The fifth in a series of articles which recognises real-life Outlaw Heroes
Brian Haw: Veteran Peace Campaigner
Brian Haw (Jan 7th 1949 – June 18th 2011), came to the attention of the public as an anti-war protester in 2001, by choosing to live in a tent outside the Palace of Westminster in London for almost ten years, in all weathers, during a personal campaign that only came to an end due to his illness and subsequent death.
At the time of his death, he was being treated in Berlin for lung cancer.
His many supporters blamed the establishment for his death, some of whom stated he had been “relentlessly persecuted by the authorities which eventually took its toll on his health”.
But there was not one person, however, who could fail to be impressed by his dogged persistence, regardless of whether they believed his protest was seen as a help or a hindrance.
Despite his outstanding commitment, he never once sought public recognition, preferring to concentrate his efforts on individual protest rather than widening his campaign.
His message, more often than not delivered through a megaphone, was passionate, emotional and uncompromising, as was witnessed on the two occasions when he clashed with Filmmaker Bill Maloney, who foolishly tried to talk down to him after attempting to get him to speak on camera.
“Brian is a very angry man. Brian thinks he’s the only person doing something good on this planet, but he’s not” were the somewhat disrespectful words spoken by Maloney following his second encounter with the veteran campaigner in 2010.
Brian Haw reinforced his own message to the world, in his own inimitable way, which was by highlighting the simple fact – that many, many children were being unnecessarily and cruelly injured and murdered in illegal wars and forced occupations.
He said: “I’ve been witnessing against the genocide our murderous greedy country has been inflicting against the most helpless. We’re killing each other – dropping bombs on our children.”