AABCC Press Releases

Press release April 13, 2004. STOP PRESS

A 61-year-old anti-war protester tried to make a citizen's arrest on Mr Howard was leaving a community meeting at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club today where a small group of anti-war protesters had gathered.

Primary school counsellor Gareth Smith tried to approach the prime minister but was wrestled away by several of Mr Howard's security staff.

Mr Smith said he represented a Byron Bay group call Oz Peace.

He said he was trying to catch Mr Howard so that he could make a citizen's arrest on him over war crimes in Iraq.

Mr Howard drove away untouched.

Mr Smith was not arrested.

The hostile welcome outside the bowls club was in sharp contrast to the warm reception he received at the community meeting inside.

Mr Howard told the community group that giving in to the extremists in Iraq would weaken and damage the prestige of all of the countries involved in rebuilding the country.

"If we blink now, if we give in now, if we show signs of weakness now the terrorists would have scored a remarkable victory," he said.