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How NOT to convince the courts to give you more access to your children

Lone father paralyzes Sydney in rush hour protest

(AFP) – 2 hours ago

SYDNEY — A lone protester paralyzed rush-hour traffic in Australia’s largest city for hours Friday by scaling the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and forcing the closure of the country’s busiest roadway.

The man, who said he was “ex-military”, evaded extensive security precautions to climb the bridge at dawn and hang two banners in a protest apparently linked to a custody dispute over his children.

The stunt forced the closure of the bridge that links north Sydney with the downtown area for around two hours, causing massive back-ups and leaving thousands of motorists and train and bus commuters stranded. ….

“If I have to stuff four million people around for one morning and that gets my kids and other kids help one day sooner, I have achieved my goal,” he said before rappelling down onto the roadway to be arrested by waiting police.

SOURCE

“Stuffing” four million people around. Goal achieved!

Getting more contact with your kids. Goal not so much achieved as hindered, I’m guessing.

More on the protestor here. He’s apparently a “bikie” – the Australian version of a biker – and “was almost killed during an alleged bikie shootout last year.”

UPDATE: As a result of this, the protester, Michael Fox has, not surprisingly, been ordered to not contact his ex-wife or family members.

And here’s an interesting detail from the coverage:

He left a note in his car, warning police to close the bridge and not to try to bring him down by force. “If anyone attempts to climb the upper arch of the bridge during my protest, the consequences will be fatal. Do what I ask and this will start and end peacefully,” it said. “You’ve taken my kids, I’ve taken your bridge.”

Generally speaking, nonviolent protestors don’t threaten “fatal consequences” for those who try to arrest them.

UPDATE 2: Another odd detail:

He last saw [his kids] almost 70 days ago, soon after a home owned by him was engulfed by fire. His estranged wife and one young daughter were sleeping inside. Both escaped the blaze.

The story gets stranger and stranger.
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Pecunium
11 years ago

Magpie: yes, they have but the Special Forces not so much, and not in combat operations. One of the common complaints of soldiers in UN operations is that we can’t engage in combat, and so the bad guys pretty much ignore us, because the only time we are authorised to use force is when we are attacked.

Magpie
11 years ago

Oh no, I didn’t mean he had been in special forces, just US readers might not know where Australian soldiers have been because they weren’t Australian wars, sort of thing.

titfortat
11 years ago

If I have to stuff four million people around for one morning and that gets my kids and other kids help one day sooner, I have achieved my goal,”

David

It seems from this comment he wasnt “just” in it for himself. Unless you have other factual evidence against this guy I’d say you must have had a lazy day of research. No BUTS about it Ami Angelwings hit the nail on the head.

Christine WE
Christine WE
11 years ago

Heh. I wonder if any of the judge’s were “stuffed” by his stunt.

AbsintheDexterous
11 years ago

There’s other ways of drawing attention to your situation other than hanging banners and rappelling from a bridge.

I find this sort of thing rather creepy. I understand that sometimes people are frustrated by the courts, but stuff like this smacks of controlling and/or harassing behavior.

It reminds me of something from my teens that always left me wondering – there was a guy who would periodically send out letters to the residents of my small suburb. In these letters, he would describe how horrible his ex-wife was, why he thought she was abusing their child, with pleas to let the child know that her dad still loved her, since he was not allowed contact with either one. The last one or two also outlined how the courts screwed him and that his own lawyer was against him.

I didn’t know these people. It just seemed odd to send out letters to everyone in the area to state this. It always made me wonder whether he was a controlling asshole or concerned father – some part of me feels like this was way over the top and he was just harassing them. If it was true about the abuse, I felt sorry for the child, but his “proof” was, shall we say, less than convincing.

My point, such that it is, is that what really is the purpose of things like this? It seems more along the lines of public harassment than concerned/frustrated father.

Avicenna
11 years ago

The issue with a lot of Fathers 4 Justice activists was that “no one really listened or knew about them” until they dressed as superheroes and did stunts like this.

A lot of them had the issue that visitation in the UK was not court protected so mothers could simply “move away” without any alternative arrangement being made (such as the child visits for holidays regularly).

A lot of them were genuine, they just completely lost touch with family because of a bad break up. Some of them were individuals who were not married so when they split up with their girlfriends they ended up with no rights to even see their own kids.

