Climate Change Heroes of 2022: António Guterres, Just Stop Oil, Greta Thunberg and Climate Scientists


The most widely reported climate change action ever? On October 14, two Just Stop Oil protestors, Phoebe Plummer and Anna Holland, threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ in the National Gallery in London. Just one video of the action on Twitter, via the Guardian‘s environment correspondent, Damien Gayle, had 50 million views, but did the action help or hinder the message that urgent and unprecedented action is required to tackle catastrophic climate change?

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As 2023 begins, with new January heat records already established over much of Europe, 2022 ought to be remembered as the year that the reality of catastrophic man-made climate change became undeniably apparent, along with the shocking realisation that the degeneration of a balanced atmosphere that is conducive to our continued existence is happening much quicker than expected.

It appears, however, that, despite unprecedented floods, wildfires and droughts, melting polar ice and glaciers, and temperature records being broken around the world (including, for the first time ever, 40°C in the UK), the momentum required to bring about urgent and necessary change to our suicidal economic systems simply doesn’t exist.

As the mainstream media fails to adequately convey the urgency of our plight, and most national politicians also fail to recognise that their only purpose now is to bring to an end the predatory and largely unfettered pursuit of profit that is already making even the short-term security of humanity appear unviable, confronting the crisis has been left to relative handful of people around the world — primarily, climate scientists and environmental activists.

António Guterres, climate scientists and the IPCC

In 2022, the main heroes of the struggle to establish climate change as a global emergency were the climate scientists who have spent the last 30 years trying to wake the world up to the gravity of the situation. A key player, throughout this period, has been the UN, via the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), comprising climate scientists from around the world, who have regularly compiled sober but increasingly alarming reports about the severity of the crisis.

These reports have provided the evidence presented, every year since 1995, to the COP climate summits, at which the experts have fought tenaciously to get governments to take the climate crisis seriously, and to enact meaningful change to tackle it.

The problem for the UN, and the IPCC, is that, although their moral and scientific authority is objectively unarguable, they have no legislative power, and their ability to effect meaningful change relies on the world’s governments taking the crisis seriously enough to actually do what is required.

This primarily involves reining in the main polluters of industrial capitalism — the energy companies and other resource extraction industries, the transportation industry, the construction industry, the plastics industry and the meat industry — and moving swiftly to new and sustainable methods of consumption.

The changes required are eminently possible, and would, moreover, provide a genuinely inspiring opportunity to change our broken relationship with the world we inhabit, but, in addition to a supine media and a population blinded by self-obsession and distraction, our governments have largely been bought by the very polluters that they need to challenge, and, as a result, progress has been, to put it mildly, painfully slow.

As a human rights activist, I have long been impressed by the UN’s moral authority. Conceived in the ashes the genocidal Second World War, the UN — outside of its military wing, the Security Council run by the war’s alleged ‘victors’ — has, for 76 years, been the world’s conscience, initially establishing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December 1948, and, through its Rapporteurs and Working Groups, subsequently highlighting and challenging human rights abuses around the world.

On climate change, the current Secretary-General, António Guterres, has recognised the severity of the position in which he has found himself, increasingly issuing ever starker warnings about the gravity of the climate crisis and the need for urgent, coordinated action from the world’s governments, but, as with so much of the UN’s role as the world’s conscience, the urgency of his truth-telling is, all too often, swept aside, as though the UN is nothing more than an inconvenient Cassandra, and the not the moral leader that the world so desperately needs right now.

Climate activists

In the face of this fundamental powerlessness, the urgency of the IPCC’s messages has, however, been taken on board and acted upon over the last four years by an ever-growing movement of climate activists, beginning with the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, whose School Strike for Climate movement awakened a generation of schoolchildren to the scale of the crisis, and Extinction Rebellion (XR), whose non-violent direct action, which involved occupying public spaces and disrupting “business as usual”, also struck a chord with significant numbers of people in the UK and around the world.

