I’m pretty sure that if you looked up “kick ass” in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Peter Tatchell, who performed a citizen’s arrest on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in 1999:
The attempted seizure of President Mugabe took place as his motorcade left the St James’s Court Hotel in Buckingham Gate, London SW1, where he had been staying during a “private” shopping visit to Britain.
Running out into the road in front of the Presidential motorcade, Tatchell’s three OutRage! colleagues — John Hunt, Alistair Williams and Chris Morris — forced the President’s car to stop.
Peter Tatchell ran from behind the President’s halted limousine, opened the rear door and grabbed the President by the arm: “President Mugabe, you are under arrest for torture,” Tatchell told the startled President. “Torture is a crime under international law.”
Turning to the President’s bodyguards, Tatchell said: “Call the police. The President is under arrest on charges of torture.”
Despite the arrest’s demonstrable legality, which you can read about in Tatchell’s press release, it (predictably) failed. Tatchell and two of his fearless comrades were seized by British police and held until Mugabe finished his Christmas shopping.
If you had to perform a citizen’s arrest on a world leader, who would you choose?