Somewhere to sort out a feature article on Brian Haw, to fill out the one that has been started.
Early on Saturday morning 18 June 2011, veteran peace protester Brian Haw, 62, passed away just after the camp he established right opposite the Houses of Parliament had celebrated its tenth anniversary of highly visible opposition to the wars being waged on ordinary people. Brian had been suffering from lung cancer, diagnosed less than a year ago.
[removed the bit about in his sleep as he was probably drugged unconscious with morphine etc. but happy for it to be put back if anyone knows different] A long-term chain smoker who spent the last ten years of his life inhaling Parliament Square's toxic traffic fumes during his continuous protest, Brian Haw was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2010. Although he started treatment almost immediately at St Thomas's hospital and subsequently spent six months in Germany undergoing private treatment, he has lost his fight for life and the peace movement has lost one of its most committed campaigners.
Brian Haw held up a big, shiny, in-yer-face mirror to government foreign policy, which ministers failed to smash or obscure in spite of their best efforts. He first came to Parliament Square in June 2001 to protest the economic sanctions placed on Iraq by the West. These had led to the unnecessary deaths of many thousands of civilians, including at least half a million children under the age of 5. Having witnessed the suffering and premature death of one of his own children, [I didn't know this - do we have any more info about the circumstances?] Brian felt obliged to act. His objections to conflict were certainly heartfelt having visited the Killing Fields of Cambodia, even travelling to Iraq in the early nineties and seeing for himself the impact of UK + US foreign policy. Always focusing on child victims, Brian's display contained graphic images of suffering mainly from Iraq and later Afghanistan, and included pictures of children with tumours and congenital abnormalities in areas such as Fallujah where uranium and other highly toxic munitions had been used against the civilian population.
Various legal (and illegal) attempts were made by the authorities over the years to remove Haw, but each one was successfully challenged and resisted. Consequently, his campaign became synonymous with not just his opposition to war but also the right of freedom of assembly. An early attempt to remove Brian for obstructing the highway failed miserably when a judge ruled that there was plenty of room for people to get past his display. Ministers then had the bright idea of writing a new law to get rid of him and the parts of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) limiting the freedom to protest in vicinity of Parliament were specifically drafted with this aim. However, the courts eventually decided that Brian Haw's protest, having already been in situ when the law was introduced, could not be retrospectively deemed illegal and he became the only person not required by law to seek permission for his protest, although the cops still imposed restrictions under the Act's provisions. Other efforts to remove Brian have included fencing off the whole grassed area of the square, which is controlled by the Greater London authority, and eventually obtaining a ruling against the camp encroaching on the grass, although this did not stop tents being pitched on the adjoining pavement.
Apart from the occasional absence to attend court hearings, Brian Haw maintained a continuous presence on the pavement opposite the British Parliament for over nine years and was often to be heard loudly declaiming politicians through his megaphone, which the authorities also tried to ban. His makeshift camp, originally very modest in size, grew as supporters donated signs and artwork until it was trashed and largely removed in 2006 by the cops alleging infringement of a SOCPA restriction. In 2007, artist Mark Wallinger won the Turner Prize for his installation 'State Britain', a re-creation of Haw's display before this attack.
Brian Haw 7/1/49 - 18/6/11 RIP
Brian Haw, passed away on Saturday 18th June 2011.
Articles with "Brian Haw" in the title posted to UK Indymedia, this isn't all the coverage he has had on UK Indymedia as many articles won't have had his name in the title:
- Police attempting to move Brian Haw, Parliament Sq peace protestor
- Take Action to Stop Police Eviction of Peace Activist Brian Haw
- URGENT: Brian Haw "Disappeared" by the Cops
- Brian Haw arrested in Parliament Square
- Brian Haw protest continues - 3 years in June!
- Support Brian Haw
- Brian Haw in court tomorrow
- Brian Haws 3rd Anniversary in Parliament Square
- Brian Haw 24/7 protest reaches three and a half years!
- We need help in London NOW - Brian Haw being attacked
- Brian Haw clocks up 4 years of 24/7 in Parliament Square!
- Brian Haw says `Just do it`
- VICTORY for Brian Haw!
- Brian Haw defies eviction under new law
- Brian Haw 1,521 Not Out!
- Pics from Brian Haw’s peace camp, 24 Sep
- Brian Haw ha been arrested this morining
- Cindy Sheehan to Visit UK Peace Protestor Brian Haw
- meeting between cindy sheehan and brian haw turns to spontaneous protest
- Brian Haw to appear in High Court
- Solidarity with Brian Haw at the High court, Monday 10am
- Brian Haw high court case
- final verdict on brian haw high court next monday
- Mon 8 May 10am, High Court judgement on Brian Haw's demonstration
- government wins appeal against brian haw's peace protest
- film of brian haw and supporters in the square after high court verdict
- Brian Haw Timeline
- reminder of latest news on brian haw's battle to remain
- Gathering in solidarity with Brian Haw: Sunday 14 May 06, 12 noon
- Brian Haw Newsflash
- IF U ENJOY FREEDOM 2 PROTEST, then support Brian Haw @ Parliament Sq tomorrow
- Short video of solidarity for Brian Haw
- Hugo Chavez to visit Brian Haw in Parliament Square later today
- Monday afternoon with Brian Haw & Mark Thomas in Parliament square
- Brian Haw is being removed right now!
- Brian Haw Solidarity - Meet Bliar Tomorrow 11am
- Video of Brian Haw supporters waiting to greet PM
- Brian Haw and the Death of Democracy
- Security Risk? Critical Mass visits Brian Haw
- A 'plod' supports Brian Haw !
- support Brian Haw in court tomorrow
- brian haw court hearing - he can stay with restrictions for now
- Brian Haw - Five Years in Parliament Square, London
- Brian Haw 5 years not out!
- Brian Haw Press Release
- SOCPA - news of a brian haw court victory
- "Brian Haw: The Polished Mirror"
- SOCPA - recent news and analysis - support brian haw tomorrow
- SOCPA - report on tuesday's brian haw adjournment hearing
- SOCPA - brian haw in court next tuesday
- STOP PRESS - brian haw court case venue changed