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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Peace campaigner can stay
Brian Haw
Brian Haw has become a tourist attraction
A peace campaigner who has been camping opposite the Houses of Parliament since June 2001 has won the right to stay on after an attempt was made to evict him.

Brian Haw, 53, from Redditch, Worcestershire, is protesting about economic sanctions and the Anglo-American bombing of Iraq.

Westminster Council tried to take out an injunction against him on Tuesday claiming his banners and placards are obstructing the highway.

But a High Court judge refused and adjourned the matter for a fuller hearing.

Human rights

The father of seven, who was originally from Woodford, Essex, has become a tourist attraction in his own right.

He has had messages of support from people but also suffered verbal abuse.

In court Jonathan Powell for Westminster Council asked Mr Justice Moses to issue an interim injunction removing Mr Haw from the square's pavement.

But the judge refused, and adjourned the matter for a fuller hearing on Thursday, saying it raised "important issues of limitations on the Human Rights Act".

Brian Haw
Mr Haw has had both support and abuse
He said: "It's a question of balance between the laws of obstruction and his right to draw matters to the attention of members of Parliament that the court must decide, and these are matters which shouldn't be dealt with in an hour or so, on an interim basis."

After the hearing Mr Haw described the judge as a "smart cookie".

He said: "The council put me in an impossible position, but he saw it. I have great respect for him."

Mr Haw's solicitor Mike Schwarz says he has a right to protest.

"Westminster sees Parliament as a tourist attraction, whereas Parliament's primary role is for democratic discussion to take place.

"That can't be done without them having the opportunity of lobbying in the best and most peaceful ways possible, such as Brian's doing."


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01 Oct 02 | England
28 Sep 02 | UK
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