Change the World! A Life in Activism: I Discuss Stonehenge, the Beanfield, Guantánamo and Environmental Protest with Alan Dearling

29.4.20

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay outside the White House, singing and playing guitar, and challenging the police and bailiffs on the day of the eviction of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford.

Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. If you can help, please click on the button below to donate via PayPal.





 

At the start of the year, I was delighted to be asked by an old friend and colleague, Alan Dearling, the publisher of my second book, The Battle of the Beanfield, if I’d like to be interviewed about my history of activism for two publications he’s involved with — the music and counter-culture magazine Gonzo Weekly and International Times, the online revival of the famous counter-cultural magazine of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

In February, after my time- and attention-consuming annual visit to the US to call for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on the anniversary of its opening, I found the time to give Alan’s questions the attention they deserved, and the interview was finally published on the International Times website on March 21, just two days before the coronavirus lockdown began, changing all our lives, possibly forever. Last week, it was also published in Gonzo Weekly (#387/8, pp. 73-84), and I’m pleased to now be making it available to readers here on my website.

In a wide-ranging interview, Alan asked me about my involvement with the British counter-culture in the ’80s and ‘90s, which eventually led to me writing my first two books, Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion, and, as noted above, The Battle of the Beanfield. my work on behalf of the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, which has dominated much of my life for the last 14 years, and my more recent work as a housing activist — with a brief mention also of my photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’, and my music with The Four Fathers.

I hope you have time to read the interview, and, while I’m acutely conscious that it doesn’t address the massively changed post-coronavirus world, you can find my reflections on life right now in my articles, Imagining a Post-Coronavirus World: Ending Ravenous Capitalism and Our Consumer-Driven Promiscuity, Health Not Wealth: The World-Changing Lessons of the Coronavirus, The Coronavirus Lockdown, Hidden Suffering, and Delusions of a Rosy Future and In the Midst of the Coronavirus Lockdown, Environmental Lessons from Extinction Rebellion, One Year On

Change the World! A Life in Activism with Andy Worthington

Alan Dearling: Always good to share some time with you, Andy. Our paths have kept on criss-crossing since back in the 1990s, possibly the late ’80s. Firstly, it was around your research for your Stonehenge book. I’d been working with a number of new Travellers, especially Fiona Earle and folk involved with the School Bus – the Travellers’ School Charity. What do you remember from those times?

Andy Worthington: I’d first come across the traveller community via the Stonehenge Free Festival, which I visited in 1983 and ’84, when I was a student. At the end of 1985 I moved to London – to Brixton, to be exact – and while I retained my interest in free festivals and the travellers’ movement, I was more generally caught up in living in Brixton in the Thatcher era – lots of squats, great local bands.

However, in 1987/88, when I was living on the hard-to-let Loughborough Estate, the first move towards the privatisation of social housing took place, via Housing Action Trusts (HATs). At six locations across the UK, including the Loughborough Estate and the neighbouring Angell Town Estate, Thatcher proposed taking estates out of council control, handing them over to her cronies to do up, and then renting them back to tenants – presumably, of course, at hugely inflated prices. The struggle against HATs came to dominate my life at that time, but I’m pleased to report that the Brixton HAT was seen off, particularly via the largely black community of Angell Town, led by a formidable organiser, Dora Boatemah.

Alan Dearling: What about your life before your Stonehenge book? Had you been much involved with the squatting and protest scene, particularly the anti-roads movement?

Andy Worthington: Yes, there was a pretty big squatting scene in Brixton when I moved there, and protest was also a part of life under Thatcher – I’m thinking the anti-apartheid protests, when Thatcher massively mobilised the police to protect the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square, and, of course, the Poll Tax Riot in 1990. In 1991, I became involved in the rave scene, and was at the Castlemorton Free Festival in May 1992, and I also got involved in Reclaim the Streets, when it started in Camden, and also at subsequent events, like the occupation of the M41. I also got involved in protests against the Criminal Justice Act, the clampdown on our freedoms that followed Castlemorton, just as there had been a clampdown on our freedoms in the Public Order Act of 1986 that followed the Battle of the Beanfield in June 1985, when 1,400 police from six counties and the MoD had violently decommissioned a convoy of travellers en route to Stonehenge to set up what would have been the 12th annual Stonehenge Free Festival.

