Activist beat security for Blair arrest attempt

THE young activist who attempted a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair beat supposedly tight security to confront the former British prime minister.

“Actually it was surprisingly easy,” said Kate O’Sullivan, 24, from Mahon in Cork.

After queuing for an hour and a half at Mr Blair’s book-signing in Eason’s Dublin on Saturday, Ms O’Sullivan had to pass through airport-style metal detectors, leave some personal belongings in a plastic bag, and walk past at least 10 security men before getting to the third floor where he was signing copies of his autobiography, The Journey.

“I stood and waited my turn and then just went up to him and said: ‘Mr Blair, I am here to make a citizen’s arrest on you for war crimes committed in Iraq’,” she said.

“He just looked down. He refused to look at me. He actually just looked irritated, as if this was just annoying.”

Ms O’Sullivan was grabbed by at least five security men and dragged away.

She shouted that there are half a million people dead in Iraq, that Mr Blair had broken the Fourth Geneva Convention, and that he was a war criminal.

She was detained for up to half an hour in a stairwell before being released.

Ms O’Sullivan is an activist with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and is chairwoman of the Cork Palestine Link. However, she said she performed Saturday’s event independently.

“I believe that all war criminals that come to this country should be prosecuted under Universal Jurisdiction, and if the police are unwilling to act then it is up to ordinary people to make citizen’s arrests,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan was part of the Irish convoy caught up in a violent standoff with Egyptian authorities last December as an international convoy, Viva Palestina, tried to reach Gaza. Violence flared in the Egyptian port of El Arish after authorities refused to allow aid vehicles cross the border into Gaza.

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