I was privileged to be one of Brian Haw’s many friends, writes Nicholas Wood (obituary, 20 June). The judiciary, the police and MPs judged him as mad; it is my belief that one day he will be regarded as the only sane person in this country. He saw before anyone else, in 2001, what was being done in our name to children and mothers and to the human genome. He saw the blind ignorance and greed of politicians like Hoon and Blair using depleted uranium weapons to impose so-called western values on people who did not want their front doors kicked in to the sound of barking dogs. He had pictures of the disastrous effects of depleted uranium weapons on human DNA, and how irreversible that gene damage was.
Ten years on, in 2011, he is being proved right. In places like Fallujah young women are being advised not to have children because it is highly likely that their babies will be grossly deformed. He was a devout Christian, and this probably kept him going through 10 harsh winters, rain storms, mud, traffic noise, police harassment, and continuous battles in the courts. Of course he had utter contempt for Blair’s Christianity. One Christmas day two police were sent to harass him in a police car. I berated them. One leaned out of the window and said, “I don’t actually like doing this as I have a palsied child myself.”
When Brian got very depressed, I said to him, “One day you will be regarded as the Gandhi of this country, and they will make a bronze statue of you, like Churchill, leaning forward on your crutches defiantly against an ignorant Parliament.”
More and more I find I am asking myself “What would Brian think about it?” The it of course being anything from the current sadistic bombing of Libya by N.A.T.O. to the continuing genocide in Afghanistan or the recent riots in the U.K. Brian may have died on June 18 but as far as I am concerned each time I visit Parliament Sq I know his spirit survives there and continues to imbue his followers with the strength and purpose to carry on. The police, judiciary and of course the media are still doing their utmost to sanitize the Sq and Barbara Tucker, Brian’s longtime helper, has just been sent to Holloway prison for between 4-9 weeks. This just after the riots! Protesting against Infanticide and Genocide is on a par with looting in our New World Order. I can hear Brian caustically chastising me for even thinking it could be otherwise, “ Same old, same old, little vipers become bigger vipers.” This last is a reference to his historic march from the Sq to the Oxford Union in 2008 to debate the motion that “This House would under no circumstance fight for Queen & Country” The motion was defeated and on his return he growled sadly to me, “It’s not their fault, the little vipers have never been encouraged to see the world in any other way. We have to pray for them as much as for their victims.”
Love, Peace and Stop killing kids was Brian’s message, not exactly revolutionary except possibly to ethnocentric genocidaires.
I first met Brian in Parliament Sq in either 2000 or 2001.
I had gone there to protest the use of Depleted Uranium in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. I had read a fair amount on the subject but in spite of numerous letters to my M.P. I had been fobbed off with lies from our Ministry of Death claiming D.U. was totally harmless, this despite all the evidence to the contrary. Finally after 10 years Liam Fox has been forced to admit the truth about the dangers however in the dystopian world in which we all now live he is perfectly happy to carry on using it! But I remember quite clearly that when I first saw Brian with his photos and banners I thought, “Oh good I’m not alone, I’m not alone.” We both knew instantly where we stood and that position never altered, furthermore I cannot remember ever having anything that could be described as a disagreement with Brian, save on rare occasions when discussing tactics.
I loved him for his stubborn acceptance of the smears and violence to which he was subjected, his ability to fight back against all who dared pretend he was, of all things, a traitor! Are the millions who marched also traitors or was their treason the fact that they went home for tea?
Brian stayed and stayed and stayed. A friend who saw a photograph of him said she thought he had the face of an angel and I can only concur. Parliament Sq has lost its angel but it will never lose his message of Peace and Love for all.