Today, 15 years after it was founded, Fathers4Justice is the world’s largest equal parenting campaign group with over 80,000 registered families in the UK and Ireland. The government and Crown Prosecution Service subsequently failed in what Matt described as an attempt to impose ‘Chinese-style’ restrictions banning him from going within 100 metres of any venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Olympic Torch Relay route. A spokesman for Fathers for Justice told MailOnline: 'Fathers4Justice have been running the #AbuseHasNoGender campaign highlighting male victims of domestic abuse … Despite submitting a 1,000 page submission to Ms Nokes, who sat as an MP on the Children and Families Bill Committee, Nokes refused to uphold her election promise and subsequently refused to work with F4J, her constituents and local Conservative Party Members who supported shared parenting. Two Fathers 4 Justice protesters were arrested after unsuccessfully attempting to access the airfield in 2009. A design, marketing and PR consultant, Matt was shocked by the cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment of dads in Britain’s secret courts. Over the course of the next year-and-a-half, there followed five court hearings, one judge recused himself and one Crown Prosecutor stood down after he was overheard coaching a prosecution witness. All Visual Materials, Names, Content and Intellectual Property Copyright © Fathers4Justice 2019. I told them I would pay the scheduled £191 a month and not a penny more. It's terrible to be able to name and shame like this when the other half of the partnership can't give their side of the story. In August, F4J hit the front pages in Ireland when Matt O’Connor turned Father Ted to hijack Irish beauty contest the Rose of Tralee. Nokes then used her political influence to launch an attack on the group’s civil liberties and democratic right to free speech. 2006: Government smears, dirty tricks and threats. These were often paid informants, arrested on protests, and then “turned” to provide information in return for financial inducements. All Rights Reserved. My monthly wage at the time was £1400, so even then I couldn’t afford it. I hope one day to show Jennifer all the photos, videos of my TV appearances, articles in the press and Blogs on the web. In May, Stand By Your Manhood author Peter Lloyd and Matt O’Connor hit back in the Daily Mail at claims that 50/50 shared parenting was ‘agony’ for mothers. A second book about the Fathers4Justice campaign will be published in 2017. If you have a…. https://www.fathers-4-justice.org/2016/09/sos-viagra-sausages-launched-part-mens-health-campaign/. Helped by another dad, Tony Lewis, Matt set about raising awareness of the crisis in Britain’s family justice system and the cancer of family breakdown and mass fatherlessness. In 2007 Matt published his first book “Fathers 4 Justice: The Inside Story” through the Orion Publishing Group. Please see our Privacy Policy for how to manage your consent and for information on how we process your personal information. In the Sunday Times, Cosmo Landesman described it as, “A moving and hilarious account of an angry dad.”. Because I didn’t trust them not to touch my bank account I also cancelled the direct debit I had with them. 2008: London Mayoral Election, Harriet Harman and the move to political campaigning. Research published by F4J found that 23% of Scots believe that mothers love their children more than fathers. The group pursued political dialogue in early 2010, meeting both Nick Clegg and David Cameron. It was quickly proved that the message-id and name of the person who sent it belonged to somebody else. No “Hi, how are you today” or even any kind of identification as to who I was speaking to, just “Can I take your National Insurance number?”. I cannot stress this enough. I believe shared parenting is responsible parenting and that’s why UKIP worked with Fathers4Justice to include this important commitment in our election manifesto.”. So what drives this group's strategy? A Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Batman is staging a protest on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Over the last decade we have witnessed cases of child sex abuse covered up, bedroom doors smashed down, children forcibly dragged away by court tip staff, fathers jailed for waving at their children and kids abducted with impunity by their mothers. In September 2005, F4J campaigner Guy Harrison scaled the Houses of Parliament on his daughter’s birthday in protest at the continuing lack of action by the government, just over a year after he had powder-bombed the Prime Minister. Like I have done for every one of those 12 missing years, I sent her