An aerial view of the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1984, as photographed from a police helicopter, and ‘liberated’ from the police at the 1991 Beanfield trial.

Alan Dearling: Your Stonehenge book brought together many examples of the importance of Stonehenge in ‘celebrations and rituals’ right through to the anarchic festies and parties of the ’70s and ’80s. Can you describe some of the lasting highlights of that book?

Andy Worthington: I love the British counter-culture, Alan, which was much more a thing of the ’70s than the ’60s, as pranksters like Bill ‘Ubi’ Dwyer and Wally Hope, who set up the Windsor and Stonehenge Free Festivals, sought to undermine ‘straight’ materialistic society, and to create alternative lifestyles, and it was great to chronicle these developments, and the development of traveller culture, from the early ’70s to the Battle of the Beanfield. Then, of course, just when Thatcher thought she had won, the rave scene and the road protest movement came out of nowhere to undermine her, and it was also exhilarating to chronicle those more recent events. Sadly, though, I have to say that, although I was pleased to also write about the long legal struggle to secure access to Stonehenge, in terms of a sustained counter-culture, the 21st century is far too readily recognisable as a period in which dull materialism has been dominant.

Alan Dearling: Did the Stonehenge book directly lead you onto the ‘Battle of the Beanfield’ book, which I helped contribute to and published through Enabler Publications?

Andy Worthington: Yes, I had become friends with Neil Goodwin, who co-directed the Beanfield documentary ‘Operation Solstice‘, and in fact had launched my Stonehenge book in June 2004 at the 491 Gallery in Leytonstone, where he lived, which was the last surviving outpost of the concerted resistance to the expansion of the M11 Link Road in the ’90s.

In discussion with Neil, it transpired that there were videos of full-length interviews with a cross-section of people involved in the Beanfield, and also that the police log of the day’s events existed, which had been ‘liberated’ from the 1991 trial, and so I thought that a follow-up to Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion, looking in detail at the Beanfield via transcripts of the interviews, reproducing the police log, and linking it all together with original essays (some of which we ended up working on together), would be a good idea – as indeed it has been, as the book continues to attract interest as a defining example of state oppression in modern British history.

The covers of Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield.

Alan Dearling: Like me, you seem to relish working with, and fighting alongside, society’s underdogs, the dispossessed, the marginalised ‘targets’ of governmental purges. For me it began with the early ‘60s CND protests, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the anti-apartheid movement, the pro-legalisation of drugs crews … and for you?

Andy Worthington: I was always interested in underdogs, Alan – something to do with a working class, Methodist upbringing, and, presumably, it also involves something fundamental about who I am. I became a lifelong pacifist after watching ‘The World At War’ when I was 10, and I always liked the idea of those on the margins who didn’t want to play by society’s rules. The state’s violent suppression of travellers at the Beanfield, and subsequently, really struck a chord with me, and, of course, for the last 14 years, I’ve been devoting most of my energies to some of the most maligned people on earth – the men held at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Alan Dearling: So, what are the lessons-learned from the tragic government and police action at Savernake Forest in the so-called ‘beanfield’?

Andy Worthington: Sadly, I think, that the kind of dissent that was so widespread in that period was absolutely hated and detested by those in power, who were – and still are – determined to eradicate it. The irony, of course, is that in the short term, although Thatcher did huge damage to the travelling community, she failed to kill the spirit of dissent generally, with the rave scene and the road protest movement representing a massive counter-cultural explosion of energy and dissent into the John Major years, when, I think, the government’s control was at its weakest.

Sadly, however, a major change occurred under Tony Blair and New Labour, when, I genuinely believe, wealth became the only indicator of value in society, a housing bubble started that has been artificially sustained ever since, and which is crippling for the less well-off in society, and a cynical ‘climate of fear’ was introduced after the 9/11 attacks, which involved both a direct curtailment of some aspects of civil liberties, and a more general notion that any kind of public unruliness could be regarded as terrorism.

Alan Dearling: In many of my books, I’ve very much pro-actively tried to let Travellers, festival goers, eco-warriors and more, tell their own, his and her-stories. Not played the historian or journalist. Is that part of your approach too, as an author?

