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Obituary;Brian Haw


Brian Haw, peace campaigner, died on June 18th, aged 62


When Brian Haw sat in his old canvas chair in front of his banner-hung tent in Parliament Square, people kept coming by. Tourists with their cameras. Teenagers drinking beer. Commuters on their way to work. Taxis, vans, bicycles. Bloody big black cars with lying politicians in them. Buses with passengers all on their phones or buried in their papers. Drivers who wound down the car window, not stopping, and shouted “Get a job!”


Wasn't that nice. But he had a job. He had it for ten years in sun, rain, sleet, snow. Never left the square. And his job was this. Get the people to wake up. Get them to realise that the USA and the UK were killing babies. Hundreds were dying every day in this place called Iraq and this place called Afghanistan. He had their photographs on his wall of shame. Bloated, pathetic, missing limbs. Sanctions were killing them. Sanctions and bombs. And especially, check out depleted uranium munitions. That poison was everywhere, in the air, in the water, even between the grains of sand. There wasn't a Hoover in the world big enough to suck up all that shit. And everyone was responsible. Everyone. Raping and pillaging and murdering the world. Just to get that stuff called oil. FOOD YES, BOMBS NO, his banners said. COLAT DAMAGE, NO. A GENOCIDE TOO FAR. STOP KILLING MY KIDS.

司机是出于好意。但他是有工作的。十年来不管是晴是雨,是霰是雪,他都坚守岗位,从未离开过广场。他的工作就是唤醒大家。让人们意识到美国和英国政府在杀害婴孩。在一个叫伊拉克和一个叫阿富汗的地方每天都有成百上千的婴孩死去。他把他们的照片贴在他的羞耻墙上。这些孩子或身体浮肿,或悲惨可怜,或缺胳膊少腿。制裁害死了他们。制裁和炸弹。特别地,看看贫铀弹的威力吧。有毒物质散发到了各个角落,空气中,水中,甚至沙土中。世界上可没有足够大的真空吸尘器能把那些毒物吸光。而且,每一个人都要负责。无一例外,人人都在榨取、掠夺地球的资源,使地球活力渐失。这一切都只是为了得到那个叫石油的东西。他的标语上书:“食物,可以,炸弹,不可以 ,蓄意破坏,不可以。这是大规模种族屠杀。停止杀害我的孩子们。”

People from the whole wide world filmed him on a regular basis. They liked to photograph his old corduroy hat—more badges than hat—which said THE WAR IS THE ENEMY OF THE POOR and SUPPORT US TROOPS—BRING EM HOME! They asked him how he slept. (Badly. How would you sleep if 200 babies were dying every day?) They fussed over how he ate. (Mostly chips people brought him and coffee with five sugars. He was lean as a twig. But you know what? People in Calcutta would think he was a king to have so much pavement to live on.) They asked about the mice. They had nested in his sheepskin coat once. He was far more worried about the rats across the road.


When he talked, he sounded tired. He was. Tired of the bollocks. Tired of people not taking responsibility for their inhumaneness to their fellow man. He probably smoked too much, too. Breathed in too much exhaust. Between sentences he would work his stubbly chin as if chewing on unpalatable facts. Then he'd sing:

Last night I had the strangest dream, I'd ever dreamed before;


I dreamed the world had all agreed, to put an end to war.


He spoke like an evangelist, because he was one. His parents were Christian, and he'd found Jesus too at Sunshine Corner beach school in Whitstable. After the merchant navy, he went missionising round Redditch in a minivan. He moved to Parliament Square in 2001 to express his Christian outrage about sanctions. Bush's and Blair's wars kept him there. He loved his neighbour's kids as his own because he was a Christian. Other so-called Christians bombed them. Other “believers”, also in the square, didn't care. (WESTMINSTER ABBEY, WAKE UP!) If the people who had marched in 2003 against the Iraq war had stayed, like him, the politicians would have thought again.


Police abuse


His megaphone helped spread the message. ARREST GEORGE BUSH, WAR CRIMINAL! HI TONY! 45 MINUTES, MR BLAIR. MR B-L-I-A-R. They could hear him even in the Commons chamber. At first Tony Blair said good old Brian, what a champion of free speech. Yes, he was. He defended the right to free expression in front of Parliament: 350 years of peaceful protest. Some rapper boys from South London came up and hugged him once. They said they totally supported him, fuck Parliament, fuck 'em all. But he wouldn't have that. He just answered Love, Peace, Justice, stop killing my kids.


The authorities soon got tired of him, though. Westminster Council tried to remove him because he was a nuisance and “obstructing the pavement”. It failed. By 2005 Tony decided he'd had enough of the name-calling. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act said Mr Haw had to give six days' notice, if you please, of any demonstration within a kilometre of Parliament. How could he do that? The High Court ruled against it, and said he was legal. But the police never acted as though he was. Any morning they might wake him up with a siren, whoop, whoop, Are you there Brian, yank up his plastic, rifle through his private property right in front of Parliament. Who was abusing whom then? In 2006 78 of them came to tear down his wall of pictures, smashed it, trashed it, left it like a bomb site. Left him with one sign. He stayed, of course.


People asked him about his own kids, seven of them. An off-limits topic. Family was left behind when he came to the square. His wife had divorced him, he'd learned. It wasn't his fault. He hadn't wanted to stay eight bloody years away from them, with the pollution and the drunks who broke his nose and the thugs who shouted “Wanker!” at him. He stayed because he wasn't finished yet. And you know what? It was never fundamentally about free speech and the rights of Englishmen and all that stuff. It was about the dead children. And not walking by.


重点单词   查看全部解释    
twig [twig]


n. 小枝,嫩枝 v. 理解,领悟

property ['prɔpəti]


n. 财产,所有物,性质,地产,道具

tear [tiə]


n. 眼泪,(撕破的)洞或裂缝,撕扯

check [tʃek]


n. 检查,支票,账单,制止,阻止物,检验标准,方格图案

siren ['saiərin]


n. 汽笛,警报器
n. [希神]塞壬(半鸟半

merchant ['mə:tʃənt]


n. 商人,店主,专家
adj. 商业的

spoke [spəuk]


v. 说,说话,演说

rifle ['raifl]


n. 步枪
v. 洗劫,抢劫

unpalatable [ʌn'pælətəbl]


adj. 不适口的,不好吃的,让人不快的

defended [di'fend]


vt. 辩护;防护 vi. 保卫;防守


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