PEOPLE gathered in Parliament Square last Sunday to mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Brian Haw – the peace campaigner who spent almost a decade camped in the Square facing the House of Commons with an array of placards, posters, banners and a microphone reminding MPs of the horrors of war, especially to children.
In 2001 Brian Haw had been affected by the Mariam appeal and the effect of United States sanctions against Iraq on the children there, who could not get enough food or medicines for the cancers that resulted from the use of depleted Uranium weapons in the First Gulf War.
He said he could not face his own seven children if he did not do something, so he began his permanent protest on 2nd June, 2001 and maintained it until January 2001.
Brian Haw had to fight off many attempts by right-wing MPs and Westminster council to have him forcibly removed, and he was badly beaten up by police on more than one occasion. But he attracted the support of other peace campaigners who helped him with his battles, legal and physical, and some joined his camp for a while.
Brian was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2010 and in January 2011 he left England for treatment in Berlin, funded by his supporters. He died there on 18th June 2011.
The memorial event was organised by Veterans for Peace.