Videos: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play “Fighting Injustice” and “She’s Back”

29.12.15

Shaker Aamer after his release from Guantanamo at a meeting in the Houses of Parliament on November 17 with, from L to R, Andy Worthington, Patricia Sheerin-Richman and Joy Hurcombe of the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, and the broadcaster and teacher Suliman Gani.

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On December 18, I gave a talk about Guantánamo, my research into the men held there, the lawlessness and cruelty of the prison, and my writing and campaigning for nearly ten years to educate people about the prison and, ultimately, to get it closed, at an event held at the Deptford Cinema, a community cinema in south east London that I wholeheartedly recommend. I spoke not just about my research and my writing, but also the Close Guantánamo campaign I launched nearly four years ago with the US attorney Tom Wilner (who represented the Guantánamo prisoners in their habeas corpus cases before the US Supreme Court), and We Stand With Shaker, the campaign I launched last November with the activist Joanne MacInnes to secure the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, who was finally freed on October 30 after nearly 14 years in US custody.

With what I hope is an innovative approach to combining politics, education and entertainment, my talk was followed by a set of political songs by my band The Four Fathers, and I’m delighted that a friend, Andrew — who became involved in We Stand With Shaker via his involvement in CAAB (the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases), for whom I was a speaker at their annual July 4 protest at the NSA’s Menwith Hill spy base in Yorkshire in 2013 — recorded my talk and most of our set, which he has made available via YouTube.

The video of my talk is here, which I posted before Christmas, and on Christmas Day I posted the video of The Four Fathers playing “Song for Shaker Aamer,” the song I wrote that was featured in the campaign video for We Stand With Shaker, updated to reflect Shaker’s release.

Below are two more videos of songs from our set — the first, “Fighting Injustice,” a roots reggae anthem and a live favourite, which defends socialism, attacks bankers and politicians for the global crash in 2008, and laments the greed behind London’s current and unprecedented housing bubble, and “She’s Back,” a new song by guitarist Richard Clare about Pussy Riot.

“Fighting Injustice” by The Four Fathers, Deptford Cinema, December 18, 2015

“She’s Back” by The Four Fathers, Deptford Cinema, December 18, 2015

Overall, we played eight songs — as well as “Song for Shaker Aamer,” “Fighting Injustice” and “She’s Back,” a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” my songs “Tory Bullshit Blues” and “81 Million Dollars,” about the US torture program, and my new songs “Riot” and “London.”

You can buy our album “Love and War” here, as an eight-track download, or on CD with two extra tracks (including Masters of War) — or you can buy tracks individually from just 60p ($0.93) each, although you’re welcome to pay more to support us.

I’ll be posting another couple of videos in the near future, as I prepare for my imminent US trip to call for the closure of Guantánamo on the 14th anniversary of the prison’s opening (on January 11), and if the combination of a talk by me and a set by The Four Fathers is of interest, and you can put on an event in London or nearby (or even if you want just me talking, or just the band playing), then please do get in touch.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

6 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here are two more videos of my band The Four Fathers, from our recent gig at Deptford Cinema, which followed me giving a talk about ‪Guantanamo‬ and Shaker Aamer. The videos are of Fighting Injustice, my roots reggae anthem about the importance of the struggle against austerity and greed, and She’s Back, Richard Clare’s new song about Pussy Riot. The photo is of the day I met Shaker Aamer, in the Houses of Parliament, on Nov. 17, after his release. Check out our album here: https://thefourfathers.bandcamp.com/album/love-and-war

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Please feel free to sign up to our YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnwIGdPNAi79vsKf6P6eRgA

  3. Sinclair says...

    Hi Andy,

    I was reading a forum post here on the Rigorous Intuition forum that suggested former inmates of Guantanamo were involved with the ISIS phenomenon.

    I’d be interested to know if your research has/had uncovered any such possible connection?

    Best Wishes for 2016!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Sinclair,
    Good to hear from you, and thanks for the good wishes for 2016. Best wishes for 2016 to you too.
    I have seen very little information to suggest that former Guantanamo prisoners are involved with ISIS, unlike the bold assertions in the post you cited.
    I only know of a few supposed cases. One was mentioned here, in an article primarily about an opponent of the Taliban and ISIS who was in Guantanamo: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/world/asia/once-inguantanamo-afghan-now-leads-war-against-taliban-and-isis.html
    Another, allegedly, is a British national: http://www.channel4.com/news/jamal-al-harith-guantanamo-detainee-flees-to-syria
    there may be others, but I doubt that there are many.
    In October 2014, Fox News made claims that seem to be completely unfounded:

    “As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees — some of whom were released within the last three years — are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned.”

    See: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/30/sources-former-guantanamo-detainees-suspected-joining-isis-other-groups-in.html

  5. Sinclair says...

    Andy,
    The ‘bold’ assertions in the post by Alice on RI (who, incidentally is Egyptian & whose writing on the RI forum displays a grasp of many Middle Eastern issues) were from Lebanese-American former FBI agent Ali Soufan’s ‘Soufan Group’, cited by Washington Post blogger/reporter Terrence McCoy, and mainly centered around the US military detention center Camp Bucca in Iraq.

    The Wiki entry for Ali H. Soufan states that he had a role in Guantanamo military commissions including that he ‘obtained confessions from Salim Hamdan and Ali al-Bahlul [accused of being a driver and bodyguard / media secretary respectively for for Osama bin Laden]. I note that both theses convictions have now been overturned.

    Mr Soufan’s assertions re Camp Bucca are detailed here.& he is also mentioned on your blog here).

    It would be terrifying if a number of the ISIS leaders/operatives arose from some of the 100,000 people ‘processed’ through Camp Bucca, or any other US military facility.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Sinclair,
    I took exception only to the claim by the writer of that post about the involvement of former Guantanamo prisoners in ISIS, to any significant degree. It does seem to me, however, that Camp Bucca played a major role in radicalising some of the group’s leaders, as you noted in reference to Terrence McCoy, writing for the Washington Post last November, and drawing on the Soufan Group’s research: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/04/how-an-american-prison-helped-ignite-the-islamic-state/
    In that article, McCoy noted, “In all, nine members of the Islamic State’s top command did time at Bucca, according to the terrorism research firm Soufan Group,” whose report is here: http://soufangroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/TSG-The-Islamic-State-Nov14.pdf
    I have respect for Ali Soufan – and I also recommend the daily briefing in association with the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, which you can sign up to here: https://app.e2ma.net/app2/audience/signup/1708171/1705118.35532958/?v=a
    I also recommend Martin Chulov’s article for the Guardian last December:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/-sp-isis-the-inside-story
    I can’t claim to be any kind of expert regarding ISIS, Sinclair, but as the crucible of their birth was the disastrous US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the US’s monstrous detention centres and the abusive conditions associated with them, I would not be surprised by further revelations about leadership roles being assumed in relation to any of the above.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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