High-profile dads' group pulls out of carnival parade
FATHERS fighting for the same rights as mothers over their children had to call off their visit to St Austell's annual parade.
As reported in the Cornish Guardian last week, organisers of the St Austell Torchlight Carnival and the police, said New Fathers 4 Justice were welcome to bring their political message to the popular parade – if there was no trouble.
However the group, who entered the carnival under the name, the Purple Knights, claim they were forced to back down after a member of the public threatened to protest against them.
Pete Moore, spokesman for New Fathers 4 Justice, said: "One of our supporters' ex-wifes threatened to do a counter demonstration against us."
New Fathers 4 Justice had entered the vintage vehicle section of Saturday's parade with a car they had adapted to look like a Batmobile.
The group promised any money raised would go to the carnival's chosen charity, Bosom Buddies UK.
Mr Moore said they were left with no other option than to back down at the eleventh hour in a bid to keep their promise of a trouble-free parade.
He said: "If anything had happened we would have been blamed. We just could not risk a scene after your article in the newspaper."
New Fathers 4 Justice are known for donning Lycra superhero suits and scaling buildings in a bid to grab attention for their cause.
Mr Moore said this was the first time he had been involved in a protest where a backlash was threatened.
"Generally, people are supportive of what we are trying to achieve, added Mr Moore.
Sheila Vanloo, a member of the carnival committee, said the door remains open to the group to join in the event and she had been impressed with their politeness.
Mr Moore added: "Sheila was so helpful and supportive that we had to pull our entry but we will be back next year to give them our support. I would like to thank her and her committee for trusting us."
Turn to pages 24 and 25 for more on the St Austell Torchlight Carnival.