Press release: Payouts for attempts to arrest the former PM now exceed £10,000.
On Tuesday the Arrest Blair campaign will pay Tom Grundy £2,400 for his attempt to arrest Tony Blair during a public event in Hong Kong.
The campaign was established to uphold the principle that no one is above the law. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, commissioned by George W. Bush and Tony Blair, meets the definition of a crime against peace, established by the Nuremberg Principles(1) and described by the Nuremberg Tribunal as “the supreme international crime.”
The 2003 Iraq war caused the deaths of between 100,000 and one million people, depending on whose estimate you believe. A series of leaked documents shows that the Bush and Blair governments knew they did not possess legal justification(2,3). Without it, the war with Iraq was an act of mass murder, committed by those who launched it.
Though the former leaders of other states have been prosecuted under international law, none of those responsible for the Iraq war have yet been charged. The aim of Arrest Blair is to ensure that this illegal war is not forgotten, and to maintain international pressure for charges to be brought.
The campaign, which was set up in 2010 by the journalist George Monbiot(4), encourages people to attempt non-violent citizens’ arrests of the former prime minister. Donations are made by the public to a bounty fund. When an attempt is judged to meet the Arrest Blair rules, a quarter of the money in the pot is paid to the person who carried it out(5). Tom Grundy’s attempt is the fourth that meets the campaign rules. Almost £11,000 has now been paid(6).
Grundy, 29, sought to arrest Tony Blair while the former prime minister was speaking at Hong Kong University, on June 14th 2012(7). The campaign has considered his attempt and decided that it qualifies for a share of the bounty. He is donating the money to various relevant charities.
1. Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles says the following:
“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”
2. For a summary of these documents and what they reveal, please see http://www.arrestblair.org/blairs-crimes
3. Articles 33 and 51 of the UN Charter list the conditions that must apply if a war is to have legal justification. None of these conditions were met by the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom. http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter6.shtml
7. You can read Tom Grundy’s account of his attempt here: http://www.newint.org/blog/2012/06/19/tony-blair-arrest/