The Four Fathers Release New Song, ‘Warriors’, About Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, To Coincide With Julian’s Last UK Appeal Against Extradition to the US

21.2.24

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Yesterday, The Four Fathers released ‘Warriors’, my song about Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, which we released to coincide with the first of two days of hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, marking Julian’s last UK appeal against his extradition to the US. If extradited, he will face espionage charges relating to the classified US files, leaked by the US whistleblower Chelsea Manning, which were released in 2010 and 2011, in conjunction with some of the world’s most prominent newspapers.

It’s available below via Bandcamp, where you can listen to it for free, and buy it as a download if you like it.

I worked with Julian and WikiLeaks as a media partner on the release of classified military files from Guantánamo in 2011, which were hugely important, as they revealed the shocking extent to which the US’s so-called “intelligence” was based on statements made by profoundly unreliable witnesses — prisoners subjected to torture and other forms of abuse, or bribed with better living conditions.

I’ve always been appalled by the extradition request, initiated when Donald Trump was president, which is a truly shameful and alarming assault on the freedom of the press, threatening to shut down the ability of journalists and publishers to expose hidden government crimes that it is in the public interest to know about — a distinction that, in the end, is fundamental to any kind of meaningful distinction between our supposed democracies and dictatorships.

I wrote ‘Warriors’ over two years ago, at a time in Julian’s five-year struggle against extradition when it seemed briefly  that he had run out of legal options, and The Four Fathers (a collective of musical dads from south east London, for whom I’m the lead singer and main songwriter) have played it live many times since then. However, it wasn’t until last month that we managed to record it with the great Charlie Hart, a multi-instrumentalist and producer who, in a career spanning more than five decades, has played with Ian Dury and Ronnie Lane, and has produced numerous artists including the great Congolese singer Samba Mapangala.

In the same session, we recorded two other songs — an eco-song of mine, ‘All About Love’, and ‘When You’re Gone’, by our lead guitarist Richard Clare — completing the ten songs for our third album, ’Songs of Loss and Resistance’, which we’ll be releasing next month, following our first two albums, ‘Love and War’ and ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?’, which were released in 2015 and 2017.

I hope you have time to listen to ‘Warriors’, and that you’ll share it if you like it.

As for Julian, the two-day hearing attracted significant crowds, although Julian himself was unable to attend, because he is unwell, and while, objectively, it was apparent that his defence team made a much more compelling argument for his extradition to be refused than the prosecutors made for it to go ahead, justice has already been so eroded by the shameful events of the last five years, following Julian’s arrest and imprisonment in HMP Belmarsh, the notorious maximum-security prison in south east London that is supposed to be reserved for the most dangerous criminals, that it would be foolish, at this point, to expect a miracle.

If the judges rule that the extradition can proceed, the best we can probably hope for is that his case is accepted by the European Court of Human Rights, and that this shameful Tory government, which hates the Court with a fury, because our sadly diminished ministers want to be free of all restraints when it comes to the law, doesn’t try to block it.

* * * * *

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 (see the ongoing 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, in 2018, he was part of the occupation of the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden in Deptford, to try to prevent its destruction — and that of 16 structurally sound council flats next door — by Lewisham Council and Peabody.

Since 2019, Andy has become increasingly involved in environmental activism, recognizing that climate change poses an unprecedented threat to life on earth, and that the window for change — requiring a severe reduction in the emission of all greenhouse gases, and the dismantling of our suicidal global capitalist system — is rapidly shrinking, as tipping points are reached that are occurring much quicker than even pessimistic climate scientists expected. You can read his articles about the climate crisis here.

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, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

One Response

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, promoting ‘Warriors’, the new release by The Four Fathers, which I wrote about Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, and which was released to coincide with Julian’s last UK appeal against his proposed — and grotesquely unfair — extradition to the US.

    If extradited, Julian faces espionage charges relating to the files, leaked by Chelsea Manning, that he published with some of the world’s most significant newspapers, and which included the Guantánamo files, on which I worked a media partner. Obviously, any attempt to prosecute a journalist and publisher for publishing files revealing government wrongdoing that it is in the public interest to know about will be a death knell for the freedom of the press.

    I hope you’ll listen to the song, which you can also buy as a download, and that you’ll share it if you like it.

    https://thefourfathers.bandcamp.com/track/warriors

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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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