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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May, 2004, 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK
Commons war protester is charged
Brian Haw
Mr Haw has attracted both messages of support and abuse
An anti-war protester who camps outside Parliament has been charged with assaulting a police officer.

Brian Haw's three-year vigil in central London was interrupted on Sunday night when he was arrested during a security alert sparked by a parked car.

He allegedly refused to leave his spot and protest banners, which have been in place since 2001.

The 55-year-old, from Redditch, Worcestershire, is also accused of failing to leave a security cordon.

The father-of-seven has slept under a plastic sheet with his placards for nearly three years.

His banners were confiscated by police during his arrest but have since been returned to him.

He was back opposite the Houses of Parliament by Monday morning and by Tuesday all his placards were back up.

Westminster Council has tried to evict him, claiming his banners obstructed the highway, but a High Court judge refused to back them.

This is a terrorism-free zone
Brian Haw
And MPs have complained about noise after he started to use a loudspeaker to protest.

But Mr Haw has attracted many messages of support - as well as verbal abuse - from people from all over the world.

In March he resisted attempts from police to scale down his protest. They said terrorists could put bombs under his placards without him knowing.

He said: "This is a terrorism-free zone. I don't allow terrorism here. I'm here to stop all terrorism whether it's small backpacks in Madrid or big bombs from a B52."

Police say the owners of the car which triggered Sunday's security alert were traced.

Mr Haw will appear before Bow Street Magistrates' Court on 18 May.

Campaigner to scale down protest
31 Mar 04  |  London
New move to shift protester
25 Jun 03  |  Hereford/Worcs
Protest's stunted growth
03 Jun 03  |  UK

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