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Open letter to David Cameron about Brian Haw

Paul O'Hanlon | 19.08.2009 09:38 | SOCPA | Anti-militarism | Iraq | Palestine | South Coast | World

The likely next Prime Minister, David Cameron, has threatened to have long term Parliament Square peace protester Brian Haw removed from his demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament. This has very serious implications for freedom of speech.

Today, August 19th 2009, sees Parliament Square peace campaigner Brian Haw clock up day 3,000 of his peace vigil. This shows a remarkable level of commitment to a cause he genuinely believes in – the cause of peace. His austere standard of living is in contrast to the lavish lifestyles of the MPs opposite the road with their preposterous expense claims which verge upon the criminal. Here is my open letter to the leader of the opposition David Cameron MP urging him not to have Brian evicted from the square.

Mr Paul O’Hanlon

Wednesday 19th August 2009


The Leader of the Opposition
The Rt. Hon David Cameron MP
House of Commons

Dear Mr Cameron
Greetings from Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. It is likely that you will be Prime Minister after the expected election in May next year and if this happens I hope you will do a good and responsible job.

One thing you have said recently which rather alarms me is that you are in favour of removing long term peace campaigner Brain Haw’s camp from Parliament Square. The BBC website quotes you as saying: `The Tory leader said he was in favour of free speech but the square had been turned into a "pretty poor place" and it was time to say "enough is enough". `

The right to freedom of protest, freedom of speech and freedom to demonstrate are long held British traditions. The fact that Brian Haw has been there for 8 years does not mean he should now be removed. Should there be limits to freedom of speech? Surely not. Would you be in favour of closing speaker’s corner in Hyde Park? I would hope not.

Brian Haw today clocks up day 3,000 of his peace vigil. He is a sincere man who lives a Spartan lifestyle which would be alien to most MPs with their extravagant expense claims. The fact that he is an embarrassment to the Government is not a reason for his eviction from his legitimate protest.

Please remember, Mr Cameron, that the war on Iraq was based ENTIRELY ON LIES. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Iraq posed no threat to anyone and now the situation there for most people is simply dreadful with many Baghdad residents only getting about 3 hours electricity a day, with water often not drinkable and little reconstruction done. There is also the awful refugee situation with some 4.2 million Iraqis displaced both internally and externally (UN figures). Brian Haw told the troth while Tony Blair and George Bush lied.

I urge you not to have Brian Haw removed from his rightful protest,

Yours Sincerely,
Paul O’Hanlon

Paul O'Hanlon
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