Saturday, 4 September 2010

Beware, Blair
Saturday September 04, 2010

Today Kate O’Sullivan, an activist from the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), made a citizen’s arrest on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at a book signing in Eason’s. However the Gardaí refused to act on the arrest, preferring instead to detain Ms. O’Sullivan for half an hour in a stairwell. At the protest outside Eason’s, where over 1,000 people gathered to protest the presence of Mr Blair in Ireland, at least three arrests of peaceful protesters where carried out, including that of a secondary school student. All have subsequently been released and are due in court on 30th September.

Activist Kate O'Sullivan who today - Saturday 4th September - made a citizen's arrest on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Kate O’Sullivan, the Cork woman who made the citizen’s arrest, after her release said: “After I went through airport-like security to get to Mr Blair, I told him I was there to make a citizen’s arrest on him for war crimes committed in Iraq. Mr Blair looked down and I was immediately grabbed by five security men and dragged away. As I was being dragged I cried out that there is half a million people dead in Iraq, that he had broken the Fourth Geneva Convention and that he was a war criminal. Mr Blair refused to even look at me. After that I was detained for about half an hour in a stairwell without being charged with anything. I believe that all war criminals that come to this country should be prosecuted under Universal Jurisdiction, and if the police are unwilling to act then it is up to ordinary people to make citizen’s arrests”

Speaking at the demonstration outside Eason’s, IPSC National Chairperson Freda Hughes said: “The IPSC supported today’s demonstration because we believe that Mr Blair, a war criminal, is unfit to hold the role of the Quartet’s Middle East Envoy. The idea that this man, who claims that ‘when it comes to security, I am 100% on Israel’s side”, could be an impartial peace-broker is absurd. Mr. Blair is also on record as recently saying the Apartheid state of Israel is “a remarkable example for the rest of us”, a shocking statement to make in light of the tentative peace talks which began last week. If negotiations have taught us anything, it is that there is a time to stand your ground and a time to walk away. Now is clearly the time for Mr Blair to walk away and allow genuine voices of solidarity to be heard.”


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