a website set up primarily so his sons can contact him, but it also has extensive resources of use to men dealing with the German family law system.

Sonia Robinson - Fathers 4 Justice
Sonia Robinson – Fathers 4 Justice

 Sonia Robinson, John Brett
Sonia Robinson, John Brett

Justice is coming shirt
Justice is coming shirt

Michael Hickman
Michael Hickman


  1. I can’t wait to see John Potter at the top of Auckland Harbour Bridge dressed as The Incredible Hulk!!!! Felicity as Catwoman?
    Seriously though, it’s great to see North Shore Men’s Centre hosting F4J people. It will send a certain message to those in power – that if they don’t pull finger John and others may well be the next men in tights protesting in high places!

    Comment by Stephen — Tue 16th November 2004 @ 10:10 pm

  2. Me protesting on the Harbour Bridge? I don’t think so Stephen – fathers like me who have full-time access to their chidren have too much to loose.

    I’ve personally always argued for keeping activism legal and civilised, but now I’m not attending meetings regularly other perspectives may well be adopted.

    Comment by JohnP — Wed 17th November 2004 @ 9:10 am

  3. A great meeting and many thanks to Sonia for her time and efforts: a real eye-opener in more ways than one.

    Sonia showed us the case of a bloke [in the UK] tricked into becoming a father by a deceitful woman who took semen from a used condom to artificially inseminate herself. This was in direct conflict with the “one night stand” agreement she and the “father” had.

    Having now had the baby and gone on the benefit, she has named him as the father and he is now paying 400 pound a month in “child support”.

    While this may be legally “right”, it is both morally and ethically wrong. It is, however, something the Child Support Agency on New Zealand would not blink to do if the same circumstances arose here.

    Where has the accountability and responsibility gone? This woman should be punished for stealing the semen she had no entitlement to. However, it seems more likely in our femocentric society that pigs will sprout wings and take to the air before this will happen.

    Watch out lads! Remember to take the condom with you when you leave!

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Thu 18th November 2004 @ 2:25 am

  4. John P, I’m delighted to hear you’ve got full time custody. Proof i suppose that for a small minority of men at least some justice prevails. But I’m hugely dissapointed that my dream of seeing you atop the harbour bridge in tights and cape won’t be realised! LOL!

    I’m glad F4J are out there being Ghandi-like using Sattyagraha-type tactics (non-violent civil disobedience) to challenge misandry. What they do is technically illegal I know, but what else can theye do faced with oppressively misandric anti – father legislation and attitudes, and an audience that’s too self absorbed to listen to fathers legitimate concerns for thier children.
    I’m glad we all haven’t behaved in a ‘legal and civilised’ manner as you say you’ve ‘always argued for’.
    If we did then the black woman who refused to sit at the back of the bus in seperatist 1960s USA would still be sat there mekely obeying the law.
    I think sometimes we need folks who’ll disobey laws for the greater good.

    Comment by Stephen — Sat 20th November 2004 @ 4:09 am

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