Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play “Song For Shaker Aamer” at Deptford Cinema, Dec. 18, 2015


Andy Worthington, Joanne MacInnes, Shaker Aamer and doctor and journalist Saleyha Ahsan on November 17, 2015, after Shaker had met supporters and MPs in the Houses of Parliament.

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One week ago, on December 18, I gave a talk about my writing about Guantánamo and my campaigning to get the prison closed, including the We Stand With Shaker campaign, at Deptford Cinema in south east London, followed by a set by my band The Four Fathers, playing our repertoire of political songs.

In a previous article, I made available a video of my talk, filmed by a friend and campaigner, Andrew, who, I’m delighted to say, also filmed us playing an updated “Song for Shaker Aamer,” used in the campaign video for We Stand With Shaker, which was launched last November by myself and activist Joanne MacInnes to push for the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, particularly by encouraging celebrities and MPs to stand with a giant inflatable figure of Shaker — a campaign that, I’m glad to note, met with considerable support.

After Shaker’s release on October 30, I amended the lyrics to reflect that he is now a free man. This was the version we played at Deptford Cinema, and, for Christmas — when, I believe, everyone, whatever their religion or belief system, should be encouraged to think about those less fortunate than ourselves, and to help those suffering injustice — I’m pleased to be making it available below via YouTube. The song is about Shaker Aamer, but it also deals with the fundamentally unjust nature of the system of imprisonment without charge or trial at Guantánamo, where 107 men remain. If you find this unacceptable, and want to do something about it, please feel free to join the Close Guantánamo campaign that I set up nearly four years ago with the US attorney Tom Wilner, who has represented Guantánamo prisoners, and advocated on their behalf in their Supreme Court cases in 2004 and 2008.

Song for Shaker Aamer” is the opening track on The Four Fathers’ debut album, “Love and War,” which you can listen to on our Bandcamp page, and which you can buy as a download, or on CD with two extra tracks. You can also buy individual tracks to download if you wish.

As I also mentioned in my previous article, this was the very first time I had undertaken a multi-media evening of my work, in which I spoke about my writing about Guantánamo and my campaigning to get the prison closed, followed by a set by The Four Fathers, playing our political songs. However, both myself and the band would be delighted to do it again, so if anyone in London wants to follow up with a similar evening of a talk followed by music, or if it’s something that might appeal as part of a festival line-up, then please get in touch.

I hope you enjoy the video, and will share it if you do.

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, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), 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.

2 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Season’s greetings, everyone! For my annual Christmas post, here’s a video of my band The Four Fathers playing “Song for Shaker Aamer,” the song I wrote that was used in the campaign video for We Stand With Shaker. The song was recorded at a live event last week, after I gave a talk about ‪‎Guantanamo‬, and I’ve updated the lyrics to reflect Shaker’s release two months ago. The photo of me with Shaker, Joanne MacInnes and Saleyha Ahsan was taken a few weeks after Shaker’s release. You can buy our album here, as a download or on CD:

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    I hope everyone’s been having a happy, healthy and relaxing day. I’m in Scotland, where I had a great day with my wife’s family. Thanks to everyone liking and sharing this, and watching the video.

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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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