Despite unfavourable weather, Matias Battauz was “stoked” to have three other people standing with him in support of father’s rights.
It’s a long way from the one-man crews when he started protesting in front of the courthouse for equal parenting.
The crew was at the corner of Gaetz Avenue and 32nd Street holding up signs and speaking out for equal parenting and a faster, but fairer court process when it comes to divorce and child care.
“The courts aren’t putting enough efforts to try to keep families together,” said Battauz. “Things can drag on for a long period of time and, unfortunately, when that happens the separation of kids and families affects more than mothers and fathers, it affects uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins. We have to fix this.”
Battauz has been committed to the cause, including some cold days in front of the courthouse. He has also travelled to Medicine Hat to join a demonstration, where they had 14 other people join the protest.
“We’re trying to raise awareness of this very big issue,” said Battauz. “Some people don’t know that it’s happening and some people who do know it’s happening, just ignore it.
“It is about our children and our future, our legacy. These kids are our legacy and if we don’t care about them, what are we here for?”
Despite being a one-man crew at the early part of his protests, he’s since had friends join him.
“The court really needs to put the interest of the child first, not the interest of the parent that brought it first to the courthouse,” said Battauz. “They need to care a little more for it, because they’re destroying families.
“Kids need both parents. Regardless if you’re a mom or dad, they need them both.”
Battauz himself is in his own custody battle, having not seen three of his children for more than a year. He is fighting to see them again.