Andy Worthington: I’d have to say that it’s not, Alan – which is not to say that I don’t have massive respect for verbatim accounts, but more an acknowledgment that, as a journalist and historian, I am compelled to create my own narratives that, of course, draw on eye-witness accounts, but that are, perhaps above all, driven by my own need to understand and explain the significance of historical events.

Alan Dearling: The Battle of the Beanfield and the aftermath changed the Traveller and festival scene for many years. What’s your take on that?

Andy Worthington: It was a grim period for those involved, Alan. So many lives were ruined, and no one should ever forget that, or ever forgive those responsible. However, the fallout would have unanimously been much bleaker had it not been for the completely unexpected arrival of the rave scene, which in some cases then overlapped with the travellers’ movement, and the road protest movement, which, it should be noted, was a direct response to the clampdown on travelling after the Beanfield in the 1986 Public Order Act. Prevented from travelling and gathering freely, environmentally-minded activists took the logical next step – rooting themselves to the landscape when particular places like Twyford Down were facing destruction, and embarking on a whole new approach to dissent, locking on to heavy industrial machinery, and occupying trees.

Alan Dearling: From my personal perspective, from the late 1990s, I found myself looking outside of the UK for new and old enclaves of festivals and what some of us call ‘free cultural spaces.’ I spent quite a lot of time in Australia, following the likes of Daevid Allen from Gong and the original Nimbin and Terrannia/Daintree Forest protestors – that led to contacting all sorts of alternative and mainstream folk around the world who wanted to ‘live differently’, especially in more sustainable ways. Your focus was different, methinks. How and why did your involvement with the Guantánamo  Bay detainees occur?

Andy Worthington: My interest in Guantánamo  came about primarily because of my sympathy for underdogs, Alan, but a particular trigger was the research I did for my Stonehenge book looking at how, in 1999, the Law Lords had brought the 15-year summer solstice exclusion zone around Stonehenge to an end, after the police had arrested peaceful protestors on the roadside by the monument, and the Lords had ruled that, if protestors believe there is no other way for their complaints to be heard, and are not violent, the authorities have no right to arrest them. From looking so closely at the law, I felt empowered to examine another situation in which a legal position had been taken that needed examining, which was Guantánamo , and via my Stonehenge work I also felt empowered to shift my focus from civil liberties to full-blown human rights issues.

So I began researching and writing about Guantánamo in 2006, coinciding with the release, for the first time, of the names and nationalities of the prisoners, and several thousand pages of supporting documentation, and I brought all this information together over the course of 14 months of pretty much non-stop research and writing, to create a book, The Guantánamo Files, in which I attempted, for the first time, to tell the stories of the men held. That undertaking essentially made me a custodian of the men’s stories, and, ever since, I have continued to write about the prisoners, and to call for the prison’s closure, via thousands of articles I’ve written (mostly on my own website, but also, on occasion, for the Guardian, the New York Times and Al-Jazeera), as well as working with various organisations including the United Nations, WikiLeaks, Reprieve and Cageprisoners, co-directing a documentary film, and co-founding two campaigning groups.

Alan Dearling: I guess ‘civil liberties’ are at the heart of much of your writings, talks and activities …

Andy Worthington: Civil liberties and human rights, yes. The thing is, only eternal vigilance and resistance by people who care stops our leaders from oppressing us, although far too many people seem to have forgotten this. People died over the course of hundreds of years to secure everything that we take for granted as rights, and yet our fellow citizens seem, for the most part, to be completely unaware or uninterested.

And yet, within our lifetime, we’ve not only seen the violent suppression of unauthorised gatherings of thousands of people, we’ve also had to endure governments imprisoning foreign nationals without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence, and holding British citizens and foreign nationals under a form of house arrest (also on the basis of secret evidence), and in recent years we’ve been stuck with governments who claim that they can strip us of our citizenship if they regard us a threat to the common good. And let’s not even get started on Brexit, and the bonfire of our rights that our current leaders have in mind. To be honest, I can’t really imagine a life that doesn’t involve resistance and dissent, and I fear for our future unless more people wake up to that reality.

