Andy Worthington: An Archive of My Articles About Guantánamo and My UK Housing Activism – Part 25, July to December 2018

3.7.19

Outside the White House, singing in Washington, D.C., and with a loudhailer outside the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, on October 29, 2018, the day its occupiers were violently evicted.

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This article is the 25th in an ongoing series of articles listing all my work in chronological order since I first began publishing articles here in May 2007. It’s a project I began in January 2010, when I put together the first chronological lists of all my articles, in the hope that doing so would make it as easy as possible for readers and researchers to navigate my work — the more than 3,150 articles I have published, which, otherwise, are not available in chronological order in any readily accessible form.

I receive no institutional funding for my work, and so, if you appreciate what I do as a reader-funded journalist and activist, please consider making a donation via the Paypal ‘Donate’ button above. Any amount, however large or small, will be very gratefully received — and if you are able to become a regular monthly sustainer, that would be particularly appreciated. To do so, please tick the box marked, “Make this a monthly donation,” and fill in the amount you wish to donate every month.

As I note every time I put together a chronological list of my articles, my mission, as it has been since my research in 2006-07, for my book The Guantánamo Files, first revealed the scale of the injustice at Guantánamo, revolves around four main aims — to humanize the prisoners by telling their stories; to expose the many lies told about them to supposedly justify their detention; to push for the prison’s closure and the absolute repudiation of indefinite detention without charge or trial as US policy; and to call for those who initiated, implemented and supported indefinite detention and torture to be held accountable for their actions. In addition, as released prisoners have been abandoned by the government under Donald Trump, who has shut down the State Department office responsible for negotiating resettlements, and monitoring those released from the prison, a fifth aim is to seek justice for those released from Guantánamo.

In the second half of 2018, unfortunately, Guantánamo largely slipped off the radar, as a result of Donald Trump’s complete lack of interest in doing anything other then keeping it sealed shut and releasing no one under any circumstances. 40 men were held at the start of July 2018, and those same 40 men are still held today. I’m glad to note that, after the mid-term elections in November, when the Democrats gained a majority in the House of Representatives, activists have finally been able to discuss Guantánamo again with at least a handful of their elected representatives — some now chairing House committees — leading to some glimmers of hope that have been followed up on in the first six months of 2019,  and that will be covered in the next chronological list.

From July to December 2018, however, with so little going on, I was at least free to take up another cause — direct action for the environment and for social housing, focused on a small but resonant community garden in Deptford, in south east London, where I live, which Lewisham Council and the housing association Peabody intended to destroy for a housing project masquerading as the benevolent provision of “affordable” homes, when, instead, it was just another example of land in public hands being sold off cheaply, and profiteering by all those involved in the corporate housing industry (which very much includes the big housing associations, like Peabody, who pretend to be concerned social housing providers).

At the end of August, to prevent the destruction of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, a precious green space and community asset, and a notable buffer against the horrendous local traffic pollution, myself and others occupied the garden in a protest that lasted for two months until our violent eviction at the end of October — although that was not the end of the story, as campaigners, myself included, continued to call for the plans for the garden’s destruction — and the destruction of Reginald House, a block of structurally sound council flats next door — to be dropped, and for new plans to be developed, in consultation with the local community, that would deliver genuinely affordable publicly-owned homes for rent.

This is a struggle that has continued into 2019, and I hope it is of interest if you haven’t already come across it. Throughout this period, I also continued to post a photo a day on my Facebook page ‘The State of London’, drawn from my seven years of cycling around London’s 120 postcodes taking photos, and my band The Four Fathers also continued to play regularly, as well as releasing our online single ‘Grenfell’, about the terrible and preventable fire in west London in June 2017, in which 72 people died, and which has been the main driver of my involvement in the  struggle to save social housing from cynical regeneration projects like the one at Tidemill. These projects are mentioned in the list below, but please follow the links above for further information, and feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope the various strands of my life as a reader-funded journalist, campaigner, photographer and musician are of interest to you, and that you’ll find the list below to be useful, and will consider making a donation to support my work if you can.

