Bridge stunt chokes city
Saffron Howden, Louise Hall, and Dylan Welch
May 14, 2011
Protester on Harbour Bridge causes massive delays
A protester on Sydney's Harbour Bridge has unfurled banners which read 'kids
first' and 'plz help my kids' forcing a closure and causing massive traffic
THE private pain of a troubled man rang out from Sydney's iconic bridge and
struck at its congested heart.
A lone act of defiance stopped trains, changed traffic lights and left one of
Australia's busiest stretches of road empty of the morning rush-hour peak,
exposing the flaws in the city's overburdened traffic network.
Just before 5am, Michael Fox, a former soldier, pulled up in a hired truck.
Using a ladder he scaled the security fence of the Coathanger and clambered up
the mass of steel to bring his hand-scrawled message to the world: ''Plz help my
kids'' and ''Kids first''.
High drama ... Michael Fox on the Harbour Bridge yesterday. Photo: Cameron
In a note allegedly left in the truck, he told police: ''You've taken my
kids; I have taken your bridge. Be aware. I'm an Australian veteran and highly
trained former elite soldier. Do whatever is asked and this will start and end
Police did exactly as they were asked. They stopped traffic, they blocked
pedestrian, bike and train access and no one attempted to follow him to his
''If anyone attempts to climb to the upper arch of the bridge during this
protest, the consequences will be fatal,'' Mr Fox, 38, said, papers tendered in
court after his standoff ended show.
Sydney Harbour Bridge protest
The protester abseils down the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: Brendan