a card and a present. The protest came after the deputy Labour leader had vehemently opposed shared parenting for dads and attacked the group. For further information on the use of cookies and how you can manage your preferences, please see our website, We Are Fathers4Justice – The Official Campaign Organisation, “Fathers4Justice: The Men That Stormed The Palace”, plotting to kidnap five-year-old Leo Blair. I contacted the CSA to see if they would make her take my money and they told me “we can only process a claim if it comes from the mother”. The hearing is expected to take place in 2016. This is the story of the largest fastest and most successful equal parenting campaign groups in the world. He later described the action as “a chilling example of state censorship.”, Despite this, the book was positively reviewed. 2016: Divided by law, united by love. The lady I spoke to said she’d call my ex immediately and get it set up. On Valentine’s Day 2017, F4J launched their ‘Forgotten Fathers’ campaign outside the Scottish Parliament. Hi, this is for my as level politics presentation, our aim is to do a presentation of a pressure group of our choice, my team have decided to do fathers 4 justice in the UK. They decided to take £700 for May and £800 for June. By typing in your email address and clicking submit you are consenting to receive information from Fathers4Justice. By now, the campaign for truth, justice and equality in family law had captured the public imagination, catapulting the issues surrounding family law to the top of the political agenda, and inspiring thousands of disenfranchised parents and grandparents alike to campaign for equal parenting rights. We need to find the aims, methods and achievements. I decided to call them and find out what was going on. Fathers4Justice general office hours are Monday-Thursday 10.00am – 2.00pm. The event attracted widespread media coverage in the Scottish press. Despite this, on the 12th June 2013, just before Father’s Day, Matt & Nadine O’Connor and Fathers4Justice were invited to speak in the House of Commons for the first time, at the Shared Parenting Debate chaired by George Galloway MP. Nokes then began making a series of false allegations about the campaign, in an attempt to distract attention away from her broken promises and discredit Fathers4Justice. On 20th February 2014, there was a serious, violent attack at Matt’s family home in Hampshire where Matt was assaulted and his landlord savagely bitten. You may revoke your consent at any time. O’Connor later said that if the story had been true, it was unthinkable it would have been printed, citing a serious incident involving Blair’s daughter Kathryn in 2004. After my daughter was taken to Scotland, she went from loving me to showing an unnatural hatred towards me in the space of just over a year. A week later the tabloids reported that Guy Ritchie had asked Fathers4Justice to help in his custody battle with Madonna over his son Rocco. The group relaunched in May 2006 with a protest on the BBC’s National Lottery show in front of 10 million viewers, led by Nadine O’Connor. Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) launched the social media campaign featuring Miss Flack days after she was charge with assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, … I asked for an explanation as to these charges and they refused. Watch the report MATT O'CONNOR: (Fathers for Justice) This campaign will change. That same week, he was also interviewed on the Lorraine show on ITV1. I don’t know if Jennifer gets any of the cards and presents I’ve sent over the last 12 years, but I have proof of them being received at the address and being signed for by her mother and step-dad. I left my previous job in October 2013, I called the CSA to inform them of this. Shortly after, F4J committed to pursuing a political campaign. Fathers 4 Justice is a campaign group fighting for the rights of fathers in the UK. Good Morning Britain presenters were left stunned after a fathers' rights campaigner undid his trousers live on air and threatened to expose himself. Not only had Nokes categorically denied being present, but she had claimed Parliamentary expenses for the trip. If it wasn’t for my accountant I wouldn’t have known that the CSA were actively trying to screw me out of £1300. my part is the achievements which seems to be the hardest. 