Christian peace activist to be forcibily removed from outside Parliament

By staff writers
March 17, 2011

The Christian activist Brian Haw looks set to be removed by force from the pavement opposite Parliament. The High Court ruled today (17 March) in favour of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who wants to have him evicted.

But he will not be forced out until Monday 28 March. He has until then to lodge an appeal against the ruling.

Haw has been camped on the roadside opposite Parliament almost continuously since 2001, in protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. His Christian faith has motivated him to take a stand against war. He was not included in an eviction last July which saw a number of campaigners removed from Parliament Square Gardens.

However, Haw is temporarily absent from his camp, as he is being treated for lung cancer in hospital.

A High Court judge, Wyn Williams, has now ordered the removal of both Haw and his fellow activist, Barbara Tucker. Williams granted an injunction against them, which he described as "proportionate".

Haw was not in court but Tucker has said she will appeal against the ruling.

While Parliament Square Gardens is owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), the pavement around the square belongs to Westminster Council.

Westminster Council insist that camps outside Parliament are an "eyesore". But critics suggest that they are more concerned with making the area look appealing, particularly in the run-up to the royal wedding in April and the Olympics next year.

Civil liberties campaigners argue that allowing protests outside Parliament sends out a positive message to tourists about the right to free expression in Britain.


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