An archive of Guantánamo articles: Part 25, July to December 2018

July to August 2018

1. Guantánamo, habeas corpus, US courts: Tomorrow, Lawyers Will Argue in Court That Donald Trump’s Guantánamo Policy Is “Arbitrary, Unlawful, and Motivated by Executive Hubris and Anti-Muslim Animus”
2. Guantánamo, Supreme Court: Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Nomination, Has a Dangerous Track Record of Defending Guantánamo and Unfettered Executive Power
3. Guantánamo, habeas corpus, US courts: Really? Trump Lawyer Argues in Court that Guantánamo Prisoners Can Be Held for 100 Years Without Charge or Trial
4. Guantánamo, military commissions: A “Cluster Covfefe”: Guantánamo Prisoner Majid Khan’s Damning Verdict on the Shambolic Military Commissions
5. Guantánamo, torture, UK complicity: UK Torture: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner’s Memories Provide A Reminder That We Need Accountability
6. Guantánamo, hunger strikes: “The World Has Forgotten Me” Says Ahmed Rabbani, 95-Pound Hunger Striker in Guantánamo
7. Guantánamo, “forever prisoners”: Abdul Latif Nasser’s Story: Imagine Being Told You Were Leaving Guantánamo, But Then Donald Trump Became President
8. Abu Zubaydah, torture: 16 Years Since John Yoo and Jay Bybee’s “Torture Memos” Were Issued, Abu Zubaydah Remains in Guantánamo, Silenced and Alone
9. Guantánamo media: A Beautiful Article About Love by Former Guantánamo Prisoner Mansoor Adayfi: Please Read It and Then Donate to Support Him
10. Guantánamo, military commissions: Guantánamo Judge Bans So-Called “Clean Team” Evidence in 9/11 Trial, Then Resigns

September to October 2018

11. Guantánamo lawyers: 41 Attorneys from the Cincinnati Area Call on Donald Trump to Close Guantánamo
12. 9/11, Guantánamo: The Bitter Legacy of 9/11, on its 17th Anniversary: Endless War, Guantánamo, Brexit, Trump and the Paranoid Security State
13. Life after Guantánamo: Fears for Guantánamo Prisoner Resettled in Serbia, Where the Government Wants to Get Rid of Him
14. Guantánamo media: “Saifullah Paracha: The Kind Father, Brother, and Friend for All at Guantánamo” by Mansoor Adayfi
15. Guantánamo prisoner list: Just Updated: Parts 1-3 of My Six-Part Definitive Guantánamo Prisoner List (see Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 1), Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 2) and Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 3))
16. Guantánamo, Supreme Court: Karen Greenberg on Brett Kavanaugh, and How Guantánamo is Poisoning US Law

November to December 2018

17. Guantánamo prisoner list: Just Updated: Parts 4-6 of My Six-Part Definitive Guantánamo Prisoner List (see Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 4), Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 5) and Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 6))
18. Closing Guantánamo: Guantánamo’s Lost Diaspora: How Donald Trump’s Closure of the Office Monitoring Ex-Prisoners is Bad for Them – and US Security
19. Guantánamo, Periodic Review Boards: Guantánamo’s Periodic Review Boards: The Escape Route Shut Down by Donald Trump
20. Guantánamo, murders in US custody: Remembering Those Murdered by the US in the “War on Terror”
21. Guantánamo campaigns: Today Guantánamo Has Been Open For 6,175 Days, and on Jan. 1, 2019 It Will Have Been Open for 6,200 Days: Please Join Our Photo Campaign!
22. Senate torture report: It’s Four Years Since the Executive Summary of the Senate Torture Report Was Published: Where’s the Full Report?
23. Guantánamo, habeas corpus, US courts: Remembering Judge John J. Gibbons, The Man Who Brought Habeas Corpus to Guantánamo
24. Guantánamo, torture: The Forgotten Torture Report: It’s Ten Years Since the Publication of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Pioneering ‘Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in US Custody’
25. Life after Guantánamo: The Unending Punishment of Former Guantánamo Prisoner Omar Khadr

