Photos: Close Guantánamo Protest in Florida, Part of Andy Worthington’s US Tour, Jan. 9, 2016


Andy Worthington addresses the crowd at a protest outside US Southern Command headquarters in Florida on january 9, 2016 (Photo: Medea Benjamin for Andy Worthington).

See my photos on Flickr here!

On January 9, 2016, at the start of my latest short US tour, I was in Florida, on behalf of two groups I co-founded, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker, for a protest outside the headquarters of Southcom — US Southern Command — which oversees the prison at Guantánamo Bay. This was my sixth US visit on and around January 11, the anniversary of the opening of the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo — and my thanks again to Debra Sweet of the World Can’t Wait for organizing it.

The event on January 9 was put together by an enthusiastic group of young people campaigning as POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), and I met the main organizers on the night of my arrival from London, January 8, at the apartment of two of them, Cassia and Conor, where the group were preparing banners and placards.

The headquarters of US Southern Command (Southcom), which oversees Guantánamo, is in Doral, just outside Miami, and we met at a busy intersection at 2pm, and then walked to the gates of Southcom’s HQ. Outside the gates, I was one of the speakers calling for the closure of Guantánamo, along with Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, who had come down from Washington, D.C. with fellow activist Tighe Barry, and afterwards a few dozen of us went for Tex-Mex food, which not only gave me a great opportunity to socialize, but also enabled me to soak up some of the lovely Florida heat that would be lost to me, very early the morning after, as I flew to Washington, D.C.

My thanks to my hosts during my brief visit to Florida — the activist David Gibson, who picked me up from the airport on the evening of January 8 and drove me where I needed to go, and World Can’t Wait supporter Eric Hopley, who took me to the airport very early in the morning on January 10, and who also indulged me by driving me up the coast for a spot of sightseeing on the evening of January 9. The traffic was bad, and the beach largely inaccessible by car, but when we eventually found a spot to take a quick stroll, it was very enjoyable to gaze out briefly at the ocean in darkness, while a few people had picnics on the beach, and to reflect on how, in my ten years of working on Guantánamo, my Florida visit was the closest I had come to the prison itself.

I’ll be posting some photos soon of the rest of my trip — in Washington, D.C. and New York City — but for now I hope you enjoy this set, and will share it. If you want to know more, you can watch the video of me speaking outside the White House, you can see me on Democracy Now! with Roger Waters launching my new initiative, the Countdown to Close Guantánamo, and you can watch me singing my “Song for Shaker Aamer” in Washington, D.C. here. You can also watch my panel discussion about whether or not President Obama can succeed in closing Guantánamo, with my Close Guantánamo colleague Tom Wilner, and the academic Karen Greenberg.

My thanks, as ever, for your interest in closing Guantánamo! if you haven’t yet done so, please check out my latest initiative, the Countdown to Close Guantánamo (also see here).

A link to the photos is also posted below:

Latinos condemn Guantánamo

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 (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), 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.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, linking to the photos I posted on Flickr of a ‪Guantanamo‬ protest I spoke at in Florida on January 9, outside Southcom HQ, just before I flew to DC for the annual protest outside the White House. I was only in Florida for 36 hours, but I had a great time, and it was wonderful to meet so many committed young campaigners, mainly via POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism), which organized the protest:

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m posting this much earlier than usual, because I’m out this evening, watching David Morrissey in Hangmen, a death penalty comedy, with other activist/lawyer friends. It makes me realise how rarely I go out in the evening!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Ann Alexander wrote:

    Great photos Andy. You are a man of many talents. Thanks for sharing. The photos are so clear.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ann, for the supportive words. 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 and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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