Activism – Why I Attempted to Arrest Tony Blair

Press releases, footage and photos here. Below is a piece for New Internationalist Magazine.

Last Thursday, I attempted a citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair for crimes against peace as he was about to present a speech at Hong Kong University about faith. It seems particularly dubious for the ex-British Prime Minister to address the subject of religion, as he has done so much to enrage the Muslim world and thus set back religious tolerance by decades.

My confrontation with Blair came during the deadliest week of violence in Iraq since the US pull-out, and a day after the International Criminal Court prosecutor asked judges to hand down their first sentence to a fellow war-criminal, Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga. All current ICC investigations and prosecutions are related to African nations, yet Mr Blair’s status as an ex-Western leader does not exempt him from its founding Rome Statute, to which Britain is a signatory

Some will find the comparison absurd but there is little moral difference when the products of their respective leaderships were mass human rights violations against civilian populations. Blair has requested that people “move on” from the Iraq War yet, with documented civilian deaths now totalling at least 107,013, leading QC Michael Mansfield has confirmed that there now appears to be enough evidence to trigger an ICC investigation. Legally, the type of weaponry deployed in the war (depleted uranium and cluster bombs) can be described as ‘indiscriminate’, thus making him liable for mass civilian causalities.

Activism – My Attempted Citizen’s Arrest of Tony Blair in Hong Kong (Press Releases)

Press releases below.

Interviews/coverage: RTHK, The Standard, Time Out and South China Morning Post locally. Huffington Post UK,  The GuardianBBC NewsThe Independent and The Telegraph in the UK. Democracy Now in the US.

Coverage via AP & Reuters news wires:  The Daily Mail, Sky News, ITNNDTVTIME Magazine, Fox NYCPress TVGuido Fawkesi4U News, Yahoo, Channel News Asia, Phuket News, B92 , Beijing CreamInformation Clearing House, ShanghaiistStraits Times, XFMStop the War Coalition, Signal1 etc…

Reuters footage via Democracy Now (with clean audio)…


(YouKu video here for those behind the Chinese firewall)

Radio interview with Phil Whelan, Morning Brew – RTHK Radio 3, 18.6.12

Update 2: I am eligible for a share of the ArrestBlair.org ‘bounty’ offered to those who attempt a citizen’s arrest of Mr Blair. I will donate the sum – of around £2400 – to relevant charities (including the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza).  The site was founded originally by British Guardian journalist and writer George Monbiot.

Update 1: The attempted arrest took place at around 5:50 Hong Kong time, 14/6/12. I approached Mr Blair within moments of his arrival on stage – I was prevented from waiting next to him for the police. I stated the following within a couple of metres or so in front of him…