Mark Rylance has launched a campaign to erect a statue of the campaigner Brian Haw. The statue in central London would remember Haw, who camped out in Parliament Square for almost 10 years to protest war.
Rylance said: “Given the obvious anger and frustration at the state of our nation, its economy and public services, not to mention the current lack or consideration for NHS nurses, so many people are finding it hard to believe that our streets are not the scene of constant protest.
“Whenever this subject arises, thoughts of Brian Haw are inevitably not far behind. For those who may not know the name, you will almost certainly know the figure.”
Who was Brian Haw?
In June 2001, Brian Haw began a peace protest at Parliament Square in Westminster. He remained there for almost 10 years, his camp a constant reminder to MPs and members of the public of the widespread opposition to war.
Haw protested against the war in Iraq then later Afghanistan. He was joined by the Stop the War coalition in 2003 when two million people took to the streets to march against the Iraq War. Despite many attempts to remove his camp, Haw stayed at Westminster until a few months before his death in 2011.
Why Mark Rylance is involved in the campaign
Writing exclusively for The Big Issue, Rylance remembered when he first encountered Brian Haw.