An archive of UK-related articles, July to December 2018

July to August 2018

1. Photos, Trump visit: Photos: The London Protest Against Donald Trump’s UK Visit, July 13, 2018
2. Protest music, videos: New Videos by The Four Fathers: ‘Rebel Soldier’, ‘Masters of War’ and ‘Grenfell’ Recorded Live
3. Housing crisis: Good News! Haringey Council Ends Its £2 Billion Social Cleansing Deal with Predatory Developers LendleaseResistance to Social Cleansing: Screening of ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’ in Bristol, August 9, 2018
5. Photos, WOMAD: Photos: The WOMAD World Music Festival 2018 – Global Joy and Creativity, Threatened by Brexit
6. Brexit: Brexit: Inspiring New Polling Analysis Shows Majority of Constituencies Now Support Remaining in the EU
7. Battle of the Beanfield, civil liberties, housing crisis: Video: The Battle of the Beanfield, Free Festivals and Traveller History with Andy Worthington on Bristol Community Radio
8. London photos: Year 2, Day 100 of My Photo Project, ‘The State of London’, Recording A City Gutted by Greed Since the Olympics
9. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Why We’ve Occupied the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford to Prevent Lewisham Council’s Demolition Plans

September to October 2018

10. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Party in the Park, New Cross and Deptford 2018: Sun, Solidarity and the Struggle Against Social Cleansing
11. 2008 crash, austerity, housing crisis: Ten Years Since the Global Financial Crash of 2008, We’ve Been Screwed by Austerity, and Now The Predators Want Our Homes
12. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Check Out My Novara Media Article About the Occupation of the Old Tidemill Garden in Deptford, Plus Updates About the Campaign
13. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Radio: I Discuss London’s Housing Crisis, the Tidemill Occupation and Guantánamo on Wandsworth Radio, Plus the World Premiere of ‘Grenfell’ by The Four Fathers
14. London photos: Celebrating 500 Days of My Photo-Journalism Project ‘The State of London’
15. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: 30 Days into the Occupation of Deptford’s Old Tidemill Garden, Campaigners Celebrate Court Ruling Delaying Eviction Until Oct. 24
16. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Shame on Peabody: Calling on the Former Philanthropic Social Housing Provider to Abandon Its Plans to Destroy the Old Tidemill Garden and Social Housing in Deptford
17. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: ‘No Social Cleansing in London’: Campaign Launch and Fundraising Gig for the Tidemill Campaign in Deptford at the DIY Space in Peckham, Fri. Oct. 12
18. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: A Radical Proposal to Save the Old Tidemill Garden and Reginald House in Deptford: Use Besson Street, an Empty Site in New Cross
19. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: The Full Horror of the Tideway Super-Sewer Excavations at Deptford Creek and the Clear Need for All Housing Developments, Including Tidemill, to be Stopped
20. Grenfell, protest music: 500 Days Since the Grenfell Tower Fire, The Four Fathers Release New Single ‘Grenfell’, Remembering Those Who Died, and Calling for Those Responsible to be Held Accountable
21. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: The Violent Eviction of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden: Lewisham Councillors Make Sure They Will Never Be Welcome in Deptford Again

