A man for the people
Brian had been protesting in Parliament Square since 2nd June 2001. Initially he was campaigning against the economic sanctions on Iraq and the bombing of the country by the US and UK. After 11 September 2001, he widened his focus, directing his messages of peace against the ‘war on terror’, the terror that the US and UK have inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq.
He protested on behalf of those innocent people who suffered and died in other countries, as our governments seek to further their own economic, military, political and strategic interests around the world.
Brian received extensive international media coverage and had visitors from numerous countries as a result. Many people from the UK and from abroad had made contributions to Brian’s display with their own messages of peace.
Since 2001, various authorities tried to remove Brian. In October 2002, he won a major case in the High Court, in which the judge ruled that Brian was exercising his right to freedom of speech in Parliament Square, his placards did not constitute advertising, and that any pavement obstruction was not “unreasonable”. After this landmark ruling, Brian’s protest was accepted as lawful.
Brian had developed good relations with many parts of the police force and various senior officers have shown active support for his right to protest. However, in May 2004, increasing pressure to remove him resulted in Brian’s arrest and the dismantling of his display by the police in May 2004 (it was ‘returned’, dumped on the pavement, the next day).
Brian, and his display, have also suffered at the hands of aggressive individuals on numerous occasions.
Blow to Parliament Square protest camp
28 March 2011
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30 January 2008
GLA removes peace camp tents from Parliament Square
18 October 2007
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