Holy rash stunt, Batman! Mischief
Fathers 4 Justice protest follows
on heels of Saturday's scaling of
Mount Royal cross
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Frustrated by his inability to see
his children, Benoit Leroux dressed
up as Robin, Batman's sidekick, scaled
the Jacques Cartier Bridge yesterday
morning and unfurled a large banner
demanding parental equality.
Traffic on the bridge was stopped
for two hours while Montreal firefighters
scaled the structure to try to persuade
Leroux to come down.
When Leroux finally climbed down about
10:30 a.m., he was arrested and probably
will be charged with mischief, Surete
du Quebec Constable Manon Gaignard
During the publicity stunt, Leroux
spoke live with the LCN French television
network, via a cellphone, and said
he was trying to draw attention to
Fathers 4 Justice.
Fathers 4 Justice, an international
organization that fights for fathers'
rights in child-custody cases, has
become famous for its headline-grabbing
stunts, is campaigning for a child's
right to be raised by both parents.
"If I am here climbing a bridge,
it's because I have no other alternative,"
Leroux said in the interview. "The
family courts don't recognize our
rights. I haven't seen my children
for two years."
Leroux said he was dressed up as a
superhero "so children could
understand what we are doing."
On Saturday morning, another Fathers
4 Justice activist dressed up as Spiderman
and scaled the cross on top of Mount
Royal. He remained there for two hours
before police persuaded him to climb
down. He was not charged.
A spokesperson for the group's Canadian
chapter said acts of civil disobedience
are the only way they can get their
"Fathers are often denied access,
have no hope of having custody of
their children and are treated as
nothing more than a wallet,"
said Steve Osborne, the spokesperson
for the group's Canadian chapter,
which was founded last year. It has
"In most cases, the family courts
still give sole access to the mother
and often fathers are cut off from
Osborne said his group is using civil
disobedience to try to persuade politicians
and judges that custody of children
should be divided equally between
Last week, the group said it unleashed
thousands of live crickets in MPs
offices and court houses across Canada,
including 1,000 at the Montreal courthouse.
"We want equal parenting to become
the norm across Canada," Osborne