Alan Dearling: Guantánamo Bay detention centre – and its closing was a central plank in Obama’s campaign for the presidency in America. Now we have Trump, and it’s still there. Is it really stupid to ask ‘why’?

Andy Worthington: Not really, no. The simple answer, of course, is that it’s still there because Obama didn’t want to expend political capital closing it, which he could have done, even though it’s worth reflecting on the fact that he faced unprecedented opposition from Republicans, who, for most of his presidency, controlled both houses of Congress. Trump, obviously, is a nightmare, and there can’t be any movement towards the closure of Guantánamo until he’s gone – and I’d say, until the Republicans lose power – but we should never forget that there are dark forces in the US establishment, not just Trump, who like having a prison where they can hold people without having to justify why – no federal court trials, no Geneva Conventions – which is exactly why it needs to be closed, because, while it currently holds only Muslims, its existence provides a precedent for any other group of “unpeople” to be held there in future.

Alan Dearling: Your personal investment in this cause must have taken its toll on you and your family. I’ve always expected you to move into a media or academic career … thoughts?

Andy Worthington: To be honest, the opportunities never arose, Alan. I never managed to find a way into academia, and the mainstream media was already a shrinking world when I finished writing The Guantánamo Files. No one, outside of the Miami Herald, for whom Guantánamo was local, was interested in relentless reporting on Guantánamo, so I took a very modern journalist/activist route, publishing via my own website, and, eventually, asking my readers to support me financially, and that has enabled me to survive as a writer and activist.

Alan Dearling: You’ve been spending a lot of time in the United States speaking about the Guantánamo Bay issues …

Andy Worthington: I have supporters who get me out there every January, to mark the anniversary of the prison’s opening, which was on January 11, 2002. So every year I’m part of a rally outside the White House on the 11th, calling out the president for his inaction, along with representatives of other rights groups, including Amnesty International USA, and a particular group that is close to my heart, Witness Against Torture, who dress in orange jumpsuits with hoods, and stage actions at various locations in the capital in the run-up to the anniversary, all while fasting. I tend to stay in the US for about a week and a half, undertaking a number of other speaking events, and also doing TV and radio interviews.

Andy Worthington calling for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay outside the White House on January 11, 2020 (Photo: Witness Against Torture).

Socially it’s always a wonderful experience, as I get to hang out with the people who should really be running the US, but politically it’s challenging, as the US is so vast, and nationalist mind control is so prevalent, but there’s no way that I can give up this struggle until Guantánamo is closed, as that would be accepting defeat, and that simply mustn’t happen. When it comes to ‘generational’ injustices, you have to be in it for the long haul. Those looking for quick fixes might not be temperamentally suited to the fight against institutional lawlessness.

Alan Dearling: Inevitably, climate change and Extinction Rebellion are in my mind a lot these days, and a future that should be determined by young people. After all, they are the ones who are inheriting the mess. How are you involved?

Andy Worthington: I’ve been aware of the environmental crisis for many years, Reading Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature, around 30 years ago, actually threw me into something of a depression at the time. And of course most of the protest movements of the last 30 years – the road protest movement, obviously, but also the anti-globalisation movement, and the Occupy movement – have involved environmental issues to some extent, although no one found a way to make the global environmental crisis the focal point of a massive protest movement until Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion arrived on the scene in 2018. And the reason both have been so successful is because we’re so clearly running out of time, as is reflected in the bleak assessments of so many scientists and NGOs. That said, it’s also a testament to Greta Thunberg’s captivating seriousness and single-mindedness that the schoolchildren’s climate strikes have become so big, and it’s a testament to XR that their branding and their insistence on non-violence have also been so attractive to so many people.

I was intrigued by XR when they first occupied several bridges in central London in October 2018, but it wasn’t until the occupation of several central London sites last Easter – and especially Waterloo Bridge – that I thought it might work; not, primarily, because of the organisers’ aims of getting over a million people to be arrested for non-violent direct action, but because, by bringing so many of London’s roads to a standstill, we showed what an alternative would actually look like, and it was wonderful. Everyone could breathe, and those paying attention were able to realise that most of the traffic that chokes up our roads so incessantly and that is so polluting is unnecessary. While we had free food kitchens on Waterloo Bridge, much of the traffic we stopped consisted of nothing more than vehicles delivering billions of soft drinks and pre-prepared corporate sandwiches from logistics warehouses to retail outlets across the capital, all of which is enviromentally insane.

