Protester Brian Haw passes away

Protester Brian Haw passes away

By staff

Anti-war demonstrator Brian Haw has died, his family has said.

A statement on his website revealed that the 62-year-old, who spent the last decade of his life protesting in Parliament Square, lost his battle with lung cancer early on Saturday morning.

"He left us in his sleep and in no pain, after a long, hard fight," a statement from his family said.

"With your help we have been able to share months more than we should have had with him, and for that we are eternally grateful."

Mr Haw began his protest in Parliament Square in 2000 against the economic sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

His encampment opposite the Houses of Parliament remained undisturbed for a decade, despite numerous attempts by the authorities to oust him.

"Brian showed great determination and courage during the many long hard years he led his Peace Campaign in Parliament Square, during which it is well documented that he was relentlessly persecuted by the authorities which eventually took its toll on his health," the campaign said.

"Brian showed the same courage and determination in his battle with cancer. He was keenly aware of and deeply concerned that so many civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine did not have access to the same treatments that were made available to him."

Tributes to Mr Haw's eccentric, dogged character have flooded in. The Independent even called for a memorial of him in Parliament Square.

In its editorial, the newspaper wrote: "If Oliver Cromwell can have a statue in the precincts of Parliament, surely a small space can be found at the edge of the square opposite for a modest memorial stone to Brian Haw – an old-style rebel who got under the thick skin of the establishment."