An eyewitness account of the Oct. 22, 2003 demonstration by
Father4Justice, London, U.K.From: "George Rolph" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 21:12:59 +0000
Subject: Who says that men cant fight back!
MEN ON THE MOVE
By George Rolph
At six am on Wednesday October 22 2003 I dragged myself from a warm bed
and stood shivering, bleary eyed in the cold bedroom. I had managed to
snatch two and a half hours sleep and had to get ready to appear on the
television program, "The Wright Stuff" on Britain's Channel 5. The subject
under discussion would be, "Domestic Violence." I would be there to give
the male victims point of view but I held out little hope of getting a
fair and just hearing. I anticipated that I would be surrounded by women
loudly proclaiming that women suffer terribly and failing to mention men
going through the same things.
I fought my way across London on it's appalling public transport system
crammed, with thousands of others like cattle into too few carriages on
the underground system during the rush hour. A train derailment meant that
I could only go part of the way by the underground railway and had to
finish the rest of the journey by bus.
I arrived stressed and even more tired and managed to snatch a cup of
coffee before going into the studio. When the live program began Matthew
Wright, the presenter, introduced it as a program looking at racism in the
police and "wife beating." So ingrained is this language into the
consciousness of media presenters like Matthew that he had spoken the
words "wife beaters" without considering the injustice and biased content
of the language. To his credit he corrected himself later but it was
obvious that he was struggling to maintain unfamiliar thinking on the
subject. Such is the power of brainwashing.
The first person to be interviewed was an American woman who is high in
the ranks of "Refuge." This is a British organisation that oversees the
running of battered women refuges in this country. She talked about her
work and gave misleading information on the amount of female victims etc.
Then a film produced by Refuge and shown in British cinemas everywhere was
broadcast. Naturally, this film depicts a man beating a women while all
the people around them ignore what is going on. At no time did the film
mention male victims or show a female being violent. As anyone who knows
about these things will tell you, when the media or an organisation shows
only one side of any argument it is known as propaganda. As I watched
these events unfolding in the studio yet again, I became determined to
point this out to the viewing public so that they could make their own
minds up about what they had just seen.
When my turn came to speak I managed to say to the folks watching at
home that the methods being employed by organisations like Refuge, and
Women's Aid, are dangerous because they brainwash the public into thinking
that all abusers are male and all victims are female. The show ended with
the ubiquitous female victim talking about her tragic abuse and her work
now with Women's Aid.
I chatted with Matthew Wright and Dominic Diamond after the show. I
pleaded with them to help us get a program made detailing the male victims
point of view. I also tackled the female editor of "The Sun" newspaper who
was also a guest on the program, about her papers biased point of view on
this issue and was forced to listen to her telling me that it was our
(men's) fault the media is biased. No change there then!
Fearing that the show was yet another dead loss for male victims I left
feeling very downhearted. However, I was cheered up in the lobby of the
studio when a small group of people from the audience approached me to say
that they thought male victims were being discriminated against and that
they also thought the tactics of the press and Refuge are brainwashing.
They encouraged me to continue the fight and promised their support for my
efforts in the future. I left the studio feeling that the British people
are far more intelligent than Refuge and the press give them credit for
and headed off to join a huge demonstration about fathers rights.
The demonstration was scheduled to start from London's Trafalgar Square
at 12 noon. I arrived at the venue at 11 am and walked around the crowd
greeting old friends and making new ones. I was astonished to see many
small children, couples and grandparents gathering to march through London
in protest at the draconian and unfair law that is, The Family Law Act.
The day was cold and overcast and at first glance it appeared that few
people had actually turned up for the march. My heart sank and dark
thoughts about peoples apathy began encroaching into my mind.
