Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Dads' rights campaigner ends Tyne Bridge protest

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A FATHERS' rights campaigner is being questioned by police after he ended his protest on top of the Tyne Bridge. Real Fathers For Justice demonstrator Simon Anderton scaled the bridge in the early hours of Sunday, where he unfurled a banner reading "Happy Fathers Day" and tied a dummy with its head in a noose - intended to represent a father - to the arch of the bridge. The 49-year-old came down from the top parapet of the steel structure after members of the campaign group asked him to end the protest out of fears for his health. A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "At 7.15pm the protester made his own way from the bridge to the public footpath and has been arrested by officers from Newcastle Area Command for public order offences. "At this time the arrested person is in police custody." Earlier, Mike Kelly, a spokesman for Real Fathers For Justice, expressed concern that Mr Anderton - who is a local member - had no food or medication and only a small bottle of water. He said: "We felt that it is a mans life. We couldnt allow the protest to go on any longer so on health grounds we told him to come down and we think that was the right decision. "As a campaign group weve got a responsibility to think rationally when sometimes theyre not and make decisions on their behalf." Real Fathers For Justice was formed in 2005 and has similar aims to Fathers 4 Justice. Both groups use high-profile stunts to attract attention to issues of fathers rights and campaign on behalf of men denied access to their children.

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