Quarterly Fundraiser: Seeking $2500 (£2000) to Support my Guantánamo Work, My Housing Activism and My London Photography

9.9.19

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on September 9, 2019, two days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, when the prison had been open for 6,451 days.

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, and/or for my housing activism and London photography.





 

Dear friends and supporters,

It’s just two days until the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in response to which the Bush administration launched a brutal, global “war on terror” that led to the US and other Western countries jettisoning core values that they claimed to uphold — a ban on torture, and a recognition that only dictators imprison people indefinitely without charge or trial.

14 years ago — more or less on the fourth anniversary of 9/11 — I became extremely concerned about the most bleakly enduring icon of the US’s post-9/11 lawlessness — the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay — and I subsequently embarked on a project that has largely come to define my life ever since: finding out who has been held at Guantánamo, telling their stories, and campaigning to get the prison closed.

Little did I realize, 14 long years ago, that George W. Bush would eventually be replaced by a Democratic president, Barack Obama, but that Guantánamo would remain open, and that Obama would, eight years later, hand the prison on to Donald Trump, whose contempt for the law, and whose animosity towards Muslims, is so extreme that he doesn’t even acknowledge that the continued existence of Guantánamo is a stain on the values that America claims to hold dear, and who has no intention of releasing anyone from the prison under any circumstances.

Under George W. Bush, 532 prisoners were released from Guantánamo, and another 197 were transferred out of the prison by Barack Obama, leaving 41 men still held when Trump took office. Since then, just one man has left the prison, a Saudi whose agreement to a plea deal in 2014, in the prison’s broken and ill-fated judicial system, the military commissions, was contingent on him being repatriated to continue to serve a prison sentence in his homeland.

Disturbingly, Trump’s support for Guantánamo has not increased indignation about the prison’s continued existence; rather, it has almost entirely fallen off the radar. Partly, of course, this is because of all the other disgraceful policies implemented by this most shameful of presidents — including, of course, his much-contested Muslim travel ban and his disgraceful treatment of refugees and migrants, including children, at the Mexican border — but it remains imperative that those of use who care about Guantánamo continue to write about it, to share information about it, and to call for its closure, and with your help that is what I have continued to do, and will continue to do until, one day, the prison will, I hope, be closed.

To that end, as an independent journalist and activist, I am reliant on your support to enable me to continue the work I’ve been doing over the last 14 years — via this website, and the nearly 2,300 articles about Guantánamo that I have published since I completed the manuscript for my book The Guantánamo Files in May 2007, and via the Close Guantánamo campaign and website that I established in January 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison, with the US attorney Tom Wilner. 

If you can make a donation to support my ongoing efforts to close Guantánamo, 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 filling in the amount you wish to donate every month, 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 (to 164A Tressillian Road, London SE4 1XY), 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.

I’m also seeking support for other work that I undertake — for instance, my campaigning as a housing activist in London, primarily resisting the cynical destruction of housing estates as a key component of an out-of-control housing ‘regeneration’ industry that is delivering eye-watering profits and ‘operating surpluses’ to private developers and housing associations by wiping out homes at genuinely affordable rents. In a London-wide epidemic of social cleansing, these are being replaced with properties for private sale, with the scam that is shared ownership, and with a model of ‘affordable’ rents that are actually around 60% higher than the social rents that they are replacing on demolished estates. 

I am calling for budgets to be allocated for refurbishment, which do not currently exist, either via central government of the GLA, and, as I have also become more involved in awareness of the environmental catastrophe that we are all facing, I am also calling for a halt to demolitions for environmental reasons, especially as so many of those responsible have hypocritically declared ‘climate emergencies’, and yet seem intent on doing nothing about it beyond fashionable posturing.

I’m also seeking support for my ongoing photo-journalism project ‘The State of London’, which I began over seven years ago, in May 2012, and which has involved me cycling around London taking photos in all of the capital’s 120 postcodes. Since May 2017, I have been posting a photo a day — with accompanying essays — on ’The State of London’ Facebook page, and on Twitter, and any support you can give for this ongoing project will also be very gratefully received, as I hope, in the near future, to get a website up and running, to make prints, and to publish a book.

With thanks, as ever, for your interest in my work. If you can help out at all, that will be greatly appreciated, but I understand that times are hard all round. Regardless of whether or not you can make a donation, your continued interest in my work helps me to continue as a genuinely independent voice in a world crowded with “fake news.”

Andy Worthington
London
September 9, 2019

* * * * *

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.

3 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    With just two days until the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it’s an appropriate time for me to launch my latest quarterly fundraiser, in which I ask you, if you can, to make a donation – however large or small – to support my independent, reader-funded journalism and activism on Guantanamo, the most bleakly enduring icon of the “war on terror” launched by the Bush administration in response to the attacks. It’s now 14 years since, as I explain, I “embarked on a project that has largely come to define my life ever since: finding out who has been held at Guantanamo, telling their stories, and campaigning to get the prison closed.”

    This continues to be an uphill struggle under Donald Trump, who enthusiastically supports Guantanamo’s continued existence, and as I note, is helped by the fact that his contempt for the law, and for the men held at Guantanamo, “has not increased indignation about the prison’s continued existence; rather, it has almost entirely fallen off the radar,” even though today, as the photo shows, the prison has been open for 6,451 days.

    If you can make a donation to support my ongoing work as a genuinely independent journalist and activist, it will be very greatly appreciated. I am also very happy to receive donations to support my housing activism here in the UK, and my photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’, both of which are also independent, reader-funded endeavours.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks to the first supporter who has made a donation. It’s greatly appreciated!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s now Day 5 of my quarterly fundraiser, and I’m enormously grateful to the 12 friends and supporters who have donated $375 (£300) towards my target of £2,500 (£2,000). If anyone else can help it will be very greatly appreciated!

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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 Guantánamo Files book cover

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The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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