The streets of Windsor were flooded with activists chanting “Blair lied, millions died!”

“We will never forgive, and we will never forget,” that’s the message from hundreds of anti-war protesters who descended on Windsor castle yesterday lambasting Tony Blair a “war criminal” as he was appointed a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

The former Prime Minister’s granting of the highest award the Queen can bestow was met with loud protests outside the castle, as activists marched chanting “Blair Knighthood – not in my name,” and “Blair lied, millions died!”

The streets of Windsor were also flooded with placards emblazoned with “Bliar”, alluding to the lies Tony Blair told in 2003, as he wanted to bang the drums of war and didn’t let facts stand in his way. Under the false pretence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and fuelled by false revelations that they could be deployed in just 45 minutes, British troops headed to Iraq.

Thirteen years on from the invasion of Iraq, the Chilcot report proved Tony Blair misled Parliament. Responding to it at the time, the warmonger insisted: “I did not mislead this country. I made the decision in good faith and I believe it is better we took that decision.” This year he reneged, conceding he “may have been wrong” about the decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

The work of Stop the War Coalition acts as a constant reminder Tony Blair can never wash the blood off his hands. Tony Blair’s lies and decisions contributed to the deaths of millions of people in the Middle East. This was represented on the protest by dozens of activists wearing masks dousing themselves in fake blood.

Speaking to the crowds, StWC vice-chairman Andrew Murray, said: “The Iraq war was fought in breach of international law, founded on the basis of lies, fought on the basis of secret pledges given to George Bush, a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s….They want us to forgive and forget. We will never forgive and forget. Tony Blair will have to be haunted by that for the rest of his days. He is a war criminal. He should be in The Hague.”

Indeed, there is only one court Tony Blair should have attended. Not the royal one but the International Court of Justice in the Hague where he should be tried for war crimes. Under international law the war was illegal. The then UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said it was illegal along with senior politicians on both sides of the pond. Two million people marched the streets of the UK, because they knew the war was illegal. This year, 1.3 million people signed a petition calling for the knighthood to be rescinded, because they too know the war was illegal.

As activists placed a replica Tony Blair in handcuffs StWC Convenor, Lindsey German, spoke at the demonstration of the UK’s current foreign policy.

“This isn’t just about the past, this is about the future, Blair hasn’t stopped…he intervenes in British politics yet again. Let’s keep opposing these wars. They want to increase arms sales, increasing the likelihood of war. These people are addicted to war. Their system is addicted to war and that’s why we need to oppose it.”

The notorious legacy Blair has left sees another lying Prime Minister keen to fuel the flames of war, pumping billions of pounds into militarisation to keep Britain in tow with US priorities. Johnson’s predecessor, Tony Blair’s Knighthood couldn’t come at a worse time. Upon accepting the Knighthood invitation in January, nineteen years after he led Britain into the Iraq War Tony Blair said: “It is an immense honour, and I am deeply grateful to Her Majesty the Queen. It was a great privilege to serve as Prime Minister.”

For the parents of soldiers killed in Iraq his knighthood is the ultimate insult. Speaking at the demonstration Peter Brierley, whose son was killed in Iraq, denounced the award as a “disgrace”.

Since the invasion in 2003, an estimated 2 million people have died in Iraq. Tony Blair, desperate to please his American counterpart George Bush, dragged the United Kingdom into the war. Instead of hanging his head in shame in the Hague, Tony Blair knelt before the Queen and lowered his head to be awarded a Knighthood in Windsor Castle – proof that the UK’s honours system is anything but honourable.

14 Jun 2022 by Shadia Edwards-Dashti

Sign Up