Another example of the transformational nature of the occupation involved bringing to a temporary end the absurd number of lorries servicing London’s deranged corporate building industry, with its huge enthusiasm for demolishing structurally sound buildings (office blocks, council estates) for profit. So during the occupation, another world not only seemed possible; it also briefly flickered to life, enabling people to glimpse an alternative future free of the corporate tyranny that is destroying us.

Alan Dearling: What’s your best guess at the ‘what happens next, globally and in the UK’, say, in the next five years? So many issues around the environment, nationalism, fascism, racism, war?

Andy Worthington: That’s very difficult to forecast. My big hope is with young people, because the generations above have been so greedy that the youth are realising that every aspect of their lives involves being ripped off, and when that happens, of course, our leaders have lost, because you have to give people something to hang on to or you lose them – and who knows what will happen when people believe they have nothing to lose?

And also, as we’ve been discussing, the unprecedented, man-made environmental crisis that is already upon us is only adding to young people’s mobilisation – although it’s not just the young who are responding to it. However, I think it’s significant that when you measure young people’s concerns against those of old people, there is almost no common ground anymore. The older people are, the more they voted for Brexit, while young people are almost overwhelmingly pro-EU, and when it comes to our current leaders, they – Donald Trump and Boris Johnson – have absolutely nothing to offer the young. So my hope is that the youth will rise up and we will follow, because otherwise I’m struggling to find hope in a climate change-denying, aging white western world that is shifting noticeably towards the far right.

Alan Dearling: ‘Think globally – Act locally’ was the old environmental rallying cry. You’ve been very involved in many actions in London to help sustain the good bits and oppose rampant and destructive developments. I think that environmentalism, and creative responses to the housing crisis, and support for the Grenfell survivors are three of your heartfelt ‘causes’. I only know a little about what you’ve been getting up to. Can you describe some of your activities? I believe that the fight to preserve the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford has been a major campaign for you …

Andy Worthington: Well, I live in social housing, Alan, so its survival has always been of major concern to me. I want more of it, and I want it to be available to as many people as possible – secure and genuinely affordable housing, fundmentally created and managed on a not-for-profit basis. So this cynical council estate demolition programme, introduced by Tony Blair and New Labour, championed by the Tories, and also enthusiastically embraced by far too many Labour councils, absolutely enrages me. It’s a land grab, and it’s social cleansing, dispossessing existing social tenants by demolishing their homes, and creating new developments that consist largely of homes for private sale, but also all kinds of allegedly “affordable” rented properties that are no such thing.

This war on social housing has been going on for two decades now, and while I had spent some time writing about it when I could, it wasn’t until the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 that I realised that the contempt in which social tenants are held by the entire bureaucracy of social housing meant that our very lives are at risk. That was a turning point for me. I then became acutely aware of housing issues in the Borough of Lewisham, where I live, and soon came across campaigners for the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, which I knew about, but had not previously been involved with.

This was a magical green space, formerly the garden for a primary school that had been moved, which the council and developers wanted to destroy as part of a development that also involved turning the old Victorian school into homes for private sale, and knocking down a structurally sound block of council flats – to build “affordable” flats on the site of the council homes, and also on the ruins of the garden. We’d been given “meanwhile use” of the garden while the plans were finalised, and had been opening it up as much as possible to the local community as an autonomous space – for people to get away from urban pressures, and to hold events – and when, in August 2018, the council asked for the keys back, we occupied it instead, and attracted widespread support both locally, and London-wide, and internationally. We were violently evicted by bailiffs hired by the council two months later, but it was an extraordinary experience, and I believe it played a major part in highlighting how corrupt the entire ‘regeneration’ programme is.

The occupied Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in September 2018 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

Alan Dearling: Does it ever feel like you keep on being on the ‘losing side’ in your campaigns? Particularly after the recent General Election?

Andy Worthington: Well, I was just 16 when Margaret Thatcher was elected, so I wasn’t even old enough to vote, and when, at the age of 34, the Tories were finally ousted, their New Labour replacements largely consisted of more of the same. So my entire life, since the age of 16, has been under the yoke of neo-liberalism, but obviously I can’t give up on fighting for a better and fairer world. It’s just a pity that such unmitigatedly horrible policies have been dominating political life for so long.

