Anti-war protest planned outside Blair book launch

Anti-war protest planned outside Blair book launch

Anti-war campaigners will stage a protest tomorrow outside a museum where former prime minister Tony Blair is expected to attend a party to mark the launch of his new book.

Mr Blair has cancelled a high-profile signing session of his memoir at a book store in central London tomorrow lunchtime amid concerns over planned protests.

The ex-premier said he did not want to subject the public to the “inevitable hassle” protests would cause or use up police resources keeping order at the event.

Campaigners against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will demonstrate tomorrow outside the Tate Modern gallery where they expect Mr Blair and scores of specially invited dignitaries to attend a party.

Kat Phillips, one of the artists helping to organise the protest, said: “It is disgusting that an institution at the heart of British culture should have allowed this event to take place. Mr Blair says he takes responsibility for destroying Iraq but in fact does nothing but celebrate the war.”

Lindsey German, national convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said: “It’s a stain on the reputation of Tate Modern to host a gathering of war criminals.”

A spokesman for Tate Modern said: “Tate is not staging a launch for Tony Blair’s new book. Tate’s galleries are available for hire by companies. These events are private and details are confidential.”

Eggs and shoes were hurled by protesters and one attempted to make a citizen’s arrest when Mr Blair signed copies of the book, A Journey, in Dublin last weekend.

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