Government Ban Protest Outside Blair Iraq Hearing 18

Not content with spending ?250,000 on “security” for the war criminal Tony Blair’s appearance on the Iraq Inquiry, the government have banned protestors from areas where Blair will see them. This from Stop The War:

Negotiations between the police and Stop the War broke down

today when it became clear that the government is trying to

hide our legitimate peaceful protest from Tony Blair when he

gives evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry on Friday.

After days in which we were told by the police that they would

try to facilitate our protest, Stop the War has been told we

will not be allowed to protest on the grass outside the QEII

Conference Centre.

This is a denial of our democratic rights and Stop the War

will now call for the widest possible mobilisation, not just

to express the majority view in this country that Tony Blair

should be held to account for war crimes, but in defence of

the right to protest.

Why should the public be denied the right to peaceful protest,

particularly when the latest evidence given to the Chilcot

Committee shows beyond doubt that Tony Blair knew he was

taking Britain into an illegal war, and that he doctored legal

advice to deceive his Cabinet, Parliament and the British


Stop the War is calling on all its supporters, local groups

and affiliated organisations to mobilise the widest possible

support for the Blair protest on Friday.

We urge everyone who can to join the demonstration at the QEII

Conference Centre from 8am. Full details for the planned

events are here:

Spread the word as widely as you can among your family,

friends, work colleagues, fellow students etc, etc

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18 thoughts on “Government Ban Protest Outside Blair Iraq Hearing

  • ediot

    ” It emerged today that Lord Goldsmith, then attorney general, who will give evidence tomorrow, drafted a third and, until now, unpublicised draft legal advice, seen by the Foreign Office in February 2003.

    This document, stating that there should be a further security council resolution before military action in Iraq and declassified for the first time today, was returned by the office of Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, with an instruction that the attorney general “carefully consider” his views.

    The implications for a lawyer’s advice to be returned by the client with instructions to reconsider are clear, supporting previous allegations that Goldsmith was “leaned on” by the government to change his position”.

    “Not only were the views of the attorney general, Wood and herself disregarded, she also revealed not a single legal adviser within the Foreign Office believed the war to be legal. Her evidence chimed with the overwhelming wisdom in the community of international public lawyers ?” not one of whom has come out in favour of the government’s position”.

  • tony_opmoc


    There is an error in the link you posted. There’s a null character before the http which for some reason is stopping it from working (The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded). If you delete the character before http it should work.

    The full link is


  • ediot

    Chris Ames


    Tuesday 26 January 2010 17.21 GMT

    “No wonder Jack Straw suppressed the record: it was he who ensured the cabinet was misadvised on legality of the Iraq war”

    “No wonder Jack Straw wants to forget all about the cabinet discussion of the legality of the Iraq war that took place three days before it started.

    Documents disclosed by the Iraq inquiry today show that the attorney general thought he might tell the cabinet that “the legal issues were finely balanced”. Straw talked him out of it. Straw then tried to cover up the lack of discussion at that cabinet meeting.

    I’m not sure that Straw could have come out of today’s evidence much worse. Despite his evidence last week, he seems to have been gung-ho on the war from the outset and the Foreign Office’s chief legal adviser, Sir Michael Wood, kept having to pull him back. Straw eventually got fed up with this and rejected Wood’s advice outright.”

    “Last year, the information tribunal ordered the government to release the minutes of the cabinet meetings of 13 and 17 March but Straw ?” for the first time ever ?” used the veto that he had himself put in the freedom of act to block publication.”

    ” It is now clear that Goldsmith thought the cabinet should perhaps be fully informed but he was talked out of it.

    We know this because the inquiry has for once published actual documents that back up what the witnesses are saying. There is a letter from Wood to Straw’s private office in March 2002, a year before the invasion, warning Straw not to be so sure that a war would be legal. There is correspondence from before and after the passage of UN security council resolution 1441 and ?” as most papers are reporting ?” correspondence between Straw and Wood in which the former explicitly rejects his legal adviser’s legal advice. There is also documentary evidence that supports the government’s claim that Goldsmith changed his mind on 13 March before a meeting with Blair allies Sally Morgan and Charles Falconer, in spite of what the Cabinet Office told me.”

    “When Straw blocked the release of the cabinet minutes, I wrote here of the problem of using arguments about cabinet confidentiality and collective cabinet responsibility to obscure an apparent failure of cabinet collective decision-making. It now appears that Straw himself engineered that failure. The cabinet backed the war unaware that the legal issues were finely balanced. That “is a scandal that can be firmly laid at Straw’s door.

  • Craig


    The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are a forgery cobbled together from a number of sources. They are surfaced by anti-semites, templar and freemason theorists and all kinds of people. I think this stuff is bollocks but I am not deleting things to keep you happy. You are in fact the most frequent mentioner on this blog of the things you claim to decry. For example nobody had mentioned the Protocols on this thread except you.

    It is, as herbie notes, a deliberate attempt by you to distract from the actual thread subjects; you have put in a quite extraordinary number of hours on doing this on many threads over the last few weeks.

  • writerman

    But the legal advice, interpretations, norms, rules, conventions… were not “finely balanced” at all. Wood is saying what close to every expert in international law has been saying for years; the overwhelming concensus was clear; the attack on Iraq by Britain and the United States was a blatant act of agression, unprovoked agression; and therefore a warcrime.