A lot of them just wanted to be able to see their own flesh and blood. I can accept that, I would be devastated if I couldn’t see any future kids that I had either because I was not married or because there was no protection for visitations.

And come now… By your logic Gandhi was all about public harassment. Give the guy some credit, he may have a genuine reason for this.

Seraph
Seraph
11 years ago

Anybody care to bet on how many of the MRAs and MGTOWs will notice how many people in this thread are giving this guy the benefit of the doubt?

Amused
11 years ago

“And come now… By your logic Gandhi was all about public harassment. Give the guy some credit, he may have a genuine reason for this.”

I’m sorry, I know this is not a popular thing to say, but Gandhi WAS about public harassment and a lot of things worse than that. I don’t see him as the paragon of virtue that many believe him to have been. (I should disclose, of course, that my views are colored by the realization that according to Gandhi’s principles, my very existence is morally wrong: in the late 1930’s – early 1940’s, Gandhi argued that the only acceptable course of action for European Jews was to kill themselves en masse, since their continued existence was such a thorn in the side of humanity, and he never retracted those statements. In that respect, I admit to being just a tad biased against Gandhi. Still, this doesn’t mean I’m wrong.) Non-violent protesters of Ghandi’s type (as opposed to non-violent protesters who get their message out without disrupting the daily lives of millions of people) aren’t truly non-violent; rather, they are skillful manipulators of violence by others.

Besides, shutting down traffic in a major city, is that truly harmless? Traffic jams result in more accidents. Low-income people who depend most on reliable travel times — taxi drivers, truck drivers, etc. — lose money, and it’s not the same as stock brokers losing money because they can’t get to their office on time. The attention of law enforcement gets diverted. Emergency vehicles cannot get to people who desperately need help. Like I said: orchestrators of widespread misery lose the right to claim they are non-violent. Particularly when they gloat over the misery they create.

This guy may have a genuine reason for this, maybe not. But a reason does not necessarily justify the method. Palestinian militants may have a legitimate grievance, but that does not legitimize terrorism. (Disclaimer: I am not comparing what this guy did with suicide bombing, merely showing that the motive does not legitimize the method.) I don’t know whether scaling a bridge and stalling traffic for hours shows him to be a controlling and power-hungry person, though it’s certainly possible. More than anything, however, an act like that is profoundly narcissistic. Kind of like anti-war protesters who deliver their message by stripping in public.

Seraph
Seraph
11 years ago

in the late 1930′s – early 1940′s, Gandhi argued that the only acceptable course of action for European Jews was to kill themselves en masse, since their continued existence was such a thorn in the side of humanity, and he never retracted those statements.

Cite please?

Amused
11 years ago

This collection of Gandhi’s quotes, for instance. Scroll down to “on the Holocaust”. (“On Blacks and Race Relations” is right below it, by the way. You’ll find some hair-raising stuff there, as well.)

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Says not found Amused.

‘Louis Fisher, Gandhi’s biographer asked him: “You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?”

Gandhi responded, “Yes, that would have been heroism.”’Source

Amused
11 years ago

Sorry, Elizabeth, I must have messed up the tag. Here is the URL:

http://www.gandhism.net/hisownwords.php

“Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi,” Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

As to whether the Jews should have committed “collective sucide” by offering themselves to Hitler: “Yes, that would have been heroism.” ~ George Orwell’s “Reflections on Gandhi,” Partisan Review, Jan. 1949

cynickal
cynickal
11 years ago

Bikie isn’t “biker” it “Hell’s Angel/Motorcycle Gangster”.

Real bikers know that when a cager says “biker” they mean a 1%’ers.
😉

cynickal
cynickal
11 years ago

@Pecunium

The “bikie” association is also something which argues against his being a long service soldier, and esp. one who was in SF. Those tend to be fairly law abiding types.

I agree.

“There were about 500 SEALs that operated in Vietnam, and I’ve met all 20000 of them,” joked Steve Waterman, a retired Navy diver from South Thomaston

Seraph
Seraph
11 years ago

Huh. Well, now I want to dig deeper, but the firewalls at my job are messing with me.

Disheartening stuff. It’s one thing to discover that your heroes have human failings – see MLK’s infidelities – but this goes a bit beyond that.