2001 / 2003: From injustice to Fathers4Justice. All Visual Materials, Names, Content and Intellectual Property Copyright © Fathers4Justice 2019. When it will come is anyone’s guess. FNF is a parenting organisation. A week later I got a letter from the CSA telling me to call them and make a card payment. They told me I would be paying £191 a month, but the first payment would be £400 and the second would be £250. I set up a direct debit with them and they took the £400 and £250 anyway. O’Connor and May would later have a heated dispute after a television interview during which he claimed she had undergone a ‘Damascene’ conversion and now supported shared parenting after earlier refusing to back it. Fathers 4 Justice has distanced itself from what it called a "grotesque" plan. I called my bank to be told there was nothing they could do. We have lost out on 12 years simply because her mother wanted “to move on” and considered me an inconvenience to that. Matt also gave his first interview to the Guardian newspaper in which he set out a new path for the campaign, though he later complained that the article was not only written with “tangible disdain”, but was misleading and falsely attributed quotes to him. Through Fathers 4 Justice a letter was sent to Jennifer’s mother and I requested a picture of Jennifer to put by my hospital bed in the Royal Marsden whilst I was fighting for my life. Fathers For Justice Target Big Ben's Bongs (Maybe) Fears tonight that pressure group, Fathers for Justice, have targeted tonight's Big Ben Bongs, scheduled to celebrate the arrival of 2007 around about midnight. Come to an agreement with your ex. They’re not. I have a daughter, Jennifer, whom I have not seen for 12 years now. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest help and campaign information from Fathers4Justice. But the struggle for equality continues. The former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Tim Loughton, claimed in an article he wrote for the Guardian, that when he was a Minister the group threatened to target his family home. The case was immediately dropped, but no action taken against the person who sent the email. Richard Watson gained access to the heart of their operations in the run-up to the march. Protests began in 2004 with a superhero demonstration on the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol and co-ordinated protests on major arterial roads around London. Forced into a contact centre to see his boys as part of a “cooling off” period – imposed by a judge after his wife had prevented him going to his house to remove his belongings – Matt was left fighting depression after losing everything. Despite his protests, Matt was forced to remove the section from the book after bowing to pressure from the publishers. I cancelled the direct debit and told the CSA that I would pay every month by card so they couldn’t take any more than they were supposed to. I called them and was told that they hadn’t contacted my ex so I would have to pay by card. Matt became the subject of press and police intrusion following the protests. 2014: The targeting of Matt O’Connor and his family. The ad featured a picture of a man cradling a new born child with the words ‘a father is for life not just conception’. The stream of false allegations were no longer isolated incidents, but appeared to form part of sustained attempt by establishment figures and the media to discredit F4J. Later that month, The Telegraph marked the 10th anniversary of the Fathers4Justice protest on the BBC’s National Lottery show with an interview with Matt and Nadine O’Connor about the protest. To laugh and enjoy life as father and daughter. It transpired the story was a fabricated smear, requiring the involvement of Scotland Yard, the Blairs, and notorious editor of The Sun, Rebecca Brooks. 2001 / 2003: From injustice to Fathers4Justice. A design, marketing and PR consultant, Matt was shocked by the cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment of dads in Britain’s secret courts. In March 2016, the London Borough of Barnet threatened F4J with legal action on behalf of McDonalds over their “McDads” campaign. They stole my life.”. In March 2015, in the run up to the 2015 General Election, Fathers4Justice was subject to further Tory smears, this time by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who claimed in the Evening Standard and Telegraph that F4J had climbed on the roof of his home. Cork Pro Choice group later apologised to F4J and paid damages for libel after claiming the campaign ‘promoted’ domestic violence. The incident marked the beginning of an 18-month-long campaign of intimidation targeting his children and home, which included the sending of hate mail about his children, the family car being smashed up, death threats and the targeting of the family on social media. (YouGov, 13/6/12). F4J was also denied the opportunity to provide first-hand testimony to the committee, thereby denying the 36,000 families it represented a voice in Parliament. In March 2013, Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who