    That Blair, Straw, and Hoon, the central conspirators, chose to ignore the “quaint” concept of international law, and go ahead anyway, is irrelevant. What they thought, why they thought it; the mistaken conviction excuse, makes no difference to the obvious criminality of their actions. The fact of their criminal activity is what matters. The massive loss of life and destruction that followed. Their personal motivation, whatever it was, can only be seen and weighed in mitigation when they are held to account. Their motives and justifications, for such a set of high crimes, can not been used as a argument in their defence. It wasn’t accidental. It was premeditated mass murder.

  • Jon

    Anyway, back on topic. Anyone coming to London from here, to throw some eggs, or to say some spirited things about our criminal former PM? :O)

  • nevergiveup

    Problem with this demonstration is that the media will be sidetracked into reporting this event rather than the main important event of the day. Self defeating maybe?

  • tony_opmoc


    The media themselves are complicit in this gross War Crime which has brought the greatest shame on our Country in living memory. It was and is their duty to find out the truth and report it. It is not their duty to be a Government propaganda outfit.

    Only now are some elements of the media beginning to redeem themselves.

    However it wouldn’t surprise me, if the reported events of Friday are so watered down, that any coverage at all will be minimal especially in the mainstream news.

    They are probably now desperately searching for an alternative major news event, and the real evil may attempt to generate one.


  • The Reaper

    I don’t think Blair and his carefully chosen media gangsters could be aware of the changes in communication that were coming when he was first elected in 1997.

    Even though they were all experts in dealing with and manipulating mainstream media, I suspect the emergence of web 2 and the blogosphere etc were something they weren’t prepared for.

    These are all fora that new labour have been particularly poor at and totally unable to control. The right have shown themselves better users of these media, mainly because they’ve a younger crew with so much new labour abuses to rail against.

    First time I ever saw anyone routinely calling Blair a liar in msm was Richard Ingrams, the former editor of Private Eye.

    Now everyone calls him a liar, and there’s not a damn thing he or any of of his well-paid hoods can do about it.

    Firstly because it’s true, but secondly and more importantly because the public can speak for themselves now and actively, rather than passively wait for cronies to tell them what’s what.

    Those days are gone, and whatever reputation Blair thought he could sustain because his gangsters would ensure nothing much negative was published, is long gone too.

    Blair’s history and legacy is being written now, by ordinary people who’ve witnessed his crimes and those of his gangsters at first hand.

    He can’t spin his way out of what the people think of him now.

    No money will buy that.

    Those days are gone forever.

  • Jaded.


    ‘You are in fact the most frequent mentioner on this blog of the things you claim to decry.’

    A+ 😉

  • ingo

    good luck with the demo. My advise for all its worth, divide the powers that hold us back, demonstrate everywhere, not just in front of the conference center.

    As the police left it far too late with their ban, one has no time left to announce other demonstration and should just go ahead, peacefully, of course, one would not like to sink to their reactionary level now would one?

  • Freeborn

    Yo Steelback!

    I was on all those STW demos and meetings and your description of how we were led by leftist ego-trippers and SWP recruiter donkeys rings true.

    As an example of an ego-tripper there was Gorgeous George Galloway of Big Brother infamy.At one demo we had gathered in defiance of media warnings outside the Houses of Parliament waiting to start a march to Trafalgar Square.

    Out of the corner of my eye I happened to clock one Galloway walking into the House.I discontinued my conversation briefly and shouted:

    “We love you,George!” before continuing the conversation.I suddenly realised Gorgeous George had heard me and was waving back thoroughly flattered by the evident adulation he was getting from the marchers!

    Whether Gorgeous had taken my love declaration in a kind of homo-erotic sense is unknown.But his need to be loved was there for all to see!

    Now Steelback you’re surely not suggesting Craig Murray shares this level of vanity?

    On the Trots.I remember an STW meeting at the local humanist meeting house to which they’d invited the anti-war activist,Ken O’Keefe.

    There sat Ken covered in tatoos,sporting double earrings and looking every inch the veteran US soldier from Gulf War 1 that he was.Ken spoke movingly re-his move from US Army soldier to peace activist.The man cried like a baby when he saw the devasation at the civilian air raid shelter that was hit by Coalition bombing during GW1 and he was unashamed to admit it.

    Ken’s “human shield” activism included taking participants for human shield action in Baghdad as the bombing was about to begin.Should any shields die in the anticipated air offensive at places where the shields had opted usually on rooftops in civilian areas it was anticipated that the war-mongers would suffer a propaganda reverse of mammoth proportions.

    The BBC and corporate media portrayed O’Keefe and the shields as cowardly,naive peaceniks who mostly fled and returned to their home countries when the bombing started.In reality the number of shields was increasing.

    80 shield volunteers stayed in Iraq throughout the war afforded freedom of movement by the Iraqi government and enormous warmth and respect by the people.Moreover none of the sites where they installed themselves were destroyed.The Al Mamun telecommunications facility was hit one day after the volunteers had moved out.

    Ken has more recently been in Gaza.

    What struck me at the meeting was that when Ken wound up his talk one of our SW organizers asked whether such voluntary civil disobedience could be deemed as effective as a class solidarity movement of the workers.

    I can assure you that Ken shot the Trot down in flames.The shield action had saved the lives of Iraqi civilians by restraining the blood-lust of the intensely propaganda-conscious coalition war machine.None of their sites had been destroyed.

    Real courage and activism was just what STW should have had some respect for and Ken was more worthy of that respect than most of us there present.


    Check out a real anti-Zionist activist and peace advocate.

  • Chris Dooley

    Freeborn… I really enjoyed that post. Inspirational. I had forgotten all about the human shield activists and assumed they had perished in the conflict.

    Absolutley amazing.

    They saved every installation they tried to protect !

    That is activism with balls of steel.

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