About me

Andy Worthington speaking outside the White House on January 11, 2016, the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo. Behind him is the giant inflatable figure of Shaker Aamer that was at the heart of the We Stand With Shaker campaign (Photo: Justin Norman).

Please support Andy’s work! He is currently seeking $2500 (£2000) to support his ongoing work on Guantánamo over the next three months, and to support his photo-journalism project ‘The State of London.’ As a reader-funded journalist, he relies on your support.


Welcome to Andy Worthington’s website. Andy is a writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. He is internationally recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror,” and is increasingly involved in environmental activism, recognizing that climate change poses an unprecedented, and ever-growing threat to life on earth. He is also involved in housing protest issues in London, and is also a historian of the British counter-culture, and, in particular, the free festival and travellers’ movements. He is also a photo-journalist, posting a photo a day, with accompanying essays, from eleven years of bike rides around London, on his Facebook page ‘The State of London‘, and a singer and songwriter, with his band The Four Fathers.

In 2013, in recognition of his work on Guantánamo, he was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.

In the 17 years Andy has spent working full-time on Guantánamo and related issues (since he began researching his book The Guantánamo Files in 2006, which was published in September 2007), he has worked as a consultant for the United Nations, as the lead writer on a report on secret detention in 2010, and in a follow-up capacity in 2015.

Andy also worked as a media partner with WikiLeaks, for the release of classified military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners, in April 2011, which he subsequently began analyzing in depth as “The Complete Guantánamo Files.”

Andy has also been involved with a number of NGOs. In 2011-12, he worked with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights on a number of Guantánamo reports. In 2008, he worked for the legal charity Reprieve, and between 2009 and 2011 with Cageprisoners (now CAGE). He has also worked with Amnesty International, primarily in promoting, to student audiences across the UK, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” the documentary film he co-directed with Polly Nash, which was released in 2009.

In January 2012, to mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, Andy established the campaigning website, Close Guantánamo, with the US lawyer Tom Wilner and with support from a number of prominent lawyers, retired military officials and human rights organizations. He regularly visits the US to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo (and has done since 2008), and he has also traveled to Kuwait, Poland, Norway and the European Parliament in Brussels on Guantánamo-related business. See here for a video of Andy with Roger Waters on Democracy Now! in 2016, launching a new initiative for President Obama’s last year in office, the Countdown to Close Guantánamo. See here for the latest photo campaign, and also check out the Gitmo Clock, which counts how long Guantánamo has been open in real time.

In November 2014, Andy established We Stand With Shaker with the campaigner Joanne MacInnes, to secure the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo. The campaign successfully focused on celebrities and MPs standing with a giant inflatable figure of Shaker. In October 2015, Andy and Joanne set up another campaign, Fast For Shaker, encouraging celebrities, MPs and members of the general public worldwide to undertake a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Shaker, and to keep pressure on the Obama administration to honour its promise to release him, which was made on September 25. Shaker was finally freed on October 30.

Andy continues to campaign relentlessly for the closure of Guantánamo. via his writing, his media appearances, the photo campaign mentioned above, and in 2023, the creation of a network of activists around the world holding coordinated monthly vigils for the closure of the prison. He is also working with British MPs and European MEPs, calling for Guantánamo’s closure, and also seeking to resettle in EU countries, and in the UK, prisoners approved for release who cannot be repatriated. See below for his speech at a rally in in London on January 11, 2023, the 21st anniversary of the opening of the prison.

Andy writes most regularly for this site (which currently receives around three and a half million page views every year, and was archived by the British Library in January 2011), and has published over 3,500 articles here since May 2007. He also writes two or three articles a month for the Close Guantánamo website, and sends out two newsletters a month to those who have signed up to the campaign to close the prison.

He has also written for several mainstream media outlets — for the Guardian, and the New York Times, for whom he wrote a front-page story in 2008 with Carlotta Gall, about the lies told by the Bush administration regarding an Afghan prisoner, Abdul Razzaq Hekmati, who died in Guantánamo in December 2007. He has also written for TruthoutAl-Jazeera English, Al-Jazeera America and PolicyMic (now Mic). In March 2015, with Tom Wilner, he wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, “Dispelling the myths of Guantánamo Bay,” and Tom and Andy again joined forces for “Teaching Trump About Gitmo,” an op-ed in the New York Daily News in January 2017. In 2022, they were profiled in The New Republic.

From 2008 to 2013, Andy wrote a weekly column for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2011, he was commissioned to write an article, “Guantánamo, Torture and President Obama’s Failures,” for CounterPunch’s anthology, Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, and in 2009 Dahlia Lithwick included his article, “A History of Music Torture in the ‘War on Terror,’” in her anthology for Kaplan, The Best American Legal Writing 2009.

‘The State of London’, environmental activism, housing campaigns, music and the counter-culture

As well as covering Guantánamo and the “war on terror,” Andy is also a photo-journalist. In May 2012, he embarked on a major project of social history — photographing the whole of London by bike, providing a detailed visual account (with accompanying essays) of the capital in the latest phases of its ever-changing history, and, since 2017, he has been posting a photo a day on ‘The State of London’ Facebook page. The project opened a new chapter in March 2020, when the coronavirus lockdown began, and Andy was one of the few photographers documenting it on a daily basis, particularly in the West End and the City, where its impact on the economy was most severe. Also see this ‘My London News’ feature for some of Andy’s lockdown photos.

Andy also writes about the current state of politics, particularly in the UK, and is increasingly involved in environmental issues, 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.

Andy also writes about the housing crisis, and was particularly motivated to get involved in housing issues after the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, an entirely preventable disaster which revealed, to a shocking extent, how those who live in social housing are regarded as second-class citizens by those responsible for their safety.

In 2017, just after the Grenfell fire, Andy was invited to be the narrator for ‘Concrete Soldiers UK‘, a documentary film about the destruction of council estates and the inspiring resistance of residents campaigning to save their homes, which he and the director, Nikita Woolfe, then took on tour, and he also set up ‘No Social Cleansing in Lewisham‘ as the focal point for campaigns in his home borough in south east London. In August 2018, he became part of the occupation of a community garden in Deptford to prevent its destruction — and that of a block of council flats next door — for an inappropriate housing development, and although the occupation was violently evicted after two months, the struggle — a microcosm of much larger housing and environmental crises — continues.

Andy is also the lead singer and chief songwriter in a band, The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War‘ was released in July 2015, and whose second album, ‘How Much Is A Life Worth?‘ was released in November 2017. See the band’s Bandcamp page for all their releases — including ‘Grenfell‘, their response to the 2017 fire, and their latest online single, ‘Tidemill’, posted below.

Prior to becoming focused on Guantánamo and the “war on terror,” Andy also wrote two other books, both still in print: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion, a history of Britain’s counter-culture as focused on Stonehenge, and The Battle of the Beanfield, about Margaret Thatcher’s suppression of one particular strand of that counter-culture, the travellers’ movement, in 1985. He continues to write about traveller issues, and Stonehenge and the Beanfield, and in November 2019, an article he wrote about the Tories’ latest threat to travellers’ way of life, “First They Came for the Travellers”: Priti Patel’s Chilling Attack on Britain’s Travelling Communities, went viral, with over 30,000 likes and shares on Facebook.

Please contact Andy if you would like to interview him, or if you would like to engage him as a speaker or a writer, or to ask his band to play.

Please also note that Andy is, for the most part, a reader-funded writer and activist, and that most of his campaigning work — not just the writing, but also many of his media appearances and personal appearances — is unpaid, so if you like what he does please consider clicking on the ‘Donate’ button above and providing him with some financial support.

Last updated May 3, 2023.

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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).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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