End of Year Newsletter
End of Year NewsletterTutu Alicante December 9, 2011
In observance of International Human Rights Day on December 9, Tutu Alicante, executive director of EG Justice, sent out an end of year newsletter thanking all our supporters and celebrating our accomplishments in 2012.
2011 has been a remarkable year for all of us social change-makers. On a personal level, the birth of my son and the opportunity to be involved in the growth and development of both of my children, provide me a daily dose of love, strength, and courage. On a professional level, people in the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and across the U.S. have renewed my confidence in Margaret Mead's famous affirmation that "a group of thoughtful citizens working together" is the only thing that has ever changed the world.
At EG Justice, we have not yet achieved our vision of a just Equatorial Guinea, but you played a key role in assisting us to achieve momentous gains, including helping to double our capacity—by enabling us to bring Joe Kraus, an expert on Equatorial Guinea, onto our staff—to push for genuine reform inside the country.
Twice this year, you joined the honorable Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureates like Wole Soyinka and Mario Vargas Llosa, and eminent personalities like celebrated Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, human rights activist Graça Machel, and novelist Margaret Atwood to successfully oppose efforts by President Obiang to reinstate the UNESCO-Obiang prize.
In March, you answered my birthday wish, making it possible for EG Justice to launch our Visiting Fellows Program and host two amazing Equatoguinean artists, Boturu and Mene, for a month. This experience enabled them to interact with talented social justice artist-activists across the U.S., and to forge a working relationship with EG Justice to advance social justice— through the use of arts in poor communities inside the country—in the future.
While we made significant gains in 2011 to improve the situation in Equatorial Guinea, much work remains. Just last month, one week prior to a nondemocratic referendum that increased the government’s near-absolute power, a friend and partner of EG Justice, Marcial Abaga Barril, was arrested and jailed for three days, without formal charges, before finally being released. Marcial’s unwarranted arrest, clearly intended to intimidate a vocal critic of the government, was a reminder of the serious obstacles that remain.
Similarly, news about the $830 million luxury resort built to host a five-day meeting with African dignitaries, the lavish $77 million presidential guest house currently under construction, the multimillion dollar basilica recently inaugurated in the president’s hometown, and the government’s decision to finance the construction of an entirely new city deep in the rainforest demonstrates that much remains to be done to hold the EG government accountable for its brazen corruption and misuse of the country’s abundant natural resources.
EG Justice will continue to work with partners on the ground, including the visiting artists, to push for democratic and economic governance in the country. We will continue to push for a definitive cancelation of the Obiang prize at UNESCO , and fight against the undemocratic constitutional reforms that were recently forced on the people. But, we cannot do these things without you. We need your continued support to successfully carry out these endeavors. Make a donation today.
With your help, our work has raised unprecedented awareness about the need for real reform in Equatorial Guinea, and we look forward to building on our successes in the coming year.
Thank you for your support.
PS:Your donation today will give the people of Equatorial Guinea and their friends worldwide hope for a strong voice in the New Year!