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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 17:01 GMT
New law to stop protests
Brian Haw
MPs have to walk past Mr Haw on their way to Parliament
A new law could be introduced to stop the one man peace protest opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Brian Haw, 53, from Redditch, Worcestershire, has been campaigning in London for two and a half years.

His personal attack is waged on economic sanctions against Iraq and the Anglo-American bombing of the country.

He has lived on the pavement across the road from the government building since June 2001.

In October last year Westminster City Council failed to get an injunction against him after a High Court judge decided his banners and placards were not obstructing the highway.

Verbal abuse

MPs have to pass him every time they enter Parliament and his colourful protest of banners and peace messages from around the world has become a tourist attraction.

Mr Haw, a father of seven, who was originally from Woodford, Essex, has also suffered verbal abuse.

Yet public figures, including former MP Tony Benn, former CND leader Bruce Kent and Caroline Lucas MEP, have all sworn statements defending his right to protest.

But now MPs want to outlaw such long term demonstrations, even if they do not cause an obstruction.

A report by the House of Commons Procedure Committee has called for a new law to allow his removal.

"The Government should introduce appropriate laws to prohibit long-term demonstrations and to ensure that the laws about access are adequate and enforceable," recommended by the cross-party committee, chaired by conservative MP Sir Nicholas Winterton.

The report also called on the authorities to use existing laws to clamp down on the use of amplification equipment in Parliament Square.

Mr Haw said he would stay on the pavement.

"I've been here 902 days and nights and not once have they come over to discuss or argue with me."




SEE ALSO:
Peace campaigner may have to move
01 Oct 02  |  England
The view from the march
28 Sep 02  |  UK News



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