Extinction Rebellion’s pink yacht, bearing the message ‘Tell the Truth’, aimed at the UK government, in London’s Oxford Circus on April 18, 2019 (Photo: Andy Worthington).

Both movements coincided with the IPCC’s breakthrough report in October 2018, which warned that we had just 12 years left to effect the major changes to our global emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases — cutting emissions by 45% by 2030 — that was required to limit the rise in global temperature since the start of the Industrial Revolution to 1.5°C, beyond which all hell would break loose — “significantly worsen[ing] the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people”, as the Guardian described it.

The efforts of Greta Thunberg and XR succeeded in forcing climate change up the political agenda, and, briefly at least, making it “sexy.” Politicians queued up to declare “climate emergencies”, although, as with so much of contemporary politics, they never went beyond lip service to the need for change, without the intention to ever do much about it.

Nor, it must be said, were the general public prepared to do much either. Although a majority of people finally accepted the significance of climate change, polls soon showed that very few of them were actually prepared to make any significant changes to their comfortable but environmentally ruinous lifestyles to meet the necessary emissions reduction targets.

The last few years have, of course, shifted the world off-kilter in a way that no one could have foreseen during the heyday of climate activism in 2018-19. Just as climate activists were making plans for renewed action in 2020, Covid hit, largely shutting down the opportunities for mass public gatherings and disruption for two years.

For a brief moment, it seemed that the suspension of so much of the world’s hectic but largely environmentally toxic economic activity would lead to a fundamental change in humanity’s perception of its relationship with the miraculous planet that sustains our lives, but as soon as the lockdowns lifted, the juggernaut of over-consumption returned with a vengeance.

In August 2021, the IPCC issued an ever starker report than in 2018, calling climate change “widespread, rapid, and intensifying”, and noting that scientists were “observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system”, with many of those changes being “unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years.” The IPCC added that “some of the changes already set in motion — such as continued sea level rise — are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years”, but also noted that “strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases” could still “limit climate change.”

António Guterres called the report nothing less than “a code red for humanity”, adding, “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.” However, when the COP26 summit took place in the UK just three months later, under the lackadaisical leadership of Boris Johnson, governments once more failed to enact urgent change.

As 2022 began, any hopes that the world might finally come together to recognise the scale of the crisis were dashed when Russia invaded Ukraine, NATO intervened to defend Ukraine in a revival of the Cold War mentality that had sustained western militarism for over 40 years, and an energy crisis was provoked that, as well as overshadowing COP26’s climate pledges, also saw the world’s dominant economies largely failing to rein in the resultant excessive profits of the oil and gas companies, overlooking the perfect opportunity that the crisis presented to swiftly increase the implementation of renewable energy sources, and also aggressively promoting an increase in fossil fuel extraction.

By summer, the global economy was also beginning to experience the biggest spike in inflation for decades, ensuring that a ‘cost of living crisis’ took precedence over any other concerns, although how much of this was a knock-on effect of the war in Ukraine, and how much was, simply, naked corporate profiteering has not been adequately explored, and, as so often, the mainstream media has failed to investigate it with anything like the dedication that it deserves.

Given this backdrop, it was reasonable to expect that climate activists would find their options severely limited, but that conclusion would under-estimate how much those who truly grasp the enormity of the crisis cannot accept the passivity of doing nothing, especially, as throughout 2022, the effects of catastrophic climate change were hitting harder, and much more swiftly, than anyone expected. In 2018, the IPCC report had suggested that we had until 2030 to keep the dream of 1.5°C alive. However, the devastating floods, droughts and melting ice and glaciers of 2022, as well as the unprecedented temperature records, suggest that change is now happening so quickly that an eight-year timeline looks like a fantasy, especially as emissions, far from falling, are still rising globally.