had also made a promise to Fathers4Justice to support shared parenting as part of her election campaign in 2010, broke her election pledge, citing support for the new Children & Families Bill. John Waters followed up the meeting with an article in Ireland’s leading political magazine, The Village. Can’t afford it? She used political lobbyists to take down the Fathers4Justice Twitter feed and then attempted to take down the Fathers4Justice Facebook page citing ‘harassment’ by the groups supporters. The event attracted widespread media coverage in the Scottish press. Our struggle continues. In July 2010, Matt appeared in the BBC’s Century of Fatherhood programme. Jennifer’s last known address was in the small Scottish town of Forres, near Elgin, Morayshire. How Fathers4Justice started in sleepy Shropshire. I answered it and was immediately asked for my National Insurance number. This is Matt O'Connor's personal account of the most controversial protest movement of recent times, FATHERS 4 JUSTICE. Fathers Day is spent either at work, on a Fathers 4 Justice March or locked in my room crying over her. Two weeks later he was reunited with his children after the courts and his wife backed down, and a consent order was agreed allowing Matt to re-establish a normal relationship with his boys. The “superheroes” campaign generated international publicity, turning Fathers4Justice into one of the highest profile campaign groups in the world and spawning a host of imitation (but unrelated) groups in different countries. Fathers4Justice was founded by Matt O’Connor in 2001 after he was denied access to his two boys, Daniel and Alexander, following a difficult divorce. Every judge was warned of the alleged risk, as were various government departments, compromising Matt’s ability to secure a fair hearing in any future legal action as well as causing serious harm to his reputation. In an interview with John Peel on Radio 4’s Home Truths, Matt later described his life at the time as “like ground zero”. By Andy Richardson. That same year, his efforts as a campaigner were recognised in the media. Don’t expect any kind of compassion from them. By typing in your email address and clicking submit you are consenting to receive information from Fathers4Justice. Book your F4J Case Assessment today, MARRIAGE MANTRAP: Did stress of divorce from bridezilla Nicole Young + her demands for $2m monthly spousal support…, F4J LOCKDOWN UPDATE: The children of separated parents CAN travel between households during lockdown. In July, protestors dressed as priests stormed York Minster during a service in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the General Synod. For further information on the use of cookies and how you can manage your preferences, please see our website, We Are Fathers4Justice – The Official Campaign Organisation, Fathers 4 Justice - The Official Campaign Organisation, GOT ACCESS PROBLEMS SEEING YOUR KIDS? The CSA has absolutely no qualms about putting you into debt. By clicking below you consent to the use of non-essential cookies on our site. Jump to a case study: mycsahell | Archie | Richard. 2013: The political battle for Shared Parenting. This was followed by one of F4J’s last direct action protests, when superheroes Jolly Stanesby and Mark Harris scaled the roof of Harriet Harman’s home in South London before Father’s Day. The request was declined. Jul 11, 2020 | Contribution, Visionary Men. Fearlessly honest and utterly irreverent Matt's own story will appeal to anyone whose family relationships have been torn to pieces by divorce and the family courts system. It’s heartbreaking, knowing that your child is out there somewhere and you can’t see them is like a living bereavement and I thank my lucky stars that I have the most amazing support from my family, and in particular from my loving partner Lynda to help me through these hard times. Jump to a case study: mycsahell | Richard. i cant find much on the net. Fast forward to April 2013 and I got a call from a blocked number on my mobile. They also confirmed for the first time, the existence of a recruitment programme that enlisted “stakeholders” and “information resources” to gather intelligence about O’Connor and F4J. I just hope and pray that we will be reunited soon and Jennifer will realise for herself that I’m not the big bad wolf that she has been lead to believe I am. The threat led to Matt and Nadine O’Connor meeting Commander Bob Broadhurst at Scotland Yard to remonstrate with police about the heavy-handed intimidation of peaceful protestors. Cameron apologised to Matt O’Connor and Fathers4Justice. About a week later I received quite a threatening letter from the Child Support Agency