Performing a Citizen’s Arrest
Your attempts to arrest Mr Blair will, at this stage, be largely symbolic, but they will have great political resonance.
It is essential that they are pursued peacefully and calmly, not least for your own safety: at no point should you create the impression that you mean to harm him, or you could be harmed yourself. The method we recommend is calmly to approach Mr Blair 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 or trapped by you, and announce loudly, “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.”
If any police officers are accompanying Mr Blair, you should explain the charge to them, and encourage them to support you by arresting him.
You are advised not to put yourself at risk of charges of assault or false imprisonment. In other words, do not cling onto Blair or attempt to drag him anywhere.
You are unlikely to get much further than that. But as long as the attempt is picked up by the media, the point will have been made: he is a war criminal who can expect to be pursued for his crime wherever he goes.
You should decide how you want to leave the situation after your attempt. Blair or the people accompanying him might wish to argue with you if the arrest takes place in the media spotlight, so before attempting it you should have a good grasp of the case against him, be aware of the likely counter-arguments, and prepare some responses.
You might also wish to contact the media either before – if you know and trust a journalist – you attempt the arrest or immediately afterwards. It’s a good idea to prepare a press release (and a list of email addresses of relevant news desks) beforehand, for a friend to send out as soon as it’s happened.
The chances of getting Blair officially arrested or prosecuted in most nations are currently slim. But like most non-violent direct action, the main purpose here is to create an event which alerts people to an uncomfortable truth, changes the public mood and puts pressure on governments.
But we emphasise again: do not use any methods which could be construed as violent. The founders of this campaign cannot be held responsible if you do not abide by this rule.
A film crew has been in touch. It would like to follow anyone who is considering making a citizens arrest of Tony Blair. If you wish to put yourself forward, please write to us via the Contact page and we will forward your details, in confidence, to the crew.