Just Stop Oil

In September 2021, an XR offshoot, Insulate Britain, stepped up XR’s tactics of traffic disruption by blocking the M25 on numerous occasions, demanding investment from the government in insulating Britain’s notoriously energy-inefficient housing, and in March 2022 another XR offshoot, Just Stop Oil, also began disruption, calling on the government to “immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.”

In April, JSO activists blockaded ten oil facilities in England, but their campaigning only secured international attention when activists began targeting artworks in galleries in July 2022, with two protestors gluing themselves to the frame of John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery. Numerous other interventions took place in the months that followed — in the UK and elsewhere — culminating in another action at the National Gallery, on October 14, when two protestors threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers.’

The action provoked a wave of extraordinary hostility towards the two protestors, Phoebe Plummer, and Anna Holland, even though the painting — like all those targeted — was protected behind glass, and even though Plummer had pointedly asked, in a statement accompanying the action, “What is worth more, art or life? Is  [art] worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”

Throughout October, over a period of 32 days, JSO activists also repeatedly blocked roads in and around London, including, on October 17, the M25, after two supporters scaled the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge between Essex and Kent. Protestors also sprayed orange paint on car showrooms, on 55 Tufton Street, home to a number of opaquely-funded think-tanks including climate change deniers, and, on October 31, on buildings used by the Home Office, MI5, the Bank of England and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., when they issued a statement explaining that these particular targets were chosen because they represent “the four pillars that support and maintain the power of the fossil fuel economy.”

On November 7, JSO activists again blocked multiple junctions of the M25, but halted their actions on November 11, Remembrance Day, when they issued a statement declaring that they were to giving the government time to reconsider issuing new licences for oil and gas extraction, and called on Rishi Sunak “to honour all those who served and loved their country” by ensuring a “liveable future.”

The question of whether or not JSO’s actions have contributed positively to their cause continues to divide opinion. On the art protests, despite the hostility from many quarters, Margaret Klein Salamon, the executive director of the Climate Emergency Fund, “a US network set up in 2019 to fund dramatic forms of protest in an attempt to spur action on the climate crisis”, as the Guardian described it (and which also funds JSO), was unequivocal in her support for the action. “In terms of press coverage”, she said, “the Van Gogh protest may be the most successful action I’ve seen in the last eight years in climate movement. It was a breakthrough, it succeeded in breaking through this really terrible media landscape where you have this mass delusion of normalcy. It’s time to wake up.”

Noticeably, too, in their review of ‘The Top 50 Exhibitions of 2022’, the influential Hyperallergic website put ‘Global Climate Actions’ at No. 2. As they stated, “This was the wild card in our museum calendars this year, as climate activists from as far afield as London to Canberra interrupted our social media feeds with images designed to shock us out of our complacency. While many museum leaders and their conservative allies tried to ramp up the outrage over these actions (that, we should all be reminded, did NOT damage the art and raised awareness about the looming climate crisis), what was apparent was the generational divide in this debate as younger generations refuse to keep art on an elitist pedestal while the world faces climate disaster after disaster. Thankfully, some museums seem to be taking heed and are writing up plans to address the climate crisis. These may not be the actions/exhibitions we all wanted to see, but they were the shows that many of us apparently had to see.”

On traffic disruption, however, campaigners seem to be up against a deeply entrenched car culture, in which some of those affected become, instantly, almost homicidal when their journeys are disrupted, and with this level of hostility it’s difficult to see how random road blocking is achieving the movement’s aims, when so many people are alienated.

This is not to suggest that I’m supportive of angry car drivers, by the way. In fact, the very opposite is true. Car culture is a pathologically selfish blight on our societies, with its toxic emissions, its transformation of almost all public space into racetracks, and its grim psychological impact — encouraging people to regard their cars as mobile refuges, to disregard how car culture almost entirely destroys all notions of safe public space, how it prioritises moving from A to B over ever staying in one place, and how it is also one of the most startling examples of the entitlement culture that underpins so many of our woes.

Saturated as we are in example after example of people’s presumed entitlement, driving pretty much tops the list of activities that are entrenched as a right, when it should be regarded as a privilege.

