London Indymedia

Brian Haw protest continues - 3 years in June!

Paul O'Hanlon | 14.05.2004 13:40 | Anti-militarism | Indymedia | Repression | London

This is a short report about Brian Haw and his near 3 year vigil in Parliament Square. I have used some of the text from the emergency press release of May 10th, the four photos were taken by me before and after his arrest on May 10th.

Brian Haw on Friday 7th May – shortly before his arrest. Vigil Day 1,072.
Brian Haw on Friday 7th May – shortly before his arrest. Vigil Day 1,072.

Brian’s bed in Parliament Square.
Brian’s bed in Parliament Square.

Part of Brian’s large display.
Part of Brian’s large display.

Brian back on Wednesday 12th May after his release. Vigil Day 1,077.
Brian back on Wednesday 12th May after his release. Vigil Day 1,077.

Brian Haw protest continues – 3 years in June!

Brian Haw, the Parliament Square peace protestor, is close to clocking up 3 years on his one-man 24-hour vigil against government policy on Iraq. He has been protesting against the sanctions and now the occupation of Iraq. He sleeps day and night in London’s Parliament Square opposite the House of Commons. He has attracted interest from Spanish TV and CNN but the British media tends to ignore him. Brian is a father in his fifties from Gloucestershire who says he will stay on his protest for `as long as it takes`. He jokingly says his office hours are 0700 to 0700.
He has survived numerous attempts to evict him. The latest attempt came shortly after midnight on Monday 10th May when he was arrested at 00.20hrs and his possessions/extensive protest display removed, in a sudden midnight police operation. At around 12.20am, he was approached by a number of officers under the command of Inspector Forsyth of Charing Cross Police Station. Apparently, police were concerned about a suspect vehicle, some distance away. They imposed a security cordon under the terrorism act and the area was cleared of other members of the public before an incident took place in which Mr Haw was arrested, and 3 supporters (including 2 women) who were present at the time, were also threatened with arrest.
Despite the supposed security threat the police van did not leave the scene for some time and Mr Haw was last seen being held down on the floor of the police van, having been detained by 4 officers. After Mr Haw's 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. They even commandeered a passing WH Smith news lorry to effect the removal. Mr Haw was held at Charing Cross Police Station. He has suffered handcuff injuries. Mr Haw has long voiced the concern that the various attempts to remove him have been, and continue to be, politically motivated

Brian has now been released and has been speaking to lots of press in the Square. Westminster City Council turned up very shortly after his removal with a police order to finish clearance of the site but one of his friends (Maria) managed to hold on to Brian's personal possessions.

I spoke to Brian on the evening of Wednesday 12th May and apart from sore hands from his handcuffing he is in good spirits and is determined to continue his protest.

Paul O’Hanlon [Edinburgh Stop the War]

The photos:
1/ Brian Haw on Friday 7th May – shortly before his arrest. Vigil Day 1,072.
2/ Brian’s bed in Parliament Square.
3. Part of Brian’s large display.
4/ Brian back on Wednesday 12th May after his release. Vigil Day 1,077.

Paul O'Hanlon
- e-mail:


Hide the following 6 comments

New banners.

14.05.2004 15:48

those who may have some fairly recent banners left over from various demos should bring them along and donate them to help rebuild Brian's protest.

Starting tomorrow with the Palestine demo and later Kyoto March ????


War and the aftermath

15.05.2004 11:15

I think its clear that there never were any WMD, and if there were, why didn't Bush & Blair let the UN inspectors do their job instead of hindering them and try to use them for political purposes.
The reason for war has now been changed, but the ends never justify the means.

As for Al-Quaeda being CIA/Mossad sponsered, that is nonsense. They are an exceedingly dangerous group of people, but continuing our current methods in the 'war on terror' will only increase their membership, instead we should try to help the non-western countries to rise out of poverty and discrimination and become tolerent countries which represent their people. Despite what Bush and Blair seem to think, this cannot be imposed upon a country.

Now we have gone into Iraq, we must do out best to try and sort out our mess. I don't believe we're going about it in the right way, but to simply withdraw would be a humanitarian disaster... I feel the UN should be brought in with the cooperation of the Iraqi people, but that would probably mean less contracts of US and UK companies so its not going to happen.

our country and the world is now in more danger than before the Iraq invasion, and is is the duty of our politicians to sort this out, but I can't see that happening any time soon.

And I wish Brian Haw all the best with respect to his protest, and am disgusted by the police action, but Blunkett and the security services want a police state, and they're getting it.

saddened citizen

just your opinion

15.05.2004 11:20

Saddened citizen says:

"As for Al-Quaeda being CIA/Mossad sponsered, that is nonsense..."

Well that is just your opinion, you have as much evidence to back up this claim as the person who says they are sponsored by CIA/Mossad.

aunty war

Just my opinion

15.05.2004 12:31

Well, yes, but it is more logically consistent...
I can't believe that even the CIA and Mossad would sponser a terrorist who's bent on the destruction of the 'West', the extermination of all Jews and the creation of an extremist islamic world order (and saying so is getting close to a position of declaring a Zionist conspiracy...)
It is very likely that Bin Laden was funded by the CIA (as was Saddam Hussein), but I doubt that they could sponser anyone who could have such an effect on the US economy...

If we just say that everyone's opinion is equally valid if there's no proof either way then anything can be believed... There is very little certainty of truth in this world, but some things are practically true (that is their probability is so high that they should be considered true), I believe this is such a case when you take into account the nature of these organisations.
Unless there is proof of current CIA and Mossad involvement I can't accept that position. They are unsavory organisations, but the chances that they would sanction the killing of thousands of their own people to further some other aim (the extermination of islam?) are miniscule.

Of course, just my opinion, but a look at the world around me (through my own experience and many many media sources (all of which are biased in some way)) says that this is the most likely situation...

Of course, I will defend anyone elses right to hold any view they like (no matter how unsavoury), but I also defend another person's right to challenge that (so long as there is no incitement to violence or discrimination on either's part)

saddened citizen

Thank God for Brian Haw

07.11.2004 13:41

Thank God for people like Brian Haw. I too believe that the Iraq War Crime perpetrated on the People of that country by Bush,The Super-terrorist,and his poodle Blair should never be forgotten and protests like Brian's should be welcomed by all right thinking people, not denigrated.
Unfortunately the Metropolitan Police think that Blunkett is right at all times and they will do what he says without even thinking about it, not that most are notoroius for their powers of independant thought anyway.
Finally may I just say God save us from the self-righteous governments of US and Uk who think they and only they can ever be right.

Alan Mackinnon
mail e-mail:

Brian Haws

24.11.2006 17:43

This man has been treated appallingly by the British Government. This is a clear case of cut backs in the Nation Health Service. Brian is obviously completely nuts and should be cared for in a Metal Health institution. Instead he a is one of the worst cases of Caring in the community I have seen. He has been left to care for himself all these years, the poor deranged man.

Caring Simon


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