-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Kovacs <ffk@sympatico.ca>
To: ffk <ffk@sympatico.ca>
Cc: ffk <ffk@sympatico.ca>
Date: 30 January 2002 01:49
Subject: FFK: " U.K. Parents protest the...annual dinner of the Solicitors Family Law Association."

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Ellison
To: EPOC ; nz
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 8:54 AM
Subject: [EPOC_NEWS] [UK] - EQUAL PARENTING COALITION DEMO
 
The latest UK protest. A change of direction, including solicitors as well as judges in the active campaign.
 
regards
 
Dave
====

EQUAL PARENTING COALITION DEMO
(Wales and the West)
25th January 2002
 

This demonstration was one of the most successful staged in recent times.
The movers and shakers on the Bristol Family Law scene were meeting for the
annual dinner of the Solicitors Family Law Association.
 
38 intrepid demonstrators braved the elements to greet the hundred or so
dinner guests who included solicitors, barristers and judges of the Family
Division as they arrived at the Severn Shed Restaurant in the middle of
Bristol. What a target!
 
The diners arrived to a sea of banners promoting ³Equal Parenting², ³Family
Court Failure² and the like and one tailor-made for the judge who recently
pronounced a totally unwarranted suspended prison sentence on a local
Bristol father Niel Winter. The banner blandly stated ³THERE¹S A CUCKOO IN
COURT² in recognition of His Honour Mr Justice Roger Bird¹s nefarious act.
 
Diners and passers-by alike were blasted by Matthew Mudge, Chairman of the
new FNF Cardiff Branch, behind a brand new megaphone generously provided by
Spike and Jules who are regular demonstrators. Matthew was   quite brilliant
at this job and hardly paused for breath in the hour long demonstration.
 
Our legal friends were respectfully ushered from their taxis and cars in the
pouring rain under the large umbrella held by a bowler hatted Anson Allen.
With such charming attention the lawyers could hardly decline our leaflets
which were handed to them. Those who looked a bit grumpy were invited to do
something for the plight of disenfranchised Non Resident Parents.
 
A number stopped to chat and asked what was the fuss as they were right on
our side. It was suggested to them we were only here because of the
injustice of the Family Court keeping us from our children and perhaps they
could do something to improve the situation.
 
A large police van kept watch throughout and the inspector from the riot
police who had also been in attendance at the International Family Law
Conference demo in Bath in September was most civil and understanding. One
of the police crew turned out to be having the same contact problems as the
rest of us and so Matthew promptly handed him a leaflet
 
One of the highlights of the demo was the large proportion of females.
 
Another was the large distance that some had come, especially Matthew
O¹Connor from Suffolk who arrived with a large supply of Equal Parenting
posters sporting our new logo. What dedication to the cause!
 
Yet another was the interest of a newspaper reporter who stumbled across us
by chance and can¹t wait to get a feature going for her paper on Monday.
 
Spike and Jules will be repaid for the megaphone by regular contributions
from demonstrators each time it is used. However if a benefactor were
interested in helping us pay for it immediately the cost of the machine was
£105.
 
*Sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone who attended including new
local members, Graham Cook, Andy Forbes, Andy McLeod, William Ng and Greg
Nelson.