Tony Blair will be greeted by protests at his Dublin book signing - SEE VIDEO
Republican and anti-war groups plan disruptive protests
The former British Prime Minister is set to travel to Dublin to sign copies of his newly released memoir "The Journey" on Saturday. His visit will be marked by protests from the Socialist Republican Party group, Eirígí, and the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWN).
Eirígí has called for Tony Blair "to be arrested for war crimes if he enters the Twenty-Six Counties" according to a statement on their website.
The group is planning to hold a demonstration outside Eason’s bookshop on O'Connell Street, where the book signing will take place.
Eirígí spokesperson, Daithí Mac An Mhaistír said "Tony Blair is a war criminal, with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians on his hands. Alongside his US allies, Blair launched brutal and bloody wars against the people of Afghanistan and Iraq."
He also said "Blair also oversaw the normalization of the British occupation in the Six Counties and the murder by pro-British forces of nationalist civilians, including human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson. He also blocked all attempts to secure the truth about collusion between British forces and unionist death squads, in particular their role in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.”
Mac An Mhaistír concluded: “The book promotion in Eason’s is an insult to the victims of Blair's war crimes and Eason’s should withdraw their invitation to him."
The IAWN are also planning a demonstration on Parnell Square less than half a mile from the bookstore. Their statement said that they are protesting "for the victims of Tony Blair's military actions and foreign policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine."
Their plan to start of book of condolences will coincide with the demonstration they have planned for Saturday. Mr Blair's book signing is due to take place in Eason’s bookshop on O'Connell Street. The groups protest will commence less than a half a mile from the store, at the Garden of Remembrance, on Parnell Street.
Richard Boyd Barrett, chairperson of the IAWM said "Tony Blair is a war criminal, if the term has any meaning at all. He played a key role in fabricating the lies and bogus justifications for an illegal and murderous war in Iraq and the equally immoral war in Afghanistan. He has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands."
He added "The idea of Blair justifying his war crimes in a book, regardless of where that money goes, is nauseating. This book is a purely cynical maneuver to whitewash responsibility for war crimes and mass murder."
Two other groups, Peace & Neutrality Alliance and Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign have also pledged their support for the demonstration. In 2003 the IAWM organized an anti-war protest which brought 100,000 people to the streets of Dublin. They are hoping the see the same numbers this weekend.
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