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Santa Claus Chains Self to Buckingham Palace

A British man campaigning for more rights for divorced or separated fathers scaled the main gate of Buckingham Palace Tuesday and chained himself to the top of a pillar.

The man, identified by campaign group Fathers 4 Justice (search) as David Pyke, was dressed as Father Christmas — the British name for Santa Claus — and shouted slogans at a crowd that gathered to watch him.

Police closed all palace gates and external doors and cordoned off the area around his pillar.

It is not the first time Pyke has demonstrated at the palace. In September, dressed as the cartoon character Robin, he accompanied fellow protester Jason Hatch to the royal residence.

Hatch, who was dressed as Batman, climbed onto a palace balcony, where he remained for several hours, but Pyke was not as successful and was quickly removed.

"We've been planning to do something today on the day of the Queen's Speech (search) because we want to see more attention given to family law," Hatch said Tuesday, referring to the speech laying out the government's legislative program.

Hatch said Pyke separated from his wife 3½ years ago and has two children he is allowed to see every other weekend.

Other stunts by Fathers 4 Justice in recent months included sending a man dressed as Spider-Man to scale the London Eye (search) Ferris wheel and another to throw purple flour at Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons (search).

On Friday, a Fathers for Justice campaigner handcuffed himself to Minister for Children Margaret Hodge, trapping her for more than 30 minutes until police freed her.