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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Bridge demo over fathers' rights
Bridge demo
The man says he has supplies for several weeks
Police have used a mobile phone to talk to a man who tethered himself to a bridge in Sunderland.

The city's Wearmouth Bridge was closed for a time during the protest, which began at 0500 BST on Monday.

The 33-year-old local man unveiled a banner demanding more rights for fathers.

Fathers 4 Justice, which was responsible for the House of Commons attack on Tony Blair, say the man is not a member of their organisation.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "We received a call at just after 0500 BST to say a man was on the bridge.

Mobile phone

"We took the decision to close the bridge for a time while we undertook a risk assessment of the situation.

"We took the decision to reopen the bridge after confirming that the local man was securely tied to the top of the bridge.

"We are in contact with him by mobile phone and hope the situation will be resolved satisfactorily."

Paul Watson, North East organiser of Fathers 4 Justice, said: "I went to the bridge myself to see what was happening.

"I was concerned that a father felt it necessary to climb up onto a bridge in this way.

"I could see a banner that he unveiled which called for a change to the rights given to fathers over their children."

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