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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Commons peace protester in court
Brian Haw outside court
Brian Haw is greeted by well-wishers as he leaves court
A long-term peace protester charged with breaching the conditions of his Parliament Square demonstration has made a defiant appearance in court.

Brian Haw's camp was raided last week by police who said he had been told to reduce the number of anti-war placards.

Mr Haw, 57, said he could not enter a plea, as police had "stolen" the signs he intended to use as evidence.

The judge at Bow Street Magistrates' Court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf and granted him bail.

Mr Haw, who gave his address as Parliament Square but is originally from Redditch, Worcestershire, will next appear at court on 11 July.

They should either evict me from Parliament Square or put me in prison
Brian Haw

He is accused of failing to comply with conditions imposed under the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, which puts limits on demonstrations within 1km of the Houses of Parliament.

The new law, which came into force in July 2005, rules that all demonstrations in that area need police permission.

Mr Haw had won a ruling that as his demonstration, which began in 2001, pre-dated the law, it did not apply to him.

But that ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Haw was then granted police permission to continue, but with new restrictions limiting his protest to within an area 3m wide by 3m high and 1m deep.

Outside court on Tuesday, Mr Haw said the conditions were "tosh".

"They should either evict me from Parliament Square or put me in prison, one way or the other," he said.

The operation to remove placards, initially thought to cost 7,200, was later revealed to have run up a 27,000 bill to the Metropolitan Police.




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