It was only when I saw the glow from Tony Blair's tan that I knew I couldn't chicken out. I'd hatched a vague plan the previous day to place him under citizen's arrest during his visit to the European Parliament in Brussels, but wasn't certain I would have the guts to go through with it.
But with Mr. Blair just a few metres away from me, I walked up and placed a hand on his right arm. “Mr. Blair, this is a citizen's arrest,” I said. He looked at me with an expression that seemed to blend puzzlement and contempt. I'd intended to invite him to accompany me to the nearest police station, but was shoved out of the way by at least one of his bodyguards. “You are guilty of war crimes!” I shouted at his back, as he made his way towards a meeting room.
My attempt was inspired by the Arrest Blair campaign that George Monbiot, environmental activist and Guardian columnist, has set up. Mine was the second attempt, so many well-wishers have since expressed a hope it will be third time lucky. Britain and Belgium have both ratified the 2002 Rome statute that refers to the crime of “aggression”. In my view, the war against Iraq was demonstrably not an act of self-defence. Yet, so far, the International Criminal Court has only issued indictments against Africans. Why should international justice not apply to people such as Mr. Blair and George W. Bush? I also wished to highlight the obscenity of Mr. Blair's role as a “peace envoy” in West Asia. Last year, I visited the house of Maher Hanoun and family in East Jerusalem — who were later evicted by an Israeli settler company. Mr. Blair has an office in the nearby American Colony hotel, yet said nothing. How can he be trusted to bring peace? — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010