Stop the War Coalition calls for action over Blair signing

Stop the War Coalition calls for action over Blair signing

<p>The Stop the War Coalition has called for a boycott of Waterstone&#39;s and will hold protests outside every branch on the day former prime minister Tony Blair has a signing in its Piccadilly branch.<br /><br />As <em>The Bookseller</em> reported this morning, strict security measures have been put in place for the signing of Blair&#39;s memoir,<em> A Journey</em>, at Waterstone&#39;s Piccadilly store on 8th September. A Random House spokesperson said the measures were &quot;common practice&quot; for an event of this size, adding they were along similar lines of when former US president Bill Clinton had signings at the same store.</p><p>However, the Stop the War Coalition&#39;s Andrew Burgin, who is also a second-hand bookseller, said it was writing to Waterstone&#39;s to ask it to cancel the event. He said: &quot;We believe he should stand trial for war crimes. Obviously that won&#39;t happen but we will make every attempt to arrest him. We are responding to the wishes of the majority. It&#39;s disgusting he should walk the streets of the world unmolested.&quot;</p><p>When asked whether the organisation was acting unfairly by targeting booksellers across the country, he said: &quot;It&#39;s the company that has made this particular decision to host the signing. It&#39;s the same as when branches of Barclays were targeted for its support of apartheid in the 1980s. These protests will be entirely peaceful. We will not harass people in any way.&quot; He added activists will try to arrest the former PM for alleged war crimes and has set up a Facebook page publicising the event.</p><p>Waterstone&#39;s declined to comment on the proposed protest but added that it expected hundreds of people at the signing. Among the security measures put in place for Blair are that all bags, backpacks and briefcases must be checked in, along with cameras and mobile phones, before meeting the former Labour leader. Customers cannot be photographed with Blair, there will be no personal dedications and he will only sign two books per customer.</p>