Across Canada Fathers4Justice activists are donning superhero outfits, climbing bridges and overpasses, and unfurling huge banners. They told us this was coming, that they’d take their message to the voters before the upcoming election.
Early Monday morning, January 9, several well-known fathers’ and family rights activists climbed the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, British Columbia. Rob Robinson as Burnaby Batman, Kevin Christiaens as the BC Hulk and Stephen Hodges Whitaker as the Victoria Spiderman risked life, limb and liberty for “your right to see your kids.” They hung two banners; one a huge 30′x40′ Canadian flag and the other that was 18′x24′ read, “LIBERALS DENY CHILDREN THEIR RIGHTS.”
Traffic was slowed to one lane due to the emergency response and local media reported that motorists were most likely angry. To that Robinson replied, “What no one saw, except those who were there, was the gathering of public supporters who clapped and cheered for our bravery upon our descent. This was a touching moment I shall soon not forget.”
Hal Legere, National Director of Fathers4Justice-Canada, stayed on the ground dressed as Robin QC to educate the media. He said, “The Liberal Government represented by its leader, Paul Martin have repeatedly, in this election campaign claimed that they are the protectors of the Constitutional rights of Canadians. This same Paul Martin and the Liberal Party of Canada have refused to take action to ensure that the rights of children, the most politically defenseless segment of our society, are protected. Paul Martin would allow the unelected judges to rule this country. These are the same judges who have consistently denied thousands of children their Constitutional right to ‘freedom of association’ with their own parents.”
Robinson, Christiaens and Whitaker were arrested for mischief, and Legere was arrested and may be charged with obstruction. All have been released from custody. Robinson stated, “For myself, it was an honour to be in the company of such dedicated soldiers of equality.” Legere added, “So why do we climb bridges and cranes and other tall structures? The answer is simple, we will go to great lengths (or heights) to fight for the rights of our children.”
Bob Waters, dressed as the Victoria Green Lantern stated, “Once again, we showed them that we will not rest until changes occur. We know we have their attention, and they know we aren’t afraid of the consequences. The next logical step is a trial, open to the media, where we engage the government (through their representative, the Crown) in a dialogue before the Courts, whereby we call upon higher authorities (UN Convention, Charter of Rights, etc.) to justify our actions. The trials should not be about ‘getting off’; they should be about reversing the process so that the system is put on trial in front of the media. That is how we should move to the next stage of dialogue with our civil disobedience. There is no other way.”
Steven Hodges, the Victoria Spiderman agreed, “We have to get these cases into court to be heard, even if that means being punished by the system. Again, that’s the tactics that both the Suffragettes and Gandhi used in order to get their message out.”
“Truth is, it is crucial that we take every opportunity that presents itself to spread our message far and wide,” said Robinson, “The best way I know of is through media. What is unfortunate is we must go to such lengths as to risk our lives and our liberty to deliver the message home.” Then he added, “We superheroes are merely the messengers to raise our issues. What is equally important is that we the people also do our part and create dialogue with those elected powers to be to negotiate reform that will accurately convey the will of its families.”
Robinson, also known as Canada’s first Batman added, “Let us not forget all those families who are suffering with the loss of a family member at the hands of family law.”
This morning Kris Titus, another well-known family rights activist, and Regional Coordinator for Fathers4Justice dressed as Wonder Woman and hung a large banner over commuters at Hwy 401 and Brimley Road in Scarborough, Ontario. Her 4′x12′ message read, “VOTE EQUAL PARENTING.” Emergency vehicles responded. After two hours Titus came down, and was not arrested.
“Fathers-4-Justice is far more than a handful of angry men as stated by [Paul Martin's] office. In fact, members include many women and grandparents, all of whom support equality and are fed up with the Liberal’s failure to act on the inequalities in family law,” stated Titus.
She then added, “It is very interesting for me to hear Paul Martin vehemently purport to defend the Charter of Rights while systematically denying thousands of children their right to ‘freedom of association’ with their own parents. Mr. Martin’s own Justice Minister has publicly stated that parents have no rights vis a vis their children. I can only ask, ‘Who does have rights with respect to our children, and who is it who will defend the children’s rights?’ Mr. Martin’s proposal to do away with the notwithstanding clause is no surprise to me, there is no need for it if you just ignore the rights of children anyway.”