Blair cancels London book signing over anti-war protest

TONY BLAIR has cancelled a book signing event in London in the aftermath of protests against the former British Prime Minister in Dublin at the weekend.

Four men are to appear in court later this month on public order charges relating to a fracas with gardaí at Mr Blair’s signing of his new memoir in Eason’s O’Connell Street on Saturday morning when eggs, shoes and other items were thrown.

Mr Blair was separated from the crowd by a security barrier and was not harmed.

Mr Blair said he had decided to cancel a signing session which had been scheduled for tomorrow in London because of planned separate protests by left-wing anti-war groups and the extremist British National Party.

Mr Blair said: “I very much enjoyed meeting my readers in Dublin and was looking forward to doing the same in London. However, I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don’t want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protesters. I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book signing.”

During his one-hour signing session in Dublin, Cork Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) activist, Kate O’Sullivan, attempted to make a citizen’s arrest on Mr Blair for war crimes. She was detained by gardaí and then released. More than 300 demonstrators, among them members of the Workers Solidarity Movement and Workers Party, were outside protesting against Mr Blair’s involvement leading up to the 2003 Iraq war, chanting and holding signs: “Blair lied, millions died” and “Lock him up for genocide”.

In the book, which recounts his time as prime minister, from 1997 to 2007, Mr Blair defended his decision to go to war but wrote he did not anticipate the “nightmare” that followed.

IPSC national chairwoman Freda Hughes said the protests had been a success.

She added: “Blair’s blatant lack of empathy and inability to reach beyond his blind racial prejudice furthers the ‘us and them’ situation and thus perpetuates the false dichotomy of Islam versus the western world.”


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