telling me that I would be paying up or else they would force me to pay (they used all kinds of phrases including “our extensive legal powers” to make the letter more intimidating). After sending him a letter before action for libel, Cameron apologised to Matt O’Connor and Fathers4Justice. In an increasingly murky world where the authorities were subverting the organisation, Matt temporarily disbanded the campaign, and in doing so, secured even more front-page coverage for F4J. All Rights Reserved. The Sun newspaper ran a front-page story claiming that men “on the lunatic fringe of the Fathers4Justice group” were plotting to kidnap five-year-old Leo Blair, son of then Prime Minister, Leo Blair. Jennifer turned 18 on the 4th of July this year, 2012. Matt was interviewed about the dispute by John Gaunt on Talk2Me Radio. On Father’s Day 2015, Fathers4Justice launched their Manifesto for Men and Boys calling for Shared Parenting and the appointment of a Minister for Men. The Bill did not contain a single one of her election promises to Fathers4Justice including, critically, the commitment to shared parenting. Despite the resolution of his own case, Matt founded Fathers4Justice, a campaign born out of his love for his children, and his fear that one day they might suffer the same injustice as him – what he called a “living bereavement” – when they became fathers. At the same time, an invitation to Fathers4Justice to speak in Parliament from the Bishop of Durham was withdrawn, following further false allegations made by Caroline Nokes MP. first interview to the Guardian newspaper, London Borough of Barnet threatened F4J with legal action, Guy Ritchie had asked Fathers4Justice to help in his custody battle with Madonna, Matt followed this up with a comment piece in The Telegraph, footballer Jamie O’Hara also contacted F4J for advice in his access battle with Danielle Lloyd, George Galloway, Matt O’Connor, Irish writer John Waters and ex-EastEnders star Mo George joined a platform of speakers at a public meeting, article in Ireland’s leading political magazine, The Village, Peter Lloyd and Matt O’Connor hit back in the Daily Mail at claims that 50/50 shared parenting was ‘agony’ for mothers, The Telegraph marked the 10th anniversary of the Fathers4Justice protest on the BBC’s National Lottery show, stormed the Loose Women studio, forcing the show off air, http://www.channel4.com/programmes/top-dad/on-demand/62738-005, Matt O’Connor turned Father Ted to hijack Irish beauty contest the Rose of Tralee, https://www.fathers-4-justice.org/2016/09/sos-viagra-sausages-launched-part-mens-health-campaign/, Aldershot Magistrates Court acted unlawfully in excluding the public, ‘Change The 8th’ campaign on buses in Cork, Ireland, apologised to F4J and paid damages for libel, 23% of Scots believe that mothers love their children more than fathers, Fathers 4 Justice - The Official Campaign Organisation, GOT ACCESS PROBLEMS SEEING YOUR KIDS? In June, F4J legal advisor Michael Cox was jailed for 42 days for refusing to pay child maintenance, arguing that as he looked after his children half the time, he already supported his kids. This was followed by a protest on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It’s heartbreaking, knowing that your child is out there somewhere and you can’t see them is like a living bereavement and I thank my lucky stars that I have the most amazing support from my family, and in particular from my loving partner Lynda to help me through these hard times. Fathers4Justice Father-of-one Martin Matthews was given a court order to pay for damage to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's roof - nine days later he has resumed his protest A month passed and nothing had come of it. By clicking below you consent to the use of non-essential cookies on our site. He said at the time, “That a sitting Prime Minister would use his five-year-old boy to discredit Fathers4Justice, speaks volumes about the lengths the state will go to in an attempt to destroy our campaign.”. Again the first payment was £400, then £250 followed by my regular payments. By clicking below you consent to the use of non-essential cookies on our site. Despite repeated denials, and a concerted cover-up by Hampshire Police, it transpired Caroline Nokes MP had driven to London to collect a friend and bring him to O’Connor’s home, before waiting for him while the attack took place. This was followed by the death of his business partner and subsequent collapse of the parent group of companies. His back on the use of non-essential cookies on our site sleepy Shropshire the story! 2013, I sent her a card and a present unlawful and linked to! 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