'Batman' scales Dutch court for fathers' rights
17 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — A man dressed as Batman climbed the front of Utrecht Court on Monday morning in a protest to gain greater rights for divorced fathers.
17 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — A man dressed as Batman climbed the front of Utrecht Court on Monday morning in a protest to gain greater rights for divorced fathers.
The man claimed to be a member of the movement Fathers 4 Justice (F4J), which campaigns against the separation of children from their fathers after parental break-ups.
The group said it chose the court in Utrecht for the protest action because judges consciously make it impossible for children to see their father after a divorce. "They earn money by causing human misery and immense sorrow among divorced parents," it said.
F4J also said Monday's action was part of an escalating campaign of civil disobedience. Members will carry out similar actions in the near future in The Hague, Rotterdam and Alkmaar, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
And the Utrecht Court "Batman" did not have immediate plans of climbing down from the building's facade. "I will stay here as long as possible," he said. Police had been deployed at the court, but did not immediately move into remove the activist by force.
The man later climbed down at about 2.30pm, saying he had conducted his protest for long enough. Security and police officers helped the man to safety.
Fathers 4 Justice claims to have some 12,000 members in Britain, Canada, Australia, the US and the Netherlands. In September last year, British activist Jason Hatch stunned police after he scaled the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London and stayed there for several hours.
Also in September last year, a man dressed in a Batman suit was arrested in The Hague after threatening to commit suicide by jumping of the Utrechtsebaan. The man first staged a protest in front of the city's courthouse, but fled the scene when police tried to arrest him.
A short time later, he threatened to throw himself off one of the city's viaducts. Eyewitnesses said the man was protesting because he was being denied access to his children.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news