At midday we began to organise into ranks and the march began. Within
minutes we were joined by hundreds more people of all ages. Banners and
purple flags waved in the brisk cold breeze. Sticky labels were passed out
to the onlooking public and thousands of leaflets were distributed
explaining the reasons for the march. Sad but determined men marched with
photographs of the children they can no longer see pinned to their coats
or stuck to banners. Old people carried posters mourning the loss of
contact with grand children. Music blared from an open topped bus and men
and women with megaphones began chants that the crowd took up. The volume
rose dramatically. At the head of this slow moving convoy a huge military
tank thundered along followed by men dressed from the waist up in military
uniforms complete with helmets and from the waist down in kilts. Just
behind them marched a group of men dressed in all white chemical
protection suits proclaiming they where here to clean up family law. As
the crowd marching continued to grow, moral soared and the cold weather
was ignored by the marchers. The atmosphere of the march was jovial and
light hearted. Huge numbers of police marched alongside us or sat in
police vans, cars and on motorbikes along the route. In the sky I saw a
police helicopter hovering high above us.
As the march snaked it's way through the crowded London streets
business people, shop keepers, passing motorists and pedestrians shouted
and waved their support or blew the horns on the vehicles. The message was
clear: The British people support the men's movements efforts to gain
equal access to children by both parents.
In due course, the march reached the Royal Courts of Justice. Here the
tank and bus paused and the marchers halted. Then came the huge surprise.
Dressed as Batman and Robin two men stood in the cathedral like roof of
the High Court above a huge banner demanding justice for fathers in family
law. The huge crowd of marchers saluted the two brave protesters who had
scaled the building the night before and a vast roar of support went up to
them as they looked down upon a sea of uplifted arms. I had to fight back
the tears that filled my eyes as the march slowly moved past that
incredible scene. I realised then that determined men can achieve anything
they want and no petty political system can ever usurp the will of the
people and remain in power.
My tears were soon wrung from my tired heart however as a cute little
boy pressed a leaflet into my hands. I looked down and thanked him and
then began to read what he had given me. The tears flowed down my cheeks
as I read this powerful plea from a child.
My name is Dries,
I feel sad.
I love my sister Florence and I really want her to
Because she is beautiful and I miss her so much.
It's her birthday today and I don't see her.
I love her and hope she has a happy birthday.
How can we ignore such a moving account of one little boys pain
suffered because of the heartlessness of politicians driven by an
ideological hatred of men and fathers?
The march moved on. We approached the offices of the CSA, CAFCASS and
the home of the British legal establishment known as Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Whistles blew, air horns split the air and chants of "Shame on you!" rose
above a field of pointing fingers. Those who worked within these buildings
looked out of windows upon the roaring and angry crowd. Their faces
betraying their embarrassment at the accusing tide beneath them. All of
these organisations have been responsible for destroying the lives of
countless fathers and children in the UK. The accompanying police looked
tense and uneasy but they need not have worried. This was controlled fury
and not the actions of a mindless mob.
As the march approached Lincoln's Inn Fields the clouds burst their
heavy burden of rain and we all got soaked. The march never faltered.
Jackets and water proofs were donned, collars pulled up and voices raised
in songs and chanting. "All we are say -- ing..... Is give dads a chance."
The long column began it's homeward journey to end where it
symbolically began at the Royal Courts of Justice, the symbolic and actual
home of so much official abuse of men and fathers. A place where judges
refuse any appeal from a father if it goes against "policy" irrespective
of the legal or moral merits of the case. A place where judges have
threatened children that if they refuse to leave daddy they will be placed
in children's homes. A place where senior judges have refused to
discipline the excesses of their lower court colleagues and in so doing
have given support to those extremes. A place of misery for children and
fathers from all four corners of the nation. As the column came to a stop
once more Matthew O` Connor, the brilliant organiser, campaigner and
founder of fathers 4 Justice ( http://www.fathers-4-justice.org ) stood
atop of the open bus and gave a short speech. As he spoke the crowd once
again saluted the two brave men who had scaled the heights of The Royal
Courts of Justice building. During his speech Matt explained why these two
men were dressed as Batman and Robin... "because to a child, every father
is a super hero." The accompanying roar must have been felt in the bottom
of every single judges deep black heart as they hid themselves within that
vast building. It is to be hoped they trembled in fear because the message
from this rally is a simple and direct one:
FATHERS ARE FIGHTING BACK AND THEY WILL NOT BE
No more silence!
By George Rolph
IT IS TIME FOR MEN TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED.
man2man is changing its name to NO-MORE-SILENCE. A web site will be up
shortly thanks to some generous friends in America who support the idea of
men's rights to be male.
NO MORE SILENCE!