Brian Haw, who died of cancer on June 18 aged 62, became famous when he set up home in atent in Parliament Square in a quixotic
peace vigil and, despite heavy-handed efforts by the authorities to silence him, he remained there until last March.
Initially Haw, a former carpenter who began his vigil in June 2001, was protesting about the economic sanctions imposed by the West on Iraq, which, he claimed, were responsible for the deaths of 200 Iraqi children per day. For months he sat on a
chair, fasting and praying.
Initially Haw was regarded as something between harmless eccentric and damn nuisance, but as public opposition to the war in Iraq grew and as the authorities embarked on attempts to silence him, he acquired the status of a folk hero, symbol of protest
and thorn in the side of an unpopular government. In 2006 he was voted the most inspiring political figure at the Channel 4 political awards.