Alan Dearling: You and your family have also found yourselves becoming very active on the musical front. You with the band ‘The Four Fathers’, which I gather is pretty political, and your son, Tyler, with his mates in the BAC Beatbox Academy and their hugely successful hip-hop, rap take on the ‘Frankenstein’ story. Tell me more.

Andy Worthington: Well, I got together with some mates to fulfil our unfulfilled musical fantasies about six years ago, and then found myself inspired to write new songs, most of which, unsurprisingly, reflected my very political view of the world. Our recordings can be found on Bandcamp, and we’ll be releasing some great new songs very soon [Note: since the interview took place, we have released two new songs, the eco-anthem ’This Time We Win’, and the anti-regeneration punk song, ‘Affordable’].

The Four Fathers at the Fox & Firkin in Lewisham, November 9, 2019.

My son, meanwhile, is currently out in Adelaide with his colleagues in the BAC Beatbox Academy, based at Battersea Arts Centre [Note: he returned just before the coronavirus lockdown began]. He and five other young people, working with two directors, a choreographer, and great sound and lighting people, have created an extraordinary ‘gig performance’ piece derived from ‘Frankenstein’ — ‘Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster’ — updating its themes for the social media, smartphone generation, and mixing singing, rapping and beatboxing in a way that, genuinely, hasn’t ever been heard before. They were the top rated show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last summer, where they were also a featured British Council show, and so Adelaide Festival Fringe, where they’re performing for a month, is just the start of a global adventure for these talented performers. I’m very proud!

Alan Dearling: That’s been fun. Good to catch up. We need to do it more often. So, what’s next on your current, and future, itinerary?

Andy Worthington: I’m currently involved in trying to prevent WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US, and also, of course, still involved in Guantánamo activism and housing activism, and still cycling around London on a daily basis taking photos for my ongoing photo-journalism project ‘The State of London‘, which I started nearly eight years ago, and which I hope to turn into a book this year.

* * * * *

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, or you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.55), 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 the 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.

15 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, an interview about my writing and my activism — involving the Stonehenge Free Festival, the travellers movement of the 1970s and ’80s, and its violent suppression at the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985, and the 14 years I have spent writing about the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and campaigning to get it closed.

    Also covered in the interview: my involvement in resisting the housing ‘regeneration’ industry in the UK, particularly via the occupation, in 2018, of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, and in the resistance to the currently unfolding environmental crisis that threatens us all, and that has been made prominent, since 2018, by the actions of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion.

    The article was published in Gonzo Weekly and International Times, based on questions from the publisher and activist Alan Dearling, and while it preceded the coronavirus crisis that has suddenly changed life to an unprecedented extent, the core of its themes — about the necessity of changing the way our entire suicidal capitalist system operates — are still extremely relevant.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Mansoor Adayfi wrote:

    Thank you Andy.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for your interest, Mansoor!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Pamela Leavey wrote:

    Keep on doing what you’re doing Andy!

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Pamela. I appreciate the support!

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia R Scott wrote:

    Gracias, Andy

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    You’re welcome, Natalia!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Julie Alley wrote:

    Thank you for all you do, Andy!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Julie. And thanks for your continuing interest and support!

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Elevatia Rem wrote:

    This is amazing. Thank you …

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Elevatia. A little insight into the history of British protest movements, as well as my Guantanamo work!

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Marion Heads wrote:

    As always you are an inspiration, Andy

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Marion, for the supportive words, and great to hear from you. How is everything up your way? Are you OK?

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Jane Ecer wrote:

    You change peoples’ lives …

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Jane! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Back to the top

Back to home page

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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

RSS

Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium

XHTML & CSS

WordPress

Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:

Archives

In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

The State of London

The State of London. 16 photos of London

Andy's Flickr photos

Campaigns

Categories

Tag Cloud

Afghans in Guantanamo Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners Center for Constitutional Rights CIA torture prisons Close Guantanamo Donald Trump Four Fathers Guantanamo Housing crisis Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer The Four Fathers Torture UK austerity UK protest US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis in Guantanamo