Leading article: The right to disorder

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The Independent Online

Three honest cheers for Brian Haw who today celebrates 3,000 days of protest in London's Parliament Square. He's not everyone's cup of tea. Indeed officialdom has hated him for his raucous voice and untidy peace camp.

But there he has stood, sat and slept on the pavement outside the Mother Of Parliaments ever since he set up his lonely vigil since 2001. Ministers have come and gone. Other protests have swarmed over the green only to be finally harried away by the forces of law and order. But every time this father of seven from Worcestershire has stood his ground.

"I'm all for demonstrations, but my argument is enough is enough," declared David Cameron this summer. To which we can only cry "No, No, No"; the right of protest and the issues of peace and war are far too important to be dismissed in a prissy preference for order. That's not the British spirit. Nor should it be of anyone who aspires to power in a country that values freedom.