11:00 - 06 September 2004

This is bristol . com

Dads' rights campaigners in Bristol have backed the action of colleagues who
staged a sit-down protest inside the offices of a Newport law firm. Four
people were arrested but later released without charge after the Fathers 4
Justice group staged the protest.
The group, dressed in decontamination suits, stormed into the Harding Evans
main office, at North Street in the city centre, at 2pm on Wednesday blowing
horns and shouting through loudhailers.
Fathers 4 Justice are campaigning for the rights of parents and grandparents
who claim they are unfairly denied access to their children by the family
The group has become notorious for its high-profile publicity stunts, the
most notorious of which saw them throw purple flour over Tony Blair in the
House of Commons.
Police were called to the Newport firm and arrested a number of the
protesters but later released them without charge.
The action was similar to that staged by Bristol-based members of Fathers 4
Justice, who stormed the city offices of Gregg Latchams Quinn in March this
The co-ordinator of the Bristol group backed the Newport action.
The father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "I am sure there
were people from Bristol there. The groups in Bristol, Swindon,
Gloucestershire, Cardiff and Newport all help each other out when
something's going on.
"We certainly support 'decontamination' of any solicitors. The amount of
money they take from the innocent is a national disgrace."
A spokesman for Harding Evans said: "A group of six to eight men, mostly
masked and dressed in contamination suits, came into our building armed with
claxons, microphones, loudhailers and cameras, making an appalling noise.
"It was very frightening and unpleasant for some of our staff and clients.
Other members of staff tried to seize their microphones and to persuade them
to stop the disruption and leave the building but they refused and continued
for about 20 minutes.
"We have no idea why we were targeted, although it might be because we have
the biggest family department of any law firm in South Wales.
"If there are any genuine cases of fathers who have not had lawful access to
their children, we have every sympathy. But this is a case for the family
judges to decide."