PEACE campaigner Brian Haw, who has lived for nine years in a tent opposite the House of Commons, was arrested along with a fellow protester last Tuesday at dawn on the day of the Queen’s official opening of Parliament.
Police also moved to try to clear demonstrators encamped in a peace camp on Parliament Square before the Queen’s arrival. But they failed and the Queen was met by a sea of anti-monarchist placards and hostile slogans.
Haw was arrested officially for trying to stop the police searching his tent and carried away, held off the ground by his arms that were twisted behind him.
Another protester at the camp, Barbara Tucker, was also arrested. Tucker was heard saying on BBC London 94.9: “You can’t arrest him [Mr Haw]; you don’t have a search order.”
Haw first set up camp in June 2001 in a one-man protest against war and foreign policy – initially, the sanctions against Iraq.
He said he was inspired to take up his vigil after seeing the images and information produced by the Mariam appeal, an anti-sanctions campaign.
Haw only leaves his campsite to attend court hearings and survives on food brought by supporters, who include the former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn and activist and comedian Mark Thomas.