Brian Haw, the iconic face of the Parliament Square Peace Camp died last night. He was 62 years old and had been suffering from cancer. For ten years he had sat opposite the Houses of Parliament reminding the government of the damage caused by sanctions - and later invasion - in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan.
He sat in Parliament Square, while world leaders hunted for cheap oil in the most dubious of ways. While elected representatives created draconian legislation designed to infringe on right to protest, and remove him from his seat. He fought on against government happily infringing liberties. His camp stayed even when the Mayor of London pushed him off the grass and onto the street.
The numbers that passed him most have been in the hundreds of thousands. Visitors from America, Japan, China, all over the world, would have seen his camp and his message. The message that war and sanctions are not the way to rid the world of dictators. They only affect the most vulnerable, while the rich leaders still take all the money and food.
There is a saying that goes, "For evil to flourish, it is necessary for good men to do nothing." Brian Haw was a good man who, when he saw the wrong of sanctions, was brave enough to do something.
RIP Brian 1949 - 2011