Photos: “Close Guantánamo” Protest Outside the White House, Jan. 11, 2016

15.2.16

The giant inflatable figure of Shaker Aamer outside the White House on January 11, 2016, the 14th anniversary of the opening of the prison. I had brought it to the US after the role it played in the We Stand With Shaker campaign I set up in November 2014 with the activist Joanne MacInnes, helping to secure the release from Guantanamo, in October, of Shaker, the last British resident in the prison (Photo: Andy Worthington).See my photos on Flickr here!

On January 11, 2016, I was outside the White House, as I have been on January 11 every year since 2011, calling for the closure of the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. I was representing Close Guantánamo, the campaign and website I set up four years ago with the US attorney Tom Wilner, as part of an annual protest organized by numerous rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture and the World Can’t Wait.

My thanks to Debra Sweet of the World Can’t Wait for organizing my trip, which began with a brief visit — for the first time — to Florida (see my article here, and photos here), and then an early morning flight to Washington, D.C. to meet up with old friends from Witness Against Torture, who were staying, as usual, in a church where they were fasting and protesting on a daily basis, and to take part in a number of events — one on the evening of January 10, at which I spoke about We Stand With Shaker, the campaign to free Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo, and sang my “Song for Shaker Aamer” (see the video here); the main protest on January 11, the 14th anniversary of the opening of the prison, outside the White House; and a couple of protests on January 12 that I’ll make photos available of soon. In the meantime, I hope you have time to check out my January 11 photo set, and to share the photos if you like them.

You can also check out the video of the speech I made outside the White House, and see Witness Against Torture’s collection of videos here.

While I was in Washington, D.C., I also met other friends — Medea Benjamin and Tighe Barry of CODEPINK, who gave me a place to stay, and Tom Wilner, with whom I had a number of interesting meetings (and a lovely meal), and with whom also, on the afternoon of Jan. 11, I appeared in a panel discussion at New America, with the academic Karen Greenberg, moderated by Peter Bergen, about whether or not President Obama can succeed in closing Guantánamo before he leaves office — something I very much hope he can do, as I am making clear with my new initiative, the Countdown to Close Guantánamo — see the photos here and here.

I’ll be posting a final set of photos from my trip soon — of the protests on January 12, and of my time with music legend Roger Waters in New York — but if you missed it, do check out Roger and I on Democracy Now! launching the Countdown to Close Guantánamo.

A link to the photos is also posted below:

Not one step back: Close Guantánamo

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 (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), 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.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, linking to the photo set I posted yesterday on Flickr – of photos from the annual protest outside the White House calling for the closure of ‪Guantanamo‬, organized by numerous groups including Witness Against Torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and the World Can’t Wait. I was there – and speaking out – on behalf of Close Guantanamo, and I also brought along, from the UK, the giant inflatable figure of Shaker Aamer used in the We Stand With Shaker campaign. I hope you enjoy the photos!

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Pam Arnold wrote:

    awesome Andy, we are proud of you

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Susan Hall wrote:

    Thank you Andy & everyone there. I wish I could be with you.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Pam and Susan. Great to hear from you both!

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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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