Father's Day bridge protest - what you've had to say

News that two dads had scaled Sunderland's Queen Alexandra Bridge to stage a Father's Day protest brought a huge response from Echo readers on social media.

Sunday, 19th June 2016, 5:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th June 2016, 6:43 pm
The two dads on top of the Queen Alexandra Bridge

The pair - who are members of 'Real Fathers for Justice' - climbed the bridge and unfurled a 25ft purple banner saying 'Happy Fatherless Day'.

Police have asked the pair to come down but RFFJ say the men - identified as Danny, 42, from Wearside and John, 34, from Gateshead - have provisions to stay in place for several weeks.

RFFJ said the protest is to highlight failings in the family courts that routinely deny children of one parent. Danny said he has not seen his two children for more than four years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He added: "My eldest son was born on father's day, today's protest is dedicated to him.

"I don't think most people have any idea of the affects of being unable to parent your children, knowing that despite them living only a few miles away I am no longer part of their lives."

Their protest attracted hundreds of comments from Echo readers posting on our Facebook page.

Among those was Alison Bilton, who wrote: "There are some brilliant fathers who can not see their kids and want to see their kids. I feel for them."

Sheila McLachlan said: "Unless there is a very good reason why they shouldnt, every dad should have the same rights to their children as the mother, they belong to both of them."

Jo Lawrence posted: "I completely support fathers having access to their children, as long as there aren't issues of domestic abuse or other safeguarding issues."

Kati Everett Cowley Bohill wrote: "Parents should have equal rights in law and to not see your child must be suffocating."

Ian Mullen said: "Good fathers should never be denied the right to see their child."

Bernadette Reay O'Leary posted: "Parents need to realise that kids need both parents unless there are circumstances where for safety reasons they can't."