10 Most Needed Dads Protest

    "10 Most Needed Dads"

Sponsored by Coalition for the Preservation of Fatherhood

When: Saturday, June 17 10:30 - 1:00 pm

Where: Boston (Commons, State House steps)

10:30 - 11 am 
Protest preparation:
Meet at the 1st floor conference room at 14 Beacon Street 
[CPF office at Suite 421, 4th Floor).
14 Beacon Street is across the street from the State House,
a few doors east (away from the Commons).

11 am - noon
March around the Boston Commons

Noon - 1 pm
State House steps
Speeches, testimonials, release of 10 Most Needed Dads poster.

1:00 pm - ?
Relax in the Commons, enjoy the day, network, socialize.

Bring your friends and children. You may leave picnicking items,
belongings etc. at the office during the protest.

Highlight on the day before Father's Day the plight faced by the 
father in the Massachusetts Family and Probate Court.

More information:
CPF/Ken Pilon: 617-723-DADS; 617-649-1906
E-mail: CPF/Mark Charalambous: mchar@jyacc.com

Please dress neatly and bear yourself appropriately. Spokespeople 
for CPF will be identified for media interviews.

Bring your own sign, or choose from those provided. Signs should
highlight your personal predicament with respect to custody/parenting.

Media will be there. Lets get a good showing.
Dateline June 17, 1995. Boston

On Saturday, June 17, on the eve of Fathers Day, 60 men, women and children marched through the Boston Common and the Public Gardens to protest the "Throwaway Dad" policies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The marchers rallied at the State House steps at noon for an hour and fifteen minutes of speeches and testimonials from disenfranchised fathers.

The protest rally was organized by Coalition for the Preservation of Fatherhood, a group of fatherhood advocates that less than two years ago held meetings in a living room, but has since seen its numbers burgeoned into the hundreds as it has gained publicity and respect.

According to group spokesman Mark Charalambous, who chaired the rally, CPF has dedicated itself to "the re-establishment of the position of fatherhood--where it belongs--alongside motherhood, separate, different, but equal."

Charalambous kicked of the event with a brief but pointed attack against the "truth behind Fatherless America", highlighted by the "conspiracy of silence" that exists within the news media that refuses to acknowledge the throwaway dad policies of a Massachusetts Probate and Family Court system that has "become a killing field for fathers."

Next on the agenda, Professor Eugene Narrett, noted fathers rights activist and newspaper columnist, spoke at length of the plight of the unmarried father who wants more than five-day-a-month visitation with his children. Narrett took aim at Attorney General Scott Harshbarger for his complicity in a system that encourages the criminalization of fathers, which often singles out for punishment those very fathers who defy the system and fight for custodial and/or visitation rights.

According to Narrett, the state has refused to acknowledge the findings of experts who show that the most important thing in a child's life is the relationship with both his/her parents. Narrett listed the behavioral pathologies attendant on children raised without fathers, lending credence to the claim that fatherlessness has now become America's number one social problem.

At the conclusion of Narrett's speech, the "Needed By Their Children: Ten More Examples of Throwaway Dads" poster was released. The poster, an answer to the Mass. Department of Revenue's 'Deadbeat Dad' poster, displays the pictures of ten fathers who's experiences in Probate and Family Court serve as examples of the different ways fatherhood is under attack in the Commonwealth. Several of the fathers gave testimonials, exclaiming in their own words the pain they and their children have suffered because of a callous system that seldom, if ever, operates in the best interests of the child.

Ken Pilon, CPF Facilitator and driving force behind the rally's planning and organization, exhorted the marchers to make sure their voices are heard by the media and their elected representatives.

As if to underscore Charalambous' claim of a conspiracy of silence within the media, the event received scant media attention. Local TV station WLVI featured a quick spot on the event in the 10:00 o'clock News, and Associated Press picked up the event, but the major Boston media chose to ignore the event. Neither the Boston Globe nor the Boston Herald carried the event in their Sunday editions, though both papers carried numerous 'puff' Fathers Day pieces. The Boston Globe featured a story of a march of 40 men marching in Roxbury to demonstrate their solidarity with efforts to convince mostly disadvantaged and younger unmarried fathers to embrace the responsibilities that stem from unintended fatherhood.

If the media is determined to stonewall acknowledgment of this issue because it runs counter to the prevailing winds of victim feminist politics that dictate their news policies, the fathers rights movement will have to come to terms with the question of how an aggrieved class of 'media untouchables' -- divorced and unmarried fathers -- can force the media to pay attention. Regardless of the tactics chosen, CPF recognizes that until such time that public awareness is raised by responsible journalists that are not afraid to buck the current tenets of political correctness, the key to short-term future success will be the continued and growing participation of disenfranchised fathers and their friends.

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