Quarterly Fundraiser Day 4: Still Seeking $2200 (£1750) to Support My Guantánamo Work, My Housing Activism, Music and Photography

13.12.18

Three photos of Andy Worthington, as an anti-Guantanamo campaigner, singer-songwriter and housing activist.Please click on the ‘Donate’ button below to make a donation towards the $2,200 (£1,750) I’m still trying to raise to support my work on Guantánamo over the next three months of the Trump administration, and/or my housing activism, photography and music.




 

Dear friends and supporters, and any engaged passers-by,

It’s nearly 13 years since I started working full-time as an independent journalist researching and writing about Guantánamo, and working to get the prison closed down. In that time, I’ve been employed by various media and human rights organizations, and have also been fortunate to have the support of a few prominent human rights-supporting individuals, but I have also become — most significantly, I think — a reader-funded journalist, activist and creator.

Over the years, there have been times when Guantánamo has slipped off the radar — for nearly three years under President Obama, between 2010 and 2013, when Congress conspired to make it difficult for him to release prisoners, and he responded by sitting on his hands rathe than spending politics capital overcoming lawmakers’ obstruction, and, of course, in the nearly two years since Donald Trump became president.

Because Trump has effectively sealed the prison shut, refusing to release anyone, it has become increasingly difficult to keep Guantánamo in the public eye, although I have been doing my best to keep focusing on it. I’m currently working on profiles of the remaining 40 prisoners, in the run-up to the 17th anniversary of the opening of the prison, on January 11, when I will, as usual, be visiting the US to campaign for the prison’s closure — a visit for which your support will be very helpful — and I’m also looking into finding a way to focus on the rights of former prisoners, many of whom have ended up in extremely vulnerable positions because Donald Trump closed down the US government office that dealt with re-settlements, and monitored prisoners after their release.

With more time on my hands, I’ve diversified into other topics — in particular, getting involved in housing activism in the UK. I’ve long taken an interest in the housing crisis in the UK, and especially the cynical destruction of council estates to enable builders and developers to make huge profits, and this interest intensified after the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, when 72 people died because those responsible for their safety prioritised cost-cutting and profiteering over their very lives. I then became the narrator of ‘Concrete Soldiers UK’, a documentary about the destruction of council estates and residents’ resistance, and also became involved in the defence of a wonderful community garden in Deptford, in south east London, where, for two months from the end of August, I became part of the permanent occupation of the garden to prevent its destruction by Lewisham Council, for an unacceptable new housing project. Although we were violently evicted six weeks ago, the resistance continues, as does my general involvement in seeking to permanently derail the social cleansing and unacceptable profiteering of the entire housing ‘regeneration’ industry.

If this work interests you, you’re welcome to donate to support me, as I have no other backing to enable me to do it. The same also goes for my photography — specifically, ‘The State of London’ photo-journalism project that I began six and half years ago (after a serious illness and during one of those Guantánamo lulls). This has also been an entirely self-generated project, for which I have received no backing, and, again, any support will be greatly appreciated (and if you like my photography, do keep an eye out for a crowd-funding project for a book that I hope to launch next year).

And finally, if you appreciate my musical endeavors, you’re welcome to support that, because, as with so much creative work these days, opportunities to generate income through photography and music have been severely curtailed by the domination of the internet, where the tendency, sadly, is for profits to be siphoned away from creators to the tech companies. The recordings of my band The Four Fathers are available here on Bandcamp, where, if you like, you can buy our music on CD or as downloads.

If any of the above inspires you to make a donation to support my work, 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.

With thanks, as ever, for your support. Whether you can make a donation or not, please do bear in mind that everything I do only has any meaning because of your interest in it.

Andy Worthington
London
December 13, 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 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, 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.

One Response

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    It’s now day 4 of my quarterly fundraiser, in which I’m still trying to raise $2200 (£1750) to support my work on Guantanamo and related issues over the next three months, telling the stories of the men still held, campaigning to get the prison closed, and working on plans for proper representation for former prisoners.
    In addition, if it’s of interest, I’m more than happy to receive donations for all the other work I do, particularly as a housing activist in the UK, which has been a focus of much of my activities this year, as a photographer of London, via my photo-journalism project ‘The State of London’, and as the lead singer in a band playing contemporary protest music. These are all endeavors for which I receive no institutional backing, and for which, in this new world in which traditional media are rapidly disappearing, and most of the money currently being made is in the hands of the tech companies, your financial support would be very greatly appreciated.
    With thanks, as ever, for your interest in what I do!

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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, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

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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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