BRIAN HAW MEMORIAL BENCH ON WHITSTABLE BEACH!
OFFICIAL ‘OPENING’ OF THE BRIAN HAW MEMORIAL BENCH ON WHITSTABLE BEACH! by Julie Wassmer.
On Sunday 1st June members of Brian Haw’s family, including four of his children (see photo of Brian’s son Pete with his father at his graduation – one of the few events Brian interrupted his peace protest for) and a granddaughter, will take part in the official opening of the ‘Brian Haw Peace Bench’ on Whitstable beach. Appropriately, the opening will take place on International Children’s Day as Brian Haw frequently said that the strongest reason for his peace protest was the effects of wars on children.
Mark Wallinger, the artist who won the Turner Prize in 2007 for ‘State Britain’ – a 40 metre long artwork which meticulously recreated Brian Haw’s Parliament Square peace camp – will join the opening event.
The ‘opening’ of this first public memorial to Brian, who spent his teenage years in Whitstable, comes just short of three years after his death (18th June 2011) and 13 years, almost to the day, since he began his peace camp in London’s Parliament Square (2nd June 2001).
On 1st June, there will be a public gathering at the peace bench near to Keam’s Yard, Whitstable, Kent starting at 2 pm. Following this, from about 3.15 pm., there will be an indoor event in the former Dredgermen’s Courtroom on the 1st floor of the Royal Native Oyster Stores.
The indoor event will include a ‘Memories of Brian’ session – during which, in addition to family memories, images of State Britain provided by Mark Wallinger will be shown – followed by a viewing of the recently released film ‘War Matters’.
War Matters is a 50 minute documentary chronicling 10 years of anti-war protest in Britain prompted by Brian Haw’s peace protest camp outside the Houses of Parliament. The Director, Chester Yang, is bringing the film to Whitstable personally and will answer questions afterwards. A pay bar will be open during the indoor event.
Entry to the indoor event will be by ticket due to a limited number of seats. Anyone who wishes to guarantee a place can get a ticket in advance at either Rock Bottom Records Harbour Street, or Oxford Street Bookshop – both in Whitstable. A recommended donation of £3 or £5 for a pair is requested for tickets.
Local resident and member of the campaign steering group, Rod Lupton, said: “I hope lots of local people will join members of Brian’s family on the beach at 2pm on Sunday 1st June to officially open the peace bench. We are honoured and delighted that Mark Wallinger has agreed to support this opening of the peace bench. The ‘Memories of Brian’ session upstairs at the Oyster Stores afterwards and the film ‘War Matters’ will reveal the impact of his 10-year protest for peace on him, his family and the wider political landscape “.
MESSAGE FROM JULIE WASSMER: ANYONE IS WELCOME TO COME ALONG. HERE’S A PHOTO OF THE BENCH THAT I TOOK AT THE RECENT LOCAL UNVEILING EVENT, LOCAL WHITSTABLE PEOPLE COLLECTED £2,000 FOR THIS MEMORIAL TO BRIAN AND HIS CAMPAIGN. Please come along and remember Brian Haw’s personal battle for peace. ~ Julie Wassmer xx
On behalf of the Brian Haw Peace Memorial Campaign, Whitstable.