Just a suggestion, dont know how it would "fly"...
How about balloons.
logistically easy, and they can all be released at the same time to signify the the kidds being taken away. A whole lot of men with a whole lot of balloons would get a lot of attention, no?
Very Cheep too...
BALLOONS... Yes, yes! What a fantastic idea. Imagine the emotion of scores of non-custodial fathers gathering outside at a pivotal moment during the conference, perhaps at the kickoff. A moving speech could be made, and an explanation of the significance of the balloons and the information they carry. Rather than some designated volunteers or a device releasing the balloons, fathers would let go of the balloons, signifying loss of contact in their kids' lives. Think about that -- the emotional power of that. Every photographer and reporter LIVES for moments like that. Talk about a moving moment. No father could watch that balloon (which symbolizes the loss of his kids) floating away from him with little chance of recovery, without tears flowing down his cheeks. The message will be so easy to send to the media: we are fathers, we love and miss our kids, and there's something you -- the public -- can do about it.
I think it could be taken further than that. Each balloon could be personalized to a particular father and his kids. The balloons could be tied to strings, looped through a small zip-lock bag containing papers with names and photos (certainly photos of the dads, with first names of kids attached). All of the balloons could be imprinted with the organization name, phone number, Web site address, slogan, etc. The same could be attached to the reverse side of the pieces of paper. That way, somebody somewhere might find the balloons (deflated by then, but paper still intact) and learn more about what the balloons signify.
We could even provide a Web address on the attached papers to the full story of a given father's plight, to add greater depth and perspective that couldn't otherwise be provided by the paper alone. Perhaps the whole story could be included, not just a Web link to it. Men telling the story of their emotional pain is what they do worst. This will be our chance to reverse that trend. Now we're not just talking about the momentary and fleeting media event of a thousand balloons being released, but each balloon standing for a heart-wrenching story. All the stories could be made available on a master Web page and/or bill of events, and provided to local media and even distributed worldwide to advocates.
And we can take it even further than that. Not only could balloons be released for each of the attendees to the conference, but also on behalf of fathers who couldn't make it there. They can submit their stories on a Web site. This can increase the numbers of balloons being released, making a much more massive and compelling statement.
To add perspective, we can organize the balloons by geography. 800 balloons from California, all orange. 600 balloons from New York, all green. 200 balloons from Colorado, all purple. And so on. If we get a great enough international response, perhaps the colors could signify countries, not just states.
What a powerful statement that would be. Not only to capture the event of all these balloons being released (with video and photographs), but also to demonstrate that it's not just symbolism -- the sheer number of balloons released demonstrates the problem of how family courts are hurting families. Then people could read about it more in detail on the Web, where all the stories are available. Finally, somewhere in the surrounding countryside, the balloons will land. A father (or child, or mother, or potential parent) will pick it up, perhaps months later, and learn about the event all over again. Of course, the Web site will still be up at that time. There might even be follow-up news stories about the novelty of finding these balloons, like messages in a bottle. And maybe by the time some of these balloons have finally been discovered in their resting spot, some positive developments may have occurred (children being reunited with their fathers, court rulings, and changes in the law). These positive developments could be added to the story, as depicted on the Web site.
It's a story that we need to be telling, maybe even more so than the political message. People respond to a real-life story, and this is the way to get it out.