Large demonstrations are expected to greet the former Prime Minister Tony Blair as he arrives to give evidence to the Iraq War Inquiry tomorrow (29 January). Relatives of those killed in Iraq will stage a Naming of the Dead ceremony outside the venue as Blair gives evidence inside.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) say that Blair will be “reminded of the public anger at his decision to take the country to war on a lie”.
A number of Christian groups, including the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Christian CND and Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) have confirmed that their members and supporters will participate in peaceful protests.
The Inquiry is taking place in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London. Ekklesia co-director Symon Hill will be attending alongside members of the media, to report for Ekklesia.
The former prime minister's appearance has been eagerly anticipated since the Inquiry began its proceedings. The pressure on Blair intensified this week when former Foreign Office lawyers declared that they had given clear and united advice that the invasion of Iraq was illegal.
"The more evidence we see, the clearer it becomes that Tony Blair took us to war on a lie,” said CND's chair, Kate Hudson, “Evidence and legal justifications were cooked up to validate his determination that Britain would stand firmly behind George Bush”.
She urged the Inquiry panel “to ensure he cannot continue to cheat the British public of the answers they deserve”.
The demonstrations have proved controversial before they have begun. Earlier this week, the police declared that protestors could not gather on the grass immediately outside the Centre when Blair attends, even though they have assembled there throughout the Inquiry.