It was reassuring, at the end of the year, that toxic enthusiasts for its excesses were thoroughly repudiated when the vile misogynist Andrew Tate (who was subsequently arrested and charged in a human trafficking and rape investigation) was put down by Greta Thunberg in one of the most shared tweets of all time. Tate, as Rebecca Solnit explained in a Guardian article, “sent a boastfully hostile tweet” to Thunberg about his sports car collection. “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions,” he wrote, to which she replied, “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at”

Greta Thunberg’s tweet, destroying the vile, car-loving misogynist Andrew Tate, just before his arrest as part of a human trafficking and rape investigation.

Transportation accounts for 20% of global CO2 emissions — and is “the fastest growing source of emissions worldwide” — so what is really required is for governments to finally act, to educate people about the toxicity of cars, and to urgently find ways to reduce traffic use, rather than leaving it up to front-line activists to undertake potent but random gestures that, one day, will see someone getting seriously hurt.

A velvet revolution?

Is there a better way, forward, then? Climate activists Christopher Ketcham and Charles Komanoff think that targeting the super-rich — whose emissions via private jets and private yachts is nothing short of obscene — should be the particular focus of ongoing protests. In an article for The Intercept, ‘The Shutdown of “Luxury Emissions” Should Be at the Center of Climate Revolt’, they celebrate the Dutch activists who, in summer, stormed Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and targeted 13 private jets.

As Jonathan Leggett, one of the activists, explained, “The super-rich have got used to polluting as they please with a total disregard for people and planet, and private jets are the pinnacle of these luxury emissions that we simply cannot afford.” As Ketcham and Komanoff pointed out, “The world must … rein in consumption. For reasons both symbolic and practical, the climate movement must strike not just at pipelines and mines, but also at obscene wealth.”

Personally, I was also pleased to see luxury car showrooms targeted last year, but private jets are definitely one of the worthiest of targets — along with private yachts and cruise ships, for which, I’m sure, there are routes available for activists to start pressurising the governments of maritime cities to stop indulging them.

But perhaps the best way forward is to work towards a velvet revolution. On New Year’s Day, Extinction Rebellion caused a stir by tweeting, “WE QUIT! Our New Year’s Resolution is to halt our tactics of public disruption. Instead, we call on everyone to help us disrupt our corrupt government.”

“Choose Your Future & join us”, they added, providing a date and a location: 21 April, Parliament. The aim — the idea of the velvet revolution — is to get 100,000 people to commit to turning at Parliament on April 21, and also to commit to not going home again at the end of the day.

Please give this date some serious thought and ask yourself, if you already find yourself making excuses not to turn up, why it’s not worth doing. The presence of 100,000 people could genuinely be a tipping point — a gathering too large for the government to suppress via the vile anti-protest legislation passed by the former home secretary Priti Patel, and which the current home secretary, Suella Braverman, wants to expand, which criminalises protest, and equates disruption to save the planet with terrorism.

Do it, please. Commit to turning up, and get your friends and families to commit too. No evasions, please — no last minute holidays, or shopping trips, or whatever else it is that we’re supposed to do. Let’s all turn up and believe that we can bring about the change we all need.

Extinction Rebellion’s call for 100,000 people to turn up at the UK Parliament on Friday April 21, 2023, and to refuse to go home again.

What else are we going to do? The COP27 summit, in Egypt, came and went without achieving anything except vague promises from the world’s richer countries to help poorer countries suffering most noticeably from the ravages of climate change, but pretty much everyone has, in the UK, been too polite to point out to the government that our so-called ‘terrorism’ has, to date, been entirely non-violent, even though we all know that the example set by the Suffragettes was not. Most of us no longer even think about violent direct action — let alone discussing it — unlike in the 1970s in particular, when revolution was in the air, or at the start of the 20th century, when the Suffragettes resorted to bombing and arson, but as the world descends into hell, as more and more working people can’t even afford to live, and as 2023 ’s climate horrors begin to unfold, it’s not far-fetched to foresee increasing civil unrest as the only viable future.

