Saturday, 18 August 2007



06:50 - 23 August 2007

Ivybridge Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Jolly Stanesby could go to trial in November for climbing the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, USA.The flamboyant South Devon F4J protester - who dressed as Batman and scaled the historic monument on Friday - was due to appear in a Washington court on September 19.

But he is also set to appear in a London court on the same date for allegedly handcuffing himself to former children's minister Margaret Hodge - so he has asked his lawyers to get him a new date in the USA in mid-November. Mr Stanesby flew back to Britain yesterday after spending "some time with murderers" in Washington cells.

The high-profile F4J activist was arrested at gunpoint by a SWAT team along with another protester.

The protest was organised and performed by UK F4J activists Mr Stanesby, who dressed as Batman, and Mike Downes, as Captain America.

It was supported by US colleagues on the ground - with a 'support crew' of four people also held by police after the memorial was evacuated by the authorities. Mr Stanesby was charged with holding an unofficial protest and climbing a monument.

He also faces trial for the alleged Margaret Hodge incident.

Mr Stanesby was in the USA taking the F4J campaign to the Americans. The 41-year-old accompanied fellow-Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Matt O'Connor, the group's founder, to the States to speak at a major male rights conference - before trying to "strengthen ties" with American campaigners.

Mr Stanesby said: "Hopefully we can put back the American trial so I can go to the one involving Margaret Hodge.

"It was a brilliant trip - the Americans seem very enthusiastic on the campaign. The arrest was a big success too. They were going to use pepper gas.

"We were treated pretty heavily in the prison, with our feet chained up, but it highlighted our campaign."

Press Release - 18th August 2007
F4J Activists Arrested at Gunpoint After Washington Protest ­ Dramatic Pictures

Pictures and video footage can be downloaded at

Two Fathers 4 Justice activists were yesterday arrested at gunpoint by a SWAT team at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. A support crew of four were also held as the memorial was evacuated by the authorities.

The protest which was organised and performed by Fathers 4 Justice activists from the United Kingdom, included protest veterans Jolly Stanesby and Mike Downes. The protest was supported by US colleagues on the ground.

The activists are being help in US custody in Washington though the intentions of the authorities are unclear at the present time. The UK activists could be deported or placed on trial.

Said F4J Founder Matt O¹Connor this morning, "Yet again Fathers 4 Justice in the UK has led the way with an audacious protest to raise the global profile of fatherlessness and the social catastrophe it is causing in first world countries. Given the problem is not one that is unique to any one country or culture, a first world problem requires a first world, international response. This is our response to the inaction of the US authorities. There will be many, many more to follow."

"None of this however, would have been possible without the outstanding support of our colleagues in the US. Now we have lit the flame, we can begin the struggle to make equal parenting a reality in the United States, and combat the insidious gender apartheid that separates children from their fathers in the family courts."

The breaking Fathers 4 Justice campaign in the US has a new web site and
brand identity at