Leave Him Alone


Brian Haw's Peace Protest
  Brave peace campaigner Brian Haw thwarted bungled moves by police to   evict him from his world renowned protest pitch outside the British parliament on Tuesday. But PC Plod did make off with lots of placards and other valued possessions owned by Haw. The 'Nazi' style dawn raid   followed a win by the   Home Office and Metropolitan Police in the court of appeal. June 2, marks the fifth anniversary of Haw's indomitable one-man vigil over the illegal invasion of Iraq. Judges have overturned the High Court's decision in July last year that Haw is exempt from the ban on 'unauthorised' protest near Parliament brought in by the government's Serious Organised Crime and Police Act designed to remove his politically embarrassing presence.

  Haw is protesting against UK and US government policy towards Iraq, including economic sanctions and the continued bombing of the country and the so-called   'war on terror' and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. London's Evening Standard denounced the Met Police raid on Haw's peace camp as 'heavy handed'. It added: 'For many people, whether they support Mr Haw or not, his presence symbolises free speech. For the Government, however, he is a noisy embarrassment.' The Standard said Haw should be allowed to stay.

Face of Resistance
[Photos: Richard Keith Wolff]

He said, of his protest: '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.'

Haw has won international fame and huge public backing. Andrew Stephenson, of Newhaven, East Sussex, summed up support for the campaigner in a letter published by The Independent: 'Brian Haw has struck a major blow for international peace in his passive defiance of government aggression in the face of his peace protest. 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.


Supporters of Brian Haw
Freelance press photographer Richard Keith Wolff, told The-Latest: 'I have seen Brian just a few times now. On the first occasion he seemed very prickly. I found he did not like being asked (the same old) questions. Also, to Brian every thing is real and he does not like discussing concepts theoretically. He may well be a bit tired from his legendary almost five years protest. So I said to him that he was very aggressive for a pacifist, and that he seemed more like a warrior to me. He answered that he was a warrior.

When I stopped asking tons of questions and just listened, I found that Brian answers the unasked questions in his own   telling way. His words contain outrage, concern and some times his own particular style of humour. He has been described as "the conscience to a Government that feels it is getting on fine with out one" . I think Brian is especially concerned about the suffering of children in the war.

One 'celebrity', who was walking by, told Brian that it was surely not every day that a famous person visited him. But Brian pointed at a family next to me who were listening to the conversation and said, 'you are all celebrities, are you not?'

The celebrity had offered Brian a four figure sum of money for one of two original satirical pictures that had been given to him by Banksy, the well-known graffiti artist. But Brian declined because the poster was serving a purpose in his peace protest.'

For information on Brian Haw's vigil visit:   www.parliament-square.org.uk

* Richard Keith Wolff's photos for The-Latest were taken on May 14, when a demonstration of solidaritary with Haw, was held by supporters.