So, in a last display of non-violent solidarity, let’s aim for a velvet revolution instead. I’ll see you at Parliament on April 21. Be there, please. And please also bring your friends and family. What do we have to lose?

* * * * *

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer (of an ongoing photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London’), 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 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 you can watch it online here, via the production company Spectacle, for £2.50).

In 2017, Andy became very involved in housing issues. He is the narrator of the 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, and the trees were cut down on February 27, 2019, the struggle for housing justice — and against environmental destruction — continues.

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22 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, my first long read of 2023, looking at how thoroughly catastrophic climate change made itself apparent in 2022, and yet how, still, our political leaders and our mainstream media continue to ignore the gravity of the situation.

    Instead, it is left to climate scientists and climate activists to take the lead, and I review their efforts last year, via the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and via activism, from groups including Just Stop Oil, which involved road blocks, targeting oil refineries and private airports, and, most visibly, throwing soup on Van Gogh’s ’Sunflowers’, also examining whether or not these techniques are successful.

    I conclude by urging UK readers to consider another option: the velvet revolution envisaged by Extinction Rebellion, who are calling for 100,000 people to turn up outside Parliament on Friday April 21, and to refuse to go away until the dreadful stasis of 21st century capitalism’s toxic ‘business as usual’ is brought to an end.

    As I state in my article, “Do it, please. Commit to turning up, and get your friends and families to commit too. No evasions, please — no last minute holidays, or shopping trips, or whatever else it is that we’re supposed to do. Let’s all turn up and believe that we can bring about the change we all need … What do we have to lose?”

    Sign up here:

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    On another front, a raft of climate cases against governments are proceeding in the courts this year, in countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and in the European Court of Human Rights, with many other cases also proceeding against private companies:

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    I’m also wondering if Europe’s high temperatures, leading to the loss of ski slopes, will help some of the continent’s wealthier inhabitants to finally recognise what is happening:

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Meanwhile, human idiocy continues as increasing numbers of cruise ship tours visit Antarctica, with 106,000 tourists expected to visit this summer, while “a delicate dance is under way each day, as captains of cruise ships struggle to keep their vessels out of one another’s sight and so preserve the icy continent’s image of wilderness for their customers”, as the Guardian explains. In the roads of Dana Bergstrom, an ecologist with the Australian Antarctic Division, “It’s a very orchestrated ballet as these tourist ships come and go. There’s a type of cognitive dissonance where visitors pretend they are the only ones in Antarctica.”

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    I was way up in the moors today – early January and it was 12C and I have to admit, it didn’t seem right at all.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Your concern is appropriate, David, but the reflexive position, sadly, is for people to think they’ve somehow been blessed with ‘warmer’ weather than usual, and the media really don’t help. Here’s a BBC headline from an hour ago – but the same can be found in most of the media: “UK weather: 2022 was warmest year ever, Met Office confirms.” What they should say is that 2022 was the hottest year ever, but editors have all deliberately chosen to use the word ‘warmest’, because it’s less alarming than ‘hottest’, even though we should be alarmed.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Here’s XR co-founder Roger Hallam’s latest powerful statement from prison, where he’s on remand for having made a speech about the climate crisis. It’s powerful, and I hope you can find the time to read it:

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    Andy, he should be given a guest columnist piece in the Guardian.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    Andy, he’s on remand on “conspiracy to cause a public nuisance” charges, I believe for the M25 protests. Some of his remarks sound untethered, but you don’t bang someone up for months for that.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    I couldn’t agree more, David, and I think there’s something profoundly troubling about both the basis of his arrest – essentially for inciting disruptive protests, according to the authorities – and the liberal media’s silence about it. A line has been crossed here, and yet none of those who should be acting as a watchdog on executive overreach seem to be concerned at all.

