‘Blair Lied Thousands Died’

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‘Blair lied, thousands died! Tony Blair, war criminal,’ chanted hundreds assembled outside the QE2 Centre, Westminster, yesterday.

They were taking part in a demonstration organised by the Stop the War Coalition to coincide with the publication of the Chilcot Report into the Iraq War.

Chris Lineham of Stop the War told the crowd, ‘There needs to be a legal process whereby this man (Blair) is brought to justice.’

One of the demonstrators, Ross Defreitas from East London wearing a Veterans for Peace t-shirt told News Line, ‘War is wrong. The UK government needs to change its policies. The action in 2003 completely contravenes the Geneva convention.’

Entesar Ariabi from Iraq said, ‘We have no hope from this inquiry. This is a whitewash. We ask for Blair to be tried as a war criminal, but I don’t think they will do that.

‘Blair said removing Saddam would make the world more secure. Look at what’s happening now – the terrorists have reached Europe.’

Patrick Burtenshaw, a Croydon student, said, ‘I’m here to make sure people don’t forget that Blair lied and it cost the lives of so many people. This is not to mention the injuries and continued bloodshed that persists in Iraq through the monster that he created that is ISIS. That blood is all on his hands.

‘It’s time to get rid of capitalism – socialism all the way, Corbyn for PM.’

Kate Hudson of CND told the crowd, ‘The report is critical of Tony Blair – let’s hope we get the results we want.’

Ben Griffin, an ex-soldier now of Veterans for Peace, said, ‘Don’t forget this report is an establishment report. 2003 was a war of aggression – that’s a war crime. When we arrived, we carried out brutal oppression – thousands were tortured and died.

‘It’s not just Tony Blair, it’s Jack Straw, MI5, MI6, all those companies that had corporate interests.’

He said that since Iraq, there has been Afghanistan, and Libya turned into a mess.

‘We bombed Syria, and the British government have allied themselves with Saudi Arabia to attack another sovereign country, Yemen – thousands have died. War is not a solution.’

Caroline Lucas of the Green Party said, ‘I want to start by remembering those hundreds of thousands who were killed. The Chilcot Report confirms all that we warned about. It says that war was not the last resort – there were still diplomatic means.

‘Blair lied by setting a standard for weapons inspectors they couldn’t complete (to show there were weapons of mass destruction.) He lied when he pulled those inspectors out.’

She added, ‘We are right that Blair should brought to account at the highest level. Blair is a war criminal, but the International Criminal Court has regulations that mean he can’t be brought there. We need to change those rules.

‘Everything I’ve seen in the Chilcot Report confirms the war was illegal. It says that all measures had not been pursued. The cabinet was sidelined, Blair took the decision with just a few people.’