Quarterly Fundraiser Day 1: Please Help Me Raise $2500 (£2000) As I Update My Definitive Guantánamo Prisoner List and Start an Important New Guantánamo Project

10.9.18

Andy Worthington, wearing a Guantanamo T-shirt designed by Shepard Fairey for Witness Against Torture, playing with The Four Fathers at the Festival of Resistance against the DSEI arms fair in London on September 9, 2017.Please click on the ‘Donate’ button below to make a donation towards the $2,500 (£2,000) I’m trying to raise to support my work on Guantánamo over the next three months of the Trump administration.

 

Dear friends and supporters,

Every three months, I ask you, if you can, to make a donation to support my work as an independent journalist and activist (and, if it’s of interest, as a photographer and musician) — working primarily on Guantánamo, but also, and especially right now, on social justice issues in the UK.

If you can help out at all, please click on the “Donate” button above to make a payment via PayPal. Any amount will be gratefully received — whether it’s $500, $100, $25 or even $10 — or the equivalent in any other currency.

You can also make a recurring payment on a monthly basis by ticking the box marked, “Make this a monthly donation,” and if you are able to do so, it would be very much appreciated.

The donation page is set to dollars, because the majority of my readers are based in the US, but PayPal will convert any amount you wish to pay from any other currency — and you don’t have to have a PayPal account to make a donation.

Readers can pay via PayPal from anywhere in the world, but if you’re in the UK and want to help without using PayPal, you can send me a cheque (address here — scroll down to the bottom of the page), and if you’re not a PayPal user and want to send cash from anywhere else in the world, that’s also an option. Please note, however, that foreign checks are no longer accepted at UK banks — only electronic transfers. Do, however, contact me if you’d like to support me by paying directly into my account.

Guantánamo has been the driver of my life as a writer and campaigner for 13 years, and nine years ago I realized — or was prevailed upon by American friends to realize — that, with no institutional backing, and with paid freelance work infrequent and unreliable, I needed to ask people who read my work and supported it to also support it financially if they were able.

At the time it seemed intrusive to me, but as the years have passed it has become clear that the old mainstream media model of full-time jobs in journalism, involving print media paid for by advertising, is in decline (or, if it does survive, is often terminally untrustworthy), and that those people filling the gaps — citizen journalists like me, if you will, and all those people crowdfunding their work through various means — need supporters like you to help us out financially.

If you need any background, my Guantánamo work is a journey that started in 2005 with me getting enraged that the Bush administration refused to tell the world who was at Guantánamo, and that, from 2006-07, after the Pentagon lost a Freedom of Information lawsuit and was forced to release the prisoners’ names and 8,000 pages of supporting documentation, led to me researching and telling the prisoners’ stories in my book The Guantánamo Files, conclusively demonstrating how the Bush administration’s post-9/11 detention program was about as brutal and inept as imaginable, with very, very few of the men brought to Guantánamo having any involvement whatsoever in terrorism.

In May 2007, I started writing articles about Guantánamo here on my website, and I was soon writing and publishing articles every day. Over the last 12 years I’ve written and published over 2,200 articles about Guantánamo here on AndyWorthington.co.uk, and although I write slightly less frequently about Guantánamo now (I wrote 55 articles in the first six months of this year, for example), I promise that I will continue to write about it until it is finally closed.

That looks unlikely with Donald Trump in charge, but the blunt truth is, as it always has been, that every day Guantánamo remains open is a source of shame for anyone who respects the law, and who recognizes that there are no circumstances in which indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial is acceptable, just as there are no circumstances in which the use of torture is acceptable.

To coincide with my fundraiser, I’m currently updating my six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, which lists all the prisoners held at Guantánamo since the prison opened in January 2002, and provides references to their stories in The Guantánamo Files, and in those 2,200+ articles I’ve written about Guantánamo over the last eleven years. I first created the list in 2009, and have since updated it six times, most recently in October 2016.

I’m also planning to embark on a major new Guantánamo project, profiling, in a series of 38 individual articles, the stories of the 40 prisoners still held (the discrepancy is because two of the men still held don’t want any media attention whatsoever). As you can imagine, I’m sure, this will be quite an undertaking, so your support will be greatly appreciated.

For anyone interested in my other work, I’ve also been stepping up my involvement in housing issues in the UK. This has always been present, because my work is only really possible because I live in social housing (not for profit housing), but I was particularly galvanized last year by the entirely preventable Grenfell Tower fire in west London, in which 72 people died, because those responsible for their safety sacrificed them for profits and cost-cutting, and I’m currently part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, a community garden in Deptford, in south east London, that the local council and developers want to destroy to make new and generally unaffordable housing — also knocking down 16 perfectly sound flats as part of the package.

My photography and my music are also extremely tied in to this work to resist an epidemic of social cleansing that is sweeping the capital (and the country as a whole), which I regard as a crucial struggle in Britain today, and from which there is no easy escape, as both Tory and Labour councils are enthusiasts for the destruction of council estates.

I hope some of the above is of interest. As ever, it’s true to say that I really can’t do what I do without you.

Andy Worthington
London
September 10, 2018

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 music is available via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and see the latest photo campaign here) and the successful We Stand With Shaker campaign of 2014-15, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (click on the following for Amazon in 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), and for his photo project ‘The State of London’ he publishes a photo a day from six years of bike rides around the 120 postcodes of the capital.

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of a new documentary film, ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, about the destruction of council estates, and the inspiring resistance of residents, he wrote a song ‘Grenfell’, in the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire in June 2017 that killed over 70 people, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham’ as a focal point for resistance to estate destruction and the loss of community space in his home borough in south east London.

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, The Complete Guantánamo Files, 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.

2 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    It’s that time of year, when I ask you, if you can, to support my work on Guantanamo and related issues as a reader-funded journalist and activist. It’s 13 years since I started this mission to tell the prisoners’ stories and to get the prison closed, and I appreciate all your support. Any donation, however large or small, with be gratefully received.
    I genuinely can’t carry on doing that I do without your support, and I hope it’s of interest that I’m about to update my definitive six-part Guantanamo prisoner list for the first time for two years, and that I’m also planning a new series of three dozen articles profiling all the prisoners still held.
    In addition, if you’re interested in my work defending social housing in the UK, and my photography and music, these are all other facets of my reader-funded life as a journalist and activist.
    Thanks as ever for your support!

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    My thanks to the first supporter who has made a donation. Can anyone else help?

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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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