It’s Human Rights Day – and Day One of My Quarterly Fundraiser, In Which I’m Trying to Raise $2500 (£2000) to Support My Guantánamo Work

10.12.18

Andy Worthington marks 6,000 days of Guantanamo on June 15, 2018.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 ongoing work as an independent journalist, activist and commentator, working to try and secure the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay.

Today seems to be a particularly appropriate time to launch my latest fundraiser, as it is Human Rights Day, marking the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations. That was exactly 70 years ago, on December 10, 1948, when, in response to the horrors of the Second World War, “representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world” created the UDHR “as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations”, which set out, for the first time, “fundamental human rights to be universally protected”, as the UN explains on its website.

Human rights are central to the problems of Guantánamo — a place intended to be beyond the each of the US courts, where men and boys seized in the “war on terror” that the US declared in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were imprisoned without any rights whatsoever, held neither as criminal suspects, to be charged and tried, or as prisoners of war, and subjected to torture an other forms of abuse, contravening Article 5 of the UDHR — “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” — as well as Articles 9 and 10: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile” and “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”

If you can make a donation to support my ongoing efforts to uphold human rights for everyone — and not, as the US has been doing since 9/11, declaring that human rights don’t apply to foreign-born Muslims seized in the “war on terror” — 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.

Nearly two years into Donald Trump’s residency, it remains difficult to keep Guantánamo in the public eye, in part because so many other problems created by Trump demand attention, and in part because his very enthusiasm of keeping Guantánamo open means that he has effectively sealed it shut, and as a result most of the mainstream media has, ironically, been content to forget about it.

The significance of Human Rights Day hopefully reminds all of us about why we can’t let Donald Trump succeed. With your support I intend to do all I can to renew my focus on the stories of the remaining 40 prisoners, to highlight how, with the exception of the nine men who are facing or have faced trials, the rest continue to be held indefinitely without charge or trial, even when, as in some cases, their ongoing imprisonment is based on nothing more than their attitude since they have been in US custody, rather than on what they were supposed to have done to justify their imprisonment in the first place.

With your help I’ll be following on from what I’ve been doing since my last fundraiser — updating my definitive six-part Guantánamo prisoner list, focusing on prisoners past and present, supporting new writing by a former prisoner, and continuing to show how long Guantánamo has been open and to call for its closure via the Gitmo Clock and a photo campaign on the Close Guantanamo website that I run — by writing new articles, seeking out further media coverage, and planning new campaigns. I’ll also be visiting the US for the 17th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo (on January 11), a trip for which your financial support will be very helpful.

I’m aware that my work on Guantánamo — which has taken up so much of my life for the last 12 years — is what attracts most of the vital financial support that you, my readers, give me, and I’m eternally grateful for your support.

However, if you are interested in any of my other work I’m more than happy for you to support that as well — my housing activism, for example, which has been taking up a considerable amount of my time since my last fundraiser in September, as I was part of the two-month occupation of a community garden in south east London, where I live, to prevent its destruction for a new housing scheme that could and should be built elsewhere. The garden is an extraordinary environmental and social asset, and is flanked by a block of structurally sound council flats that the council and the developers also want to destroy, without any kind of compelling reason, and the entire resistance (which also involved our occupation being violently evicted six weeks ago) has become a kind of microcosm of environmental issues and the UK housing crisis in general that has resonated way beyond its immediate geographical location.

I also continue to cycle around London taking photos in all of the capital’s 120 postcodes for my ongoing photo-journalism project ‘The State of London’, for which I receive no institutional backing, and I also continue to write and perform songs with my band The Four Fathers that also reflect my general concerns, and which, again, as with so many creative endeavors these days, is reliant on the generosity of supporters to be viable.

I hope some of the above is of interest. As always, what’s most important for me to say is that I really can’t do what I do without you.

Andy Worthington
London
December 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. For two months, from August to October 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody. Although the garden was violently evicted by bailiffs on October 29, 2018, the resistance continues.

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.

One Response

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this one Facebook, I wrote:

    Dear friends and supporters, it’s that time of the year when I ask you, if you can, to make a donation to support my ongoing work on Guantanamo, which I really can’t do without you as a reader-funded journalist, activist and commentator. Any donations, however large or small, will be very gratefully received and will enable me to keep working to tell the stories of the Guantanamo prisoners and to keep pushing to get the prison closed. Please click through to the page on my website to donate via PayPal, and if you’re able to become a monthly sustainer that will be particularly welcome. As ever, thank you for taking an interest in my work!

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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 (The State of London).
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The Battle of the Beanfield

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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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