Attempts made so far
1. 29th January 2010. Grace McCann tried to arrest Tony Blair as he left the Chilcot Inquiry. She was restrained by police. Her attempt was reported by Sky News and the Independent. She qualifies for the first bounty for an attempted citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair: £2,619.67. This is one quarter of the money in the pot at the time of her attempt. Grace has kindly donated £2000 to the ICRC and the remainder of her award to the Stop the War Coalition and Iraq Body Count.
2. 22nd March 2010. David Cronin attempted a citizens’ arrest of Tony Blair as he was about to enter a hearing on Palestine in the European Parliament. David approached him, put a hand on his arm and said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizens’ arrest.” He was then pushed away by one of Blair’s bodyguards, whereupon he shouted “You are guilty of war crimes”. His attempt was reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Irish Times and other outlets.
We raised the question of whether David might fit the definition of a colleague of the site’s founder, George Monbiot, in which case (rule 7), he wouldn’t qualify for the award. This is because David has occasionally contributed articles to the Guardian. But as the two of them had never met or communicated before and as David is neither employed by nor contracted to the Guardian, we decided that he cannot be considered a colleague. He has now met all the criteria for the bounty and has been sent a cheque for £2,801.98. David has generously decided to give the money to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza.
3. 4th September 2010. Kate O’Sullivan attempted to make a citizen’s arrest of Tony Blair at his book signing in Eason’s bookstore in Dublin, Ireland. She made it into the book signing and told him face to face that she was arresting him. She was removed but no charges were brought against her. Her attempt appears to qualify for the bounty, and as long as the remaining conditions are met, she will be entitled to a pay-out of £3,129.02.
The attempt was reported widely by the mainstream press including The Telegraph, The Irish Times, Sky News, Press Association and in the Guardian. Tony Blair has now cancelled his booksigning at Waterstones on the 8th September