I got to know Bunny during Kick Nuclear’s ‘Remember Fukushima: No to Nuclear Power in the UK’ weekly Friday vigils outside the Japanese embassy which began in August 2012. (They are now twice-monthly.)
Bunny was a regular participant in this vigil from 2013 to 2021. He sat on a chair by the embassy entrance in all weathers giving leaflets to embassy visitors and passers-by. Towards the end of 2021, he decided the winter weather was getting too much for him, but said he would return in the spring: death at 91 sadly intervened.
Bunny was a great asset to the vigil, charming passers-by who stopped to talk, speaking clearly and quietly in a warm West Country accent. He also charmed the two Senegalese guards at the embassy, who were sufficiently concerned about him to enquire whether he was alright whenever he didn’t turn up at the vigil. Bunny also brought along chocolate and simple but effective political poems he’d written to share.
I knew very little about his previous history, though he did mention his participation in Brian Haw’s nine-year continuous vigil for peace and against war in Parliament Square. It was only after Bunny’s death that I found out more about this, from his daughter Martha, with whom he lived latterly, and from other obituaries.
He was born in Somerset, refusing to do his National Service when called up in 1949.
As a life-long socialist, one of the first marches he went on was a 1950 protest at council rent rises. He joined the Communist Party and canvassed for it at the 1955 general election, later selling its paper, the Daily Worker.
He went on many protests over the years. In 1956, mounted police charged Bunny and others handing in a letter of protest at Downing Street, during a demo against the UK seizure of the Suez Canal. He went to a rally in Trafalgar Square at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Bunny supported Brian Haw’s round-the-clock vigil in Parliament Square from 2005. He went twice a week to look after the striking display of posters and banners that Brian had set up in the Square, to give Brian time to rest.
More recently, Bunny took part in demonstrations in support of Julian Assange.
Bunny’s wife, Catherine, also a writer, died before him. He is survived by two daughters, Martha and Susan.