November to December 2018

22. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Video: The Peaceful Occupation and Violent Eviction of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford
23. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Video: I Discuss the Tidemill Eviction, the Broken ‘Regeneration’ Industry and Sadiq Khan’s Stealthy Elimination of Social Rents
24. London photos: Celebrating 550 Days of My Photo-Journalism Project ‘The State of London’
25. Austerity, housing crisis, Extinction Rebellion: Broken Britain: UN Rightly Condemns Eight Years of Tory Austerity, But the Labour Party Is No Saviour; Try Extinction Rebellion Instead
26. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: The Eviction of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and the Mainstream Media’s Inadequacy in Reporting Stories About “Social Homes” and “Affordable Rents”
27. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Lewisham Council’s Self-Inflicted Woes Increase: Chaos Over Tidemill Eviction Costs, and the Sacking of CEO Ian Thomas
28. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Tidemill Solidarity Gig: Come and Celebrate the Resistance at the Birds Nest This Sunday, Dec. 9
29. Stansted 15, immigration detention: Why the Conviction of the Stansted 15, on Terrorism-Related Charges, Must Be Overturned
30. Housing crisis, Tidemill occupation: Lewisham Council Narrowly Avoids Defeat of Its Tidemill Plans by the Constituency Labour Party
31. London photos: Celebrating 600 Days of My Photo-Journalism Project ‘The State of London’, as 2018 Ends

Also, as an additional anomaly, see: RIP Steve Ditko: You, Jack Kirby and Wally Wood Opened My Eyes to a World of Heroic Fantasy

* * * * *

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 seven 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, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, 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, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

3 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s the 25th chronological list of all my articles, covering the six-month period from July to December 2018, when news about Guantanamo was slow, but I wasn’t at a loss for things to do, as I became involved in the political occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, a community garden in Deptford, in south east London, to try to prevent its destruction as part of a housing ‘regeneration’ project.

    I’ve been publishing chronological lists of all my articles for nearly ten years, drawing on my constant writing about Guantanamo and other topics since May 2007, which I hope is useful for anyone researching Guantanamo – or anyone researching the UK housing crisis, for that matter. I hope it’s helpful, and, if you appreciate it, feel free to make a donation to support my work, as the 66 articles I wrote and published in the second half of 2018 were all examples of reader-funded research, journalism and activism.

  2. Anna says...

    Hi Andy, thanks for this well-organised update which helps to find one’s way in the labyrinth of the countless years of your work :- ).

    As the UK’s political scene directly impacts both subjects, I wonder what you think of this piece of Scottish optimism:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/corbyn-sturgeon-alliance-save-brexit-britain-190705104539385.html
    Would you agree that this would be a feasible option – provided Corbyn would finally get off the fence and make a clear choice? Sounds (almost) too beautiful to be true…

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for the appreciation of my long years of work on Guantanamo and other topics, Anna!
    And thanks for that link. Very optimistic. I’m not sure it’s possible in reality, but who knows? We’re in such uncharted territory now, with the Tories still committed to Brexit, which is unachievable, but losing votes massively to the Brexit Party, a single-notion joke of a party, but one that now appears to be the choice of Britain’s raging, insane, geriatric separatists. In any general election scenario, it does indeed look possible that no one party will get an overall majority, and that a grown-up power-sharing alliance will be necessary, but it remains to be seen if the bad blood between Labour and the SNP can purged.
    A hung parliament would also provide a compelling argument for proportional representation, akin to the European Parliament elections, which would be the most grown-up way forward, finally giving the Greens and the Lib Dems a chance to be properly represented – although it would also, of course, benefit the far right too, but I honestly think it’s the only sensible way to proceed.
    The traditional two-party dominance is withering; ironically, in large part because of the frictions around Brexit, but on the ground in the UK it seems pretty clear to me that the void in real leadership over the last three years has fatally eroded the belief in political leadership. The UK feels like a country without a government. The challenges we face – regarding employment in an age of human redundancy, and, of course, the unfolding global environmental catastrophe – need addressing with vision, and that can only come from the left, if the various parties of the left can stop their squabbling and work out how to work together to permanently remove the right from power. We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime it would be helpful if the British people would mobilise themselves to at least complain noticeably, rather than continuing to wallow in apathy and distraction …

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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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