It's been 2007 days since the start of Brian Haw's protest on 2 June 2001 -- Yes, that's over 5 years
As long as it takes
UK man's vigil for peace finally getting world attention
"I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again knowing that I've done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government's unjust, amoral, fear - and money - driven policies. These children and people of other countries are every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children."
Brian started his 24/7 vigil in 2001 to protest about the suffering of Iraqis during the 1990s because of economic sanctions. He continues because of all those who have, and continue, to suffer as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. In Oct 2004 The Lancet estimated that 100,000 Iraqis have died. In Oct 2006 it estimated that 655,000 people have died in Iraq as a result of the 2003 invasion (see more here). And how many millions of other lives have been blighted for ever?
Send Brian a postcard of support c/o Parliament Square, London SW1A
Reduced but undiminished
Brian and supporters continue undeterred after the police raid on 23 May. The dead of night operation reduced Brian's display of testimony to the inhumanity of UK/US foreign policy to 3 metres long.
24 May 06: In a gesture of support, Liberal Democrat MPs Susan Kramer and Vince Cable offered a new poster to Brian Haw to help replace those taken by the police.
Susan Kramer said: "I have always been proud that we allow a protest in front of Parliament. It is a reminder that we live in a democracy. Brian's protest has been no threat to national security and the decision to reduce his display to insignificance is petty. If we don't oppose this, they will soon be removing Brian altogether.
That would be a sad day for freedom of speech."
Vince Cable said:
"There is a broader issue about civil liberties. Others such as Maya Evans have already encountered a disproportionate response to their protests."
Jenny Jones, GLA Green Party Gp, 23 May 06 In my view, Brian is doing us all an amazing service. He is the visible presence of widespread opposition to the aggression on Iraq and a constant reminder to both the Blairs (PM and Met Commissioner) that this government is out of touch with the people it wants to govern. If Brian is moved, it means a loss of civil liberties that will diminish the whole of society. I have asked the Metropolitan Police Commissioner how much last night's police operation cost and whether this is was the best use of police resources given all the real problems we face with crime and terrorism.
The heroic Brian Haw Letter in The Independent, 2 Aug 05 Sir: Brian Haw has struck a major blow for international peace in his passive defiance of government aggression in the face of his peace protest (report, 30 July). I cannot think of anyone who has sacrificed as much as he has on a personal level in the cause of peace in this country and I would like to see him being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Andrew Stephenson, Newhaven, East Sussex
John McDonnell MP, Commons debate on 7 Feb 05: 'The Government will be passing power to one part of the state to control demonstrations in a way that we have never known before in the history of this country. Tonight, we are seeing a small but significant part of our democratic tradition being chiselled away. Why? Because one person out there has the moral authority, the guts, the tenacity and the courage to stand in Parliament square for several years telling us what we did wrong in this House by authorising a war. Part of the motivation behind this legislation is that some people cannot come to terms with the illegality and immorality of their actions in this place. We should be supporting that democratic voice out there, and the right of that individual to voice his concerns in this way—near to us.
Mark Thomas, comedian and campaigner " ...Now they wish to evict Brian from his place of protest. Maybe because he is an embarrassment to such a war mongering government. Whatever their reason it is wrong. A democracy that can not stand one man and some placards outside its front doors doesn't seem to have much faith in itself. That is why I support Brian for Parliament."
Weekly prayer meeting on Parliament Square for all faiths and none at the Church of Perpetual Prayer. Praying for World Peace every Sunday at 5pm. Prayers, music, reflection. Candle-lit vigil - together for peace, unity and love and for all across the world. People of all faiths and [those with no specific faith are] ... welcome.
No to war, no to occupation
Invest in Caring Not Killing! Support for Brian every Wednesday 5.30-7pm in Parliament Square organised by the Global Women's Strike.