Outrage continues to swell over the recent decision to give a knighthood to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was instrumental in the bloody U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, with anti-war campaigners in the U.K. gearing up for a protest later this year.\r\n\r\n\u0022We will protest at this grotesque award in the name of the Iraqis, the Afghans, the families who lost soldiers, the refugees, and victims of these and subsequent wars.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Blair should be facing a war crimes trial but instead he will be joining the Queen at Windsor Castle on 13 June to receive a knighthood,\u0022 Stop the War Coalition (StW) says in an event description for an upcoming protest at the so-called Garter Day procession.\r\n\r\nThe outrage follows Buckingham Palace\u0026#039;s December 31 announcement that Blair, who was prime minister from 1997-2007, was given the title of Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. It\u0026#039;s the most senior honor within the British chivalry system, with knights chosen by the queen to \u0022honor those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life, or who have served the Sovereign personally.\u0022\r\n\r\nAt the annual procession at Windsor Castle in June, members of the order, including the queen, \u0022process in grand velvet robes, glistening insignia, and plumed hats,\u0022 according to Buckingham Palace.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBlair\u0026#039;s knighthood announcement drew sharp condemnation from StW convener Lindsey German, who, while calling the \u0022honors system... in itself a symptom of the rottenness of British politics,\u0022 criticized the former prime minister\u0026#039;s \u0022culpability in launching the illegal war in Iraq.\u0022 She added:\r\n\r\n\r\nHe has never shown one iota of remorse for his actions, and for the lies told about \u0022weapons of mass destruction.\u0022 Instead, he has justified every war and military intervention since. He should be on trial at The Hague rather than parading the medieval trappings of wealth and power. [...]\r\n\r\nThe Stop the War Coalition was formed 20 years ago to oppose his policies—and we continue to do so. We will protest at this grotesque award in the name of the Iraqis, the Afghans, the families who lost soldiers, the refugees, and victims of these and subsequent wars. He has blood on his hands.\r\n\r\n\r\nGerman is far from alone in her criticism.\r\n\r\nA Change.org petition started last week that calls for Blair\u0026#039;s knighthood to be rescinded has already gathered over 1 million signatures.\r\n\r\n\u0022Tony Blair caused irreparable damage to both the constitution of the United Kingdom and to the very fabric of the nation\u0026#039;s society,\u0022 the petition states. \u0022He was personally responsible for causing the death of countless innocent, civilian lives and servicement [sic] in various conflicts. For this alone he should be held accountable for war crimes.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Blair is the least deserving person of any public honor,\u0022 the petition adds, \u0022particularly anything awarded by Her Majesty the Queen.\u0022\r\n\r\nPetition supporters include journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger, who framed it as a way to \u0022stand in solidarity with the men, women, and children whose lives were lost or ruined in the criminal invasion of Iraq.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe honor also puts into stark relief the contrasting treatment between those who launched illegal invasions and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, said Labour MP for Leeds Richard Burgon.\r\n\r\n\u0022It says a lot about what is wrong with our system when, after being one of the leading architects of the Iraq War, Tony Blair is honored with a knighthood while Julian Assange, who exposed war crimes in Iraq, faces extradition to the USA and a lifetime in prison,\u0022 tweeted Burgon.