Late peace campaigner’s friends and supporters seek planning permission for Amanda Ward sculpture at site of protest camp
The peace campaigner Brian Haw, whose 10-year-old camp directly opposite the Palace of Westminster was finally cleared away last year after his death, could soon be back there again, if a campaign to erect a statue in his memory succeeds.
Haw’s camp, which at one point stretched all along one side of Parliament Square, Lon don, inspired an installation in Tate Britain when Mark Wallinger recreated it down to the last battered teddy bear and harrowing photograph of refugee children. The artist went on to win the Turner prize.
The peace campaigner’s years on the pavement began as an outraged protest against the war in Iraq, and eventually cost Haw his health and his family life. He died of lung cancer at 62.
Despite it being denounced as an eyesore, his camp became a tourist attraction and he survived countless eviction attempts. Haw was regarded as a hero by peace campaigners all over the world, though he was not entirely pleased when others followed his example and eventually filled the square.
The campaign for a permanent memorial to his life and protest is being organised by friends and supporters It has already attracted patrons including the actors Vanessa Redgrave and Sir Ian McKellen, the politician Tony Benn, the film director Ken Loach and the CND veteran Bruce Kent.
A maquette, showing Haw leaning on two sticks, has already been created by sculptor Amanda Ward, who was a friend, and fund raising has begun for the estimated £60,000 cost of a full size statue.
The campaigners hope eventually to win planning permission for the statue to stand near Winston Churchill in the square, but accept that may be difficult given the years Westminster council spent trying to get the real Haw out.
They plan to find a temporary site while they continue try and get him permanently into the square where he was for so long a thorn in the side of MPs, and would remain forever in their daily gaze.