Video: Andy Worthington Discusses the Fast For Shaker Campaign on London Live


A screenshot of Andy Worthington appearing on London Live with Reya El-Salahi to discuss the launch of the Fast For Shaker campaign on October 14, 2015.Yesterday was busy. In the morning, there was a meeting of the All-Party Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group, chaired by David Davis MP, with Andrew Mitchell, Andy Slaughter, Tania Mathias and other MPs attending, and representatives of Reprieve, Amnesty International UK (and Naureen Shah visiting from Amnesty International USA), the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign, the London Guantánamo Campaign and Joanne MacInnes and myself from We Stand With Shaker.

I then cycled to Kensington to be interviewed on London Live, the TV channel of Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Independent and the Evening Standard, by presenter Reya El-Salahi prior to tomorrow’s launch. This was a great little interview, in which I was able to run through why Joanne and I set up Fast For Shaker, launching outside Parliament (in Old Palace Yard by the George V statue) at 1pm on October 15, an initiative that involves asking celebrities, MPs and concerned citizens around the world to fast for Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, who’s taking part, and what it might mean for Shaker’s family in Battersea.

The interview is posted below, and I hope you have time to watch it, and to share it if you find it useful:

At the time of writing, 219 people have pledged to Fast For Shaker, and 76 of those fasts are taking place today (October 15). This will be my first fast, while others, like Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of Reprieve, have fasted before — in 2013, during the prison-wide hunger strike at Guantánamo that year. Clive wrote, “I’ll start on the 15th and see how it goes. Last time I did this in solidarity with Shaker, I went 7 days, which is nothing really, given that Shaker has done this for weeks at a time.”

There is also a great comment from Johina Aamer, Shaker’s daughter, who is fasting today. She says, “I will be fasting on the 15th of October to support all the people who are hunger striking on behalf of my father. My family would like to thank you all for your continued support as we wait for our father’s return.”

Her brother Michael also says, “I will be fasting on the 15th for my father, and I want to thank everyone who is taking part and all your support towards getting my dad back home.”

Note: And the rest of my busy day? Well, actually, I cycled around Kensington, and then back home to south east London, for a few hours after the interview, posted the previous article about today’s press launch, went to my son’s school for a sixth form open evening, went for fish and chips with friends and family afterwards, and then back to the computer for this post and much more. However, today will be, I suspect, even busier. See you outside Parliament at 1pm, hopefully.

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 debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, calling for the immediate release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for 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).

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, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see 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.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article featuring my interview on London Live about the launch today of ‪#‎FastForShaker‬ – – the new initiative, launched by myself and Joanne MacInnes of We Stand With Shaker, in which we’re encouraging celebrities, MPs and concerned citizens of the world to fast for a 24-hour period, on a day of their choosing from today onwards, in solidarity with Shaker Aamer, who is still in ‪Guantanamo‬ and on a hunger strike. We will continue until he is released.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Carol Anne Grayson wrote:

    Excellent… pray Shaker will be home soon… and thinking of him as we fast…

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Carol. I like how there are 76 of us fasting today. Solidarity!

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks to everyone liking and sharing this. It’s October 15 now, and I’m fasting all day, along with 75 other people, including Shaker’s daughter Johina, one of his sons, Michael, Clive Stafford Smith and Cori Crider of Reprieve, MPs Andy Slaughter and Tania Mathias, Joanne MacInnes, with whom I set up Fast For Shaker and We Stand With Shaker, the US actor Ed Asner, Todd Pierce, Army Maj. (retired), former military defense attorney in the military commissions at Guantanamo, many people I don’t know, to whom I wish the very best, and many friends – Anna Minkiewicz, Beverly Hendricks, Carol Anne Grayson, David Harrold, Diana Murtaugh Coleman, Jessica Hope (Jessy), Marion Heads, Natalia R Scott, Saleyha Ahsan, Susan Hall, Thomas Dickinson, Waris Ali and Zareen. Solidarity! Good luck, everyone. Hopefully our small actions today will help Shaker, and will bring us closer to what he is going through in a small way. And fasters, please do send a photo if you haven’t already!

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