    The Guardian, for example, will happily provide a platform for George Monbiot to discuss the horrors of Suella Braverman’s Public Order Bill, which seeks to criminalise intent, but not to defend, or provide a platform for Roger Hallam, whose prison diary really ought to be featured in the Guardian.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    Reading further about it, Andy, I think Hallam probably put himself “beyond the pale” with the Guardian by his fatuous remark about the Holocaust. Words to the wise – never analogise using the Holocaust as a benchmark … but should he be banged up on remand without a court decision? Absolutely not – it brings the entire judicial system into disrepute. It smacks of lock them up first and then dream up a conspiracy allegation. The M25 protestors were clearly breaking the law – but we have to treat the right to effective activism as an essential part of a vibrant democracy however inconvenient.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, we’ve slipped into ‘thought crime’ and ‘pre-emptive detention’ territory that is absolutely inimical to the functioning of a democracy, David, and the fact that it’s happening with barely a murmur of dissent is genuinely quite alarming.

    Roger, of course, has not made life easy for himself. I don’t doubt his passion, or his irritation with people’s general inertia, but, as with his holocaust comment, sometimes, in seeking to highlight certain important truths through provocative analogies, he distracts from the core of his message, providing an opportunity for his critics to treat him as an unsympathetic character. And once that’s achieved, as we’ve seen with Julian Assange, it’s then all too easy for the authorities to behave as though alleged character defects mean that the normal rules don’t apply.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Dave Goateze wrote:

    Far out, Andy! I am not a denier but not as convinced about climate change as you are, however in the era of caution there are no pro pollution arguments, and where we agree a coherent voice for social change could I believe catch fire. I am not in contact with the yoof to ask them tho.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Good to hear from you, Dave. You make an important point about there being no pro-pollution arguments at all, which would be a good starting point for everyone to recognise. As for finding a compelling spokesperson, I think Caroline Lucas fits the bill – our only Green MP, with a long and outspoken track record on both on the environment and on social justice – but we need someone outside of Parliament who can translate that into a movement. Imagine if Mick Lynch fully took the crisis on board!

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    Thank you, Andy.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    You’re welcome, Natalia. Thanks for your interest. It’s important that, whatever our other focus is (in our case, human rights, Guantanamo and the persecution of Julian Assange), we also recognise that there is no bigger crisis than climate change, which affects all of us. Every campaigning group needs to recognise this, as do unions, and any political party that seeks to have even a shred of credibility.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote, in response to 12, above:

    There’s much truth to that, Andy. There have always been “dissidents” who fall into the “security” categories that slip between the cracks of habeas corpus – from the detained hunger strikers of NI to Assange and now Hallam. It’s what Blair euphemistically described (if memory serves?) as a legal anomaly when describing GTMO. The establishment really should behave more wisely in these matters and stick to the letter of the law and let due process do its job.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, well said, David, and the “terrorist suspects” who were held without charge or trial in the UK under Tony Blair’s government are another example. I checked what Blair said, which was in 2004 when, after two years, western governments started to feel heat for their previous and largely unconditional support of Guantanamo, and he told MPs that it was “an anomaly that at some point has got to be brought to an end.”

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Natalia Rivera Scott wrote:

    I suffer a lot for the planet, Andy, I’m very anxious about the damage we are doing and I try to live as zero waste as I can. Part of me not wanting to have kids js about that. I have disagreed a lot on the methods some activists use, because I’m an art conservator, but I do respect the courage and admire the fight they’re fighting. So, again, thank you for your article.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Natalia. It’s so extraordinary how activists are working so hard just to to try to get people to wake up to what should be obvious. Our mainstream media, and, for the most part, our politicians have absolutely failed us when it comes to sounding the alarms adequately, and acting on them.

  21. Anna says...

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s such a disgrace, Anna. There’s so much pandering to oil-rich countries, as was seen so noticeably at the World Cup, but this is beyond satire really, isn’t it?

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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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