NWOslave
NWOslave
11 years ago

Stop with your poor little oppressed victim card Amused. Lets keep in mind who the Bolsheviks were and what they did. Who wrote the book on communism, who financed them and what group of people cheered them on worldwide. Unless you consider taking over a country, murdering the entire ruling caste, and starving 20 million peasants something to be proud of.

Nobodys history is pure and innocent. Play your victim card elsewhere.

cynickal
cynickal
11 years ago

Stop with your poor little oppressed victim card Amused.

Skipping your reading comprehension classes again?
Or are victim cards only for straight white guys in the US?

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth

Well under your logic NWOslave-men apparently are. Women are the evil ones always.

NWOslave
NWOslave
11 years ago

I don’t have a victim card cynickal. Remember, I’m privileged, and as far as my “race” is concerned. I’m the worlds foremost mutt. Which I like to think of as the worlds greatest achievement. The BEST of every race.

Amused
11 years ago

Knock it off, NWOSlave. The only one playing the “pool little oppressed victim card” is you, you despicable antisemite. I know how these “discussions” go. Next, you’ll try to tell me how Stalin was Jewish, and that “Dzhugashvili” means “son of a Jew” because “Dzhu” sounds like “Jew” and therefore must mean the same thing. And then you are going to quote the “Protocols” to me.

By the way: it wasn’t 20 million peasants. And of the peasants who starved, many were Jews, including some of my own family. As for the ruling caste, it did a pretty good job for centuries of oppressing both Jews and gentile peasants. Serfdom, hello? What was that, Jews’ fault too?

Seriously, you disgust me. Shut up.

Me
Me
11 years ago

And bomb threats, death threats and poisoning pets in the UK circa 1970s is ok, no doubt.

Holly
11 years ago

I don’t have the same reaction to this I do to most Manboobz stuff. It may have been a terrible way to protest, but I don’t know the details of his case–there’s a possibility that I can’t discount without knowing more that the child custody judgement was unfair.

Or maybe I’m just thrilled that he’s not (from what I know) being misogynist! “I want my kids back” is a sentiment I’m far more sympathetic to than “EVIL FEMINISM TOOK MY KIDS.”

Pecunium
11 years ago

This is the writing which leads to all the various comments about Ghandi.

Ghando on the Jewish situation in Germany, 1938

Taken as a whole, it seems to accord with his opinions on non-violence. “I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.

I don’t see anything in that which says he thinks Jews ought to remove themselves from the picture, because “their continued existence was such a thorn in the side of humanity,”. He very specifically says they should be a thorn in the side of those who oppressed them.

Pecunium
11 years ago

tit for tat: I saw that,and I discounted it. Why? Because it’s farcial. what is he protesting? From the reports his complaint (That DoCS is screwing up) is false. DoCS says they aren’t involved.

He has a beef with his ex. Ok. What does this do to actually show the problem? Nothing. No one was exposed to any arguments, any facts. They saw a guy say he was doing something, “for the children”. What Children? Teh children who aren’t in a case being managed by DoCS? I understand political theater. It needs the politics. The MRA types going after prosecutors, even if they are padding their numbers, are doing it. This guy wasn’t.

Part of this is colored by the other things he’s said. The combination of, “I was in combat on four continents” and his claim to have been in SF, contrasted to his criminal associations strike me as a bit narcissitic, which leads me to the sense that he’s claiming things in his motive that aren’t really so.

cynickal: I happen to dislike “cager”. It’s othering.

NWOslave
NWOslave
11 years ago

Well amused, like I said I’m a pure Mutt, meaning I probably have a little semite in me. So I can’t be anti-semite or I’d be against myself.

Say anything bad about any Jew and you’re anti-semetic.
Say anything bad about gays and you’re homophobic.
Say anything bad about any woman and you’re a misogynist.
Say anything bad about any race, (other than white) and you’re racist.
Say anything bad about muslims and you’re Islamophobic.

Wheres my victim card? I want a name like everyone else. Where I was young I was an athiest, however after much research I became a christian of no particular demonination due to the totally false notions presented, particularly by the catholic church.

So I want a victim card also. A happy name to silence all dissent. I was thinking Christianimosity. Ooooo, I like the sound of that. From now on if anyone mocks me they will be dubbed Cristianimositers.

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