Brian Haw was an individual who's character drove him to carry-out his protest in the way he chose. If he had a different make-up he would have approached this perhaps differently or most likely not at all. To understand his depth it helps to consider his faith and that he was a living embodiment of his faith (I am an atheist btw).
In Chpt23 of Matthew, Verse 33. Jesus says:
“Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgement of hell?”
that was Jesus expressing anger and there are many other examples. He was reported to have continued
"You are like whitewashed tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”
I think I understand something of Brian Haw's anger - he was exhaustively fighting for the lives and safety of 'his' children - our children, the world's children.
The question is; when will we all get angry, what will it take. Will it only be when you have your child in your hands and you are trying to hold their shattered body together in every way you possibly can, whilst their blood seeps through your fingers and their eyes slowly roll away?
Whatever characteristics combined to make Brian Haw the unique man he undoubtedly was, the result was one of extraordinary worth.
I am ashamed by the negative commentators at the time of his death, the ignorance of which astounds me. They were more concerned with his abrasive style and the detrimental visual effect of his camp. Brian Haw stood against war and harm to the innocent victims of war, especially children. How people could have comment so detrimentally against this outstanding peace campaigner is simply beyond my comprehension. I did not even recognise so many people failed to understand the heroic quality of his long vigil.
It is 'nuts' to support war and to decry those who call for peace - that is real insanity. It is our world that is mad, Brian Haw, eccentric or not, must have been the most sane of us all.
We allow our government to blow people's nation, homes and lives apart on wars waged on behalf of their corporate masters and yet people have the audacity to worry about one unsightly little corner in our city. What is the problem - did the sight of it prickle your consciences?
We can see that the new government are just new actors performing the same old play. But you cannot measure the effect protest has had on limiting the scope of this and other military acts of aggression.
Maybe we would already be at war with Iran if government thought nobody cared when they start bombing. Maybe the violence against Libya would have be even more ruthless than it appears to be. Today the papers are concerned with civilian deaths; is that as a result of your actions?
They gulp-down the narrative and spew it all out again as much as they like but remember, history is always written by the victor. They are lost in the paradigm of propaganda. Between times I'll look between the lines. I use to think calling Americans 'imperialists' was rubbish - I did not understand. I was looking for pith-helmets and verandas surrounded by lawns. Now I see very clearly indeed and a nasty business it is too.
Haw was as successful as he was able to be. He did all he could do within his limitations and circumstance. And we cannot know what influence he actually had. More than you imagine I suspect. Why do companies put their advert on bill boards? Because it works.
Brian Haw was a low-tech anti-war direct marketing campaign directed at the MPs and Ministers, etc. His effort was not directed to the public it was ENTIRELY directed at Westminster. He was a living, shouting, conscience pricking advertising bill board.
It does not matter what you or I think about Jesus or his existence. It only matters in this regard about what Brian Haw thought; to understand his motivation.
He considered that all children were 'our children' not just our family, tribe, race but all the children of the world are a part of the human family. And he felt it encumbered on himself to work to try and do what he could to the best of his abilities to protect them all.
What is more important; your children or all the children of Iran, Iraq and Libya. That would be a very tough decision. That is a high moral perspective and in my regard a fine one.
I fancy his children will hold him in higher regard for making that choice.