Police seize Christian's anti-war placards

By staff writers
May 23, 2006

Police seize Christian's anti-war placards

-23/05/06

Police have removed placards belonging to Christian anti-war protester Brian Haw at his long-running demonstration outside Parliament.

Mr Haw, 57, said he had been left with just one placard after officers took the action over alleged breaches of his demonstration conditions and plans to mount a fast in protest.

Mr Haw, who last year met with Cindy Sheehan, the high-profile Californian mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, said his large display of anti-war banners, placards and flags had been "completely destroyed".

He said: "All of my personal belongings have been taken and dumped in a container along with nearly all the displays.

"They have completely destroyed all the expressions of people who opposed the war in Iraq."

He added: "It seems I am going to die in this place now because I'm going to be fasting and praying - I have to accept the possibility. Some of our soldiers over there (Iraq) have to accept that possibility, don't they?

"What else can I do as a Christian? They have taken my means of showing people what is going on."

The legal size of the protest - three metres - was imposed by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) 2005. A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed officers attended the scene at 2.35am.

SOCPA came into force last July, bringing with it powers to stop demonstrations in Parliament Square or nearby - a provision widely seen as having been designed with Mr Haw in mind.

His legal team argued - ultimately unsuccessfully - that the fact that the protest predates the Act itself put him beyond its reach.

Last July Mr Haw, 56, from Worcestershire, won a high court action against the laws threatening his round-the-clock demonstration, which he began in Parliament Square in June 2001. The high court ruled then that the law required police permission only for demonstrations that began after the law came into force.

But at the court of appeal the master of the rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice Hallett overturned that decision.

It means that Mr Haw will have to apply to the police for authorisation to continue the dispute.

Mr Haw, of Worcestershire, was refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords, but he plans to petition the Law Lords directly in a bid to take the case further.

Police seize Christian's anti-war placards

-23/05/06

Police have removed placards belonging to Christian anti-war protester Brian Haw at his long-running demonstration outside Parliament.

Mr Haw, 57, said he had been left with just one placard after officers took the action over alleged breaches of his demonstration conditions and plans to mount a fast in protest.

Mr Haw, who last year met with Cindy Sheehan, the high-profile Californian mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, said his large display of anti-war banners, placards and flags had been "completely destroyed".

He said: "All of my personal belongings have been taken and dumped in a container along with nearly all the displays.

"They have completely destroyed all the expressions of people who opposed the war in Iraq."

He added: "It seems I am going to die in this place now because I'm going to be fasting and praying - I have to accept the possibility. Some of our soldiers over there (Iraq) have to accept that possibility, don't they?

"What else can I do as a Christian? They have taken my means of showing people what is going on."

The legal size of the protest - three metres - was imposed by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) 2005. A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed officers attended the scene at 2.35am.

SOCPA came into force last July, bringing with it powers to stop demonstrations in Parliament Square or nearby - a provision widely seen as having been designed with Mr Haw in mind.

His legal team argued - ultimately unsuccessfully - that the fact that the protest predates the Act itself put him beyond its reach.

Last July Mr Haw, 56, from Worcestershire, won a high court action against the laws threatening his round-the-clock demonstration, which he began in Parliament Square in June 2001. The high court ruled then that the law required police permission only for demonstrations that began after the law came into force.

But at the court of appeal the master of the rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice Hallett overturned that decision.

It means that Mr Haw will have to apply to the police for authorisation to continue the dispute.

Mr Haw, of Worcestershire, was refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords, but he plans to petition the Law Lords directly in a bid to take the case further.

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