Quarterly Fundraiser Day 1: Please Help Me Raise $2500 (£1800) to Support My Work on Guantánamo


Andy Worthington calling on Donald Trump to close Guantanamo today, March 12, 2018. Andy is holding poster showing that, today, the prison has been open for 5,905 days.Please click the ‘Donate’ button to make a donation towards the $2500 (£1850) I’m trying to raise to support my work on Guantánamo for the next three months!


Dear friends and supporters – and anyone happening to pass by,

It’s that time of year again, when I ask you, if you can, to support my work as an independent journalist, activist and commentator, working primarily to educate people about the prison at Guantánamo Bay and to get it closed down — and, if you wish, my campaigning work to try and prevent the destruction of housing estates in London and across the UK, my London photography, and my music, with my band The Four Fathers.

I am, it seems, a very modern creation — a writer and campaigner funded almost entirely by my supporters, so if you can help out at all, 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 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 (address here — scroll down to the bottom of the page), 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.

To be a creative person funded by one’s supporters is a situation that has become more and more widespread over the last decade as traditional media, funded by advertising, has collapsed, in a supposedly bright new tech future that, in reality, seems for the most part to be an even more ravenous form of capitalism than that which existed previously — one in which the tech companies make outrageously bloated profits while exploiting their customers, whether they are the writers, artists, photographers and musicians who are increasingly obliged to provide their creative output for free, or the everyday users of mobile phones/cellphones and social media who also, without realizing it, are enriching a small number of already immensely wealthy people with everything they share for free.

That however, may be a discussion best saved for another time. For now, I’d like to share with you my surprise to discover that it’s almost exactly 12 years since I began working full-time on Guantánamo. I had spent six months, from September 2005, trying to work out who was at Guantánamo, but it wasn’t until March 2006 that two events took place that inspired me to dedicate myself to digging into the story of Guantánamo as thoroughly as possible. Those two events were the broadcast of ‘The Road to Guantánamo’ on Channel 4, a part-dramatization/part-documentary about three British prisoners in Guantánamo from the West Midlands, who were known as the Tipton Three, and the publication of ‘Enemy Combatant’ by another British prisoner, Moazzam Begg, both of which focused my attention unerringly on Guantánamo.

With Guantánamo now my focus, the time was absolutely right for the Pentagon to lose a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Associated Press, which obliged the DoD to release, for the very first time, the names and nationalities of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — something that, shockingly, they had refused to do for the first four years and two months of the prison’s existence, as well as thousands of pages of transcripts of the tribunals they had set up to, essentially, rubber-stamp the prisoners’ designation on capture, without any investigation whatsoever, as “enemy combatants’ who could be held indefinitely without charge or trial, and without the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

This information, and subsequent releases of information, were the basis of my book The Guantánamo Files, which I spent 14 months researching and writing, and which was published in 2007, in which I told the stories of around 450 prisoners, whose stories had not previously been told, and organized them into a coherent narrative, showing who was captured where, and why the US government’s claims that they were “the worst of the worst” who were all “captured on the battlefield” were such outrageous lies.

With the book complete, I began writing about Guantánamo here on my website, and, in the last 11 years, have written 2,182 articles about Guantánamo, as well as adding the stories of the other prisoners, initially via a series of additional online chapters, and, from 2011-12, via additional information made available by WikiLeaks, with whom I worked as a media partner on the release of the classified military files about the Guantánamo prisoner that Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning had leaked.

In these 12 years there have been times of hope and times of despair — the hope that Barack Obama provided as a presidential candidate, the disappointment engendered by his failure to close Guantánamo during his eight years in office, despite promising to do so, and the despair of those left behind, now under the control of Donald Trump, who has no interest in releasing anyone from Guantánamo if he can get away with it.

At various times on this 12-year journey I have worked for some mainstream media outlets (the New York Times, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera, for example), and with various human rights organizations (the United Nations and Reprieve, for example), and I have also co-founded two campaigning organizations, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker, and co-directed a documentary film, ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.’ However, after the Bush years, when it was generally difficult to interest people in the true horrors of Guantánamo, much of Obama’s presidency saw a marked decline of interest in Guantánamo, and, sadly, since Donald Trump’s presidency began, it has in general become even more sidelined. For the latest Close Guantánamo photo campaign, which the photo of me at the top of this article is part of, please visit this page and get involved!

Despite the sidelining of Guantánamo, of course, an injustice on the scale of that particular offshore gulag, as well as all the other vile crimes of the “war on terror,” must never be allowed to be normalized, and this is where your support is so vital. Whenever Guantánamo slips off the radar, and is stranded in a backwater of indifference, it is incumbent on those of us who care about its significance, and who know that every day it is open is an insult to America’s claim to be a nation that respects the rule of law, to keep pushing for its closure. The less interest there is, therefore, the more I need your help to keep trying to remind the world that, outrageously, the prison is still open — and, today, as another initiative of mine, the Gitmo Clock, counts, it has been open for 5,905 days.

So if you can, please support my work.

And, as I noted at the top of this article, if you care about any of my other work, for which I also have no institutional backing — my campaigning to save social housing (see ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, the film I narrate, my housing articles, and the campaign page here), my London photography, via my project, ‘The State of London’, or my music, via my band The Four Fathers — then please feel free to donate to support these other aspects of my multi-faceted creative efforts to make the world a better place.

With thanks, as ever, for your support, without which, as I hope I’ve made clear, I really can’t carry on doing what I’ve been doing for the last 12 years.

Andy Worthington
March 12, 2018

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 six 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 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.

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.

4 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Dear friends and supporters, it’s that time of year when I ask you, if you can, to make a donation to support my ongoing work on Guantanamo as a largely reader-funded journalist and activist – and, if you wish, my work in support of social housing, my photography and my music. I’m rather shocked to discover that I have been writing about Guantanamo, and working to get the prison closed, for almost exactly 12 years, and, in that time, have written over 2,000 articles. Any donation you can make – however large or small – will be very gratefully received. My work, of course, will continue until one day, eventually, Guantanamo is closed.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    My thanks to everyone who has supported my work over all these years. As you know, I can’t do what I do without you. Can anyone be the first to make a donation to get this fundraising week off the ground?

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks to the first supporter who has made a donation to support my work this quarter. It’s very greatly appreciated! Is anyone else able to help?

  4. The 34 Estates Approved for Destruction By Sadiq Khan Despite Promising No More Demolitions Without Residents’ Ballots | The Land Is Ours says...

    […] Please support my work as a reader-funded investigative journalist, commentator and activist. […]

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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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The Battle of the Beanfield

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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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