Brian Haw Anti-War Hero Dies by Paddy McGuffin

20 June 2011 — Morning Star

brian-haw.jpgInternationally renowned peace campaigner Brian Haw has died, his family said today.

Mr Haw, who staged a 10-year protest outside Parliament against British and US foreign policy, had been receiving treatment in Germany for lung cancer.

The message, addressed to friends and supporters, posted on Mr Haw’s website by his family said: ‘It is with deepest regret that I inform you that our father, Brian, passed away this morning.

‘He left us in his sleep and in no pain, after a long, hard fight.’

There had been numerous attempts to evict Mr Haw from his camp in Parliament Square by the government, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Westminster Council.

Ministers announced provisions in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill in 2004 in a bid to remove him from the square. The legislation, passed in April 2005, restricted the right to protest in designated areas within 1,000 metres of the Houses of Parliament.

But the High Court ruled Mr Haw’s protest was not covered by the Act because it started before the new law came into effect.

The case was taken to the Court of Appeal which ruled he would have to apply to the police under the Act for permission to continue his demonstration.

Westminster Council is set for a court bid later this year to get the camp moved off the pavement.

Stop the War Coalition (STCW) convener Lindsey German paid tribute to the veteran activist.

‘Brian was a fearless campaigner for about a decade. The MPs who voted for the war tried to pass a law to prohibit him being in Parliament Square but such was their incompetence the law allowed him to stay,’ she said.

‘Brian made a great sacrifice and he will be remembered as a principled and determined man who was very personally upset by the killing of children and civilians which is why he began his protest in the first place.’

An article on the Stop the war website said: ‘Brian spoke many times on Stop the War Coalition platforms, always with his consistent anger and compassion at the crimes committed in our name by our political leaders.

‘He will be remembered long after the MPs who were confronted every day by his peace camp, but who still disgracefully voted in support of all the US-initiated wars.

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