Wednesday, June 19


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Members of civil rights group Fathers 4 Justice on the way to protest. The location is unknown, even to the participants. Friday 13 June 2003.

Up to 50 members of Fathers 4 Justice burst into Court One of the division in High Holborn, central London, while as many as 500 protested outside.

Sessions were suspended and police removed the demonstrators but there had been no arrests, a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard said.

It is the latest in a series of protests staged by the group who claim fathers have been unable to publicise miscarriages of justice for years because “of a conspiracy of silence in the family court”.

Sarah Ashford, a spokeswoman for the group said today’s protest was aimed at “opening up the courts to the general public” which, the protesters claim, operate under a cloak of secrecy.

Group founder Matt O’Connor said: “The main family courts in London are now open to the public for the first time in years.

“Hundreds of fathers, some mothers and grandparents are risking arrest today by taking this direct action.”

The group claims fathers going through divorce or separation proceedings are not treated equally in court and as many as 40% lose contact with children after relationships end.

They also claim court orders that should give fathers access to children are not always enforced.

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