A website offering a reward to people who try to arrest former Prime Minister Tony Blair for alleged “crimes against peace” has raised over £9,000 in just two days.
The website, called Arrest Blair (http://www.arrestblair.org/rules), was launched on January 25 – just four days before he was due to give evidence to the Chilcott inquiry into the Iraq war.
It was created by writer George Monbiot, an environmental and political activist who has a weekly column in The Guardian newspaper.
Launching the website, he wrote: “We must show that we have not, as Blair requested, ‘moved on’ from Iraq, that we are not prepared to allow his crime to remain unpunished.”
The website stipulates the citizen’s arrest must be peaceful and that anyone attempting it will be paid a quarter of the money donated – currently just over £9,200.
It also states there must be no injuries to Mr Blair or those around him and that the incident must be reported in “at least one mainstream media outlet in a bulletin, programme or article”.
Anyone claiming the reward must also prove they are the person featured in the report and come forward within 28 days of the attempt.
For people who have not carried out a citizens arrest in the past, the website offers advice on how to go about it, including handling police.
They are recommended to approach Mr Blair “calmly”, and “in a gentle fashion to lay a hand on his shoulder or elbow, in such a way that he cannot have any cause to complain of being hurt”.
They are urged to loudly announce: “Mr Blair, this is a citizens’ arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq.
“I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge.”
Mr Monbiot, 47, said although any arrests would be “largely symbolic” they would nonetheless have “great political resonance”.
He added: “There must be no hiding place for those who have committed crimes against peace. No civilised country can allow mass murderers to move on.”
There will be minute-by-minute coverage of Mr Blair’s long-awaited appearance before the Chilcott inquiry on Friday here on Sky News Online.