London Indymedia

Brian Haw arrested in Parliament Square

gus | 10.05.2004 21:27 | London

Police stage "security alert" to remove the protestor from Parlaiment Square and dismantle his placards because terrorists could plant bombs behind them. Lame, lame, lame.

Stalwart anti-war protester arrested

Staff and agencies
Monday May 10, 2004

An anti-war protester who has been camped outside the Houses of Parliament for
nearly three years was arrested today and his vast protest display dismantled.

Brian Haw, 55, was arrested at around midnight on suspicion of obstruction and
assaulting a police officer after refusing to move, police said.

He had refused to leave the area after being asked to do so by police
investigating a security alert posed by a car parked nearby. Officers later
spoke to the owners of the car and the security alert passed.

Today the protester was being held at Charing Cross police station in London.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Police dealing with an abandoned vehicle at the
Houses of Parliament just before midnight arrested a man for obstruction and
assault on a police officer. The man had refused to move from the area when
asked to do so for his own safety."

The spokesman refused to confirm the name of the arrested protester but it was
understood to be Mr Haw.

Mr Haw, from Redditch, Worcestershire, has previously claimed that attempts to
force him to end his anti-war vigil have been politically motivated.

However, a police source insisted that his placards, including one which says
"stop killing my kids", were taken away for "safekeeping" until the matter was

The source said: "The Met respects his right to protest and it is not an attempt
to stop him protesting. Once this matter has been concluded, he is free to
return if he wishes to."

One of Mr Haw's supporters, Emma Sangster, said: "After his arrest, the suspect
car was almost immediately identified to be posing no threat and the security
cordon lifted.

"Subsequent to his arrest, and despite there being no longer any current
security concerns, the remaining officers removed all of Mr Haw's possessions
and protest placards from the site."

She claimed they had "even commandeered a passing WH Smith news lorry to effect
the removal".

Mr Haw, who is married and the father of seven children, first settled down in
Parliament Square in June 2001 initially calling for an end to sanctions
against Iraq and then later demonstrating about the war.

In October last year, Westminster Council failed in an attempt to evict him
after a high court judge, Mr Justice Gray, refused to grant an injunction
restraining him from obstructing the pavements with his placards.

In March, Mr Haw, who sleeps on the pavement under a plastic sheet, resisted
attempts by police to force him to scale down his protest due to fears
terrorists could plant bombs under his placards.

At the time, he said: "This is a terrorism-free zone. I don't allow terrorism
here. I'm here to stop all terrorism whether it's small backpacks in Madrid or
big bombs from a B52."

Mr Haw's solicitor, Michael Schwarz, said: "Brian Haw is peacefully campaigning
on perhaps the most significant issue of the day at a place which is supposed
to be the very heart of our democracy.

"It is difficult to think of a more compelling example of the deployment of the
rights to protest."



Hide the following 6 comments

Right ho - Let us all unit and show solidarity and double the placards!

10.05.2004 22:20

Well I must say, this is rediculous adn show quiet how much of a setup it has been. This is all about the way the government is trying to remove people from Parliament and thus any form of accountability. First they place a security screen in the vistor gallery at westminster, then they have been talking about turning off Parliament square for protests. Now they are removing him

I shall be heading down on Thursday or Friday to show some solidarity and to donate a placard to the new hall that must start there

many Regards AS Ever

John Cooper

Power To Brian Haw

10.05.2004 22:24

Brian Haw is doing his bit for humanity....Respect.
i don't know what else to say...

mail e-mail:

let's show solidarity

10.05.2004 23:16

Let us all show solidarity with Brian Hoare who has given so much and taken such a powerful stand against this regime we are living in by visiting him. The less physically isolated he is the better.


A mass occupation of the square in protest at the occupation of Iraq

11.05.2004 09:21

Lets organise a mass occupation of Parliament Square in protest at the occupation of Iraq. And lets make it noisy too with loads of drums and loud hailers. This is the sort of action which should have took place on Mayday!


Date for his appearance

11.05.2004 10:01

Mr Haw will appear before Bow Street Magistrates' Court on 18 May.

from the BBC site.

Is this guy getting legal representation, does he need any funding, does he need lots of support?


why don't we

11.05.2004 11:58

combine the planned Bush Senior protest, Brian's court appearance and a mass vigil/occupation in parliament square next tuesday 18th?

I'm sure we can get enough people, I know that the Bush Senior protest is attracting national support.



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