Published February 15, 2012
Marcial Abaga Barril is one of the few opposition activists in Equatorial Guinea. As member of CPDS (Convergencia Para la Democracia Social), the only legitimate national opposition party, Barril has been arbitrarily detained and tortured on several occasions. He joined the opposition after the regime murdered his father, and says that at first he was consumed by a desire for revenge. That desire guided his struggle for many years, but today he says he believes in justice and looks toward building a new democratic Equatorial Guinea. He hopes that maybe his grandchildren can live better lives than his.
Even after having been tortured Barril shows little fear of the regime. He speaks loudly and seems at a total disregard for his surroundings whether he’s in a taxi, on his porch, or walking home.
“What can they do to me now? They’ve tortured me, they’ve broken into my home. Now the only thing left is to kill me, because they know I won’t be quiet. I won’t stop,” he says.
Barril says he’s been given a slow death sentence. Blacklisted by the regime, he lives in a state of constant instability. He is forced to feed his family with the pay from one odd job to the next, and its obvious he fears for the future of his children. With no real work, Barril spends the majority of his time with friends and family, on the phone organizing, or moving from one CPDS gathering to the next.
Instability and unemployment are the regime’s best weapons against the opposition and, as Barril laments, leave no opportunity for the creation of a real democratic process in Equatorial Guinea. But, he quickly laughs off the enormous challenge of his mission and smiles at the hand he’s been dealt. For Barril and other members of the opposition, their best weapons against the regime are their sincerity and conviction.
en cuatro camins actualmente hay ocho talleres de producción operativos. cada uno alberga una media de 50 trabajadores y registra unas ganancias (sin contar gastos) en torno a 30,000 mensuales.
hablamos de producción en serie de, entre otros, piezas electricas, material de oficina ( ), ropa de cama y toallas para hospitales, prisiones etc. productos “made in CIRE” (ver pagina de web madeincire.es).
el sueldo mensual, por comisión de manera integra, se encuentra alrededor de los 200euros en jornadas de 44 (medio jornada), siendo raro aquellos que pasan de los 300euros (en jornadas de 84, evidentemente, estas cifras se duplican. aunque, la jornada complete es algo muy raro de ver). hay que tener en cuenta que dichos sueldos se alcanzan con trabajo ininterrumpido. muchos trabajadores, que por determinadas razones no pueden trabajar sin pausa, cobran menos que 100euros.
asimismo, un trabajador puede estar sin hacer producción alguna un máximo de 2-3 meses antes del despido. en estos caso, en los que no se les puede descontar un porcentaje de sueldo para pagar la seguridad social, esta pase a ser gasto integro para la empresa. para evitar el gasto los encargados de cada taller se ven obligados en los recuentos de producción a restar producción de los que más tienen para añadirlo a los de “producción 0” (igualmente, estos últimos no cobran nada, aunque, “oficialmente”, si tienen suficiente para descontarles la seguridad social).
en el momento del despido, se obliga a firmar al contratado un documento baja “voluntaria”. de esta forma se evita al pago del finiquito (la mayoría no sabe que existe). en caso de negativa de firma es habitual recibir amenazas de no volver a ser contratada, ni para taller, ni para destino. en caso de trabajadores que no se defienden con el idioma se suele falsificar dicha firma.
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just back from a quick visit state-side, too much fun (not what i’d usually say). fallen arrows, a direct-to-garment printshop out of atlanta, was throwing their inauguration party and maseo, from de la soul, was scheduled to spin. being close to fallen arrows and a big fan of nineties east coast hip hop made the sounds of getting down to maseo in a low key environment something i couldn’t miss. fallen arrows was celebrating the opening of their new space and demo-ing the new printer they’d recently bought. i arrived wednesday night after a near empty flight- nothing like a private jet across the atlantic. the company’s founder and owner, tito sands, picked me up at the airport in a beat-up gmc van. he looked about as frayed as the van, but was optimistic about the party. “hurricane season is almost over, so that’s good,” we laughed together. it sounded as though it had been a long month of preparation. he described lots of to-do lists, but it seemed as though almost everything was ready. all the booze and bartenders had been organized. most of the decorating was done. the neighbors had all been given a head’s up. he had his permits and had hired the necessary security. but whenever preparations for a big event seem like they’re going good there’s inevitably a glitch. “the fucking printer isn’t working,” tito sighed as we exited the highway. he explained this was a big bummer given that the idea was fallen arrows would do free demo prints, a really effective way to get potential clients excited about the company. but sometimes technical difficulties are just unavoidable.
friday the last touches were put on the space and the parking lot. and then rain clouds rolled in. then hail, followed by sleet, and then some sun, and then some more sleet. we all started hitting the kegs early it was hard not to get a little down. but the fallen arrows’ crew weren’t about to let a little bad weather ruin their inauguration. they were determined to have a good time. and as the night set in the clouds melted away, leaving a clear brisk fall night. there were three fire pits outside and the food truck was selling all kinds of goodies. inside the new space a steady stream of people checked out merchandising and enjoyed the bar and some projections. at 8 dj double dutch (atl) opened outside spinning lots of dirty south. she was followed by dj lil ray (nyc) who mixed it up with her new york styles. there was lots of head bobbing and hula hooping. lil ray handed over the turn tables to maseo around 10 and the night didn’t stop again until 4am. outside maseo spun nineties and early 2000’s hip hop classics. i’m no expert by any means… couldn’t tell you the discography of anyone, but somehow maseo spun everything i like about hip hop. the popular culture without the bling. it was as if he had my playlist. and apparently i wasn’t the only one. at 12 the party moved indoors and got all kinds of good. maseo seemed to be having a blast! he just kept spinning. and mixing all kinds of shit from eighties tv show soundtracks- nightrider or the a-team, to fela kuti’s afro-funk, back to some nineties hip hop, and then on to eighties glamour. all kinds of sounds and everyone dancing away. there was more than enough alcohol and the music just didn’t stop.
fallen arrows scored a handful of new clients and they recuperated the money they’d put down. there was no extra cash but it didn’t seemed like they minded, the night had come off with out any scandals and the hang overs were bearable. “it was the best kept party secret of atlanta,” someone had told me the night before and it seemed true. if fallen arrows proves to be half as good at printing as they are at organizing underground parties they’ve got a prosperous future ahead. word is maseo was so stoked he wants to do it again, i’m looking forward to it and would hop across the pond for another fallen arrows get-down- without thinking twice.
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fallen arrows is a direct-to-garment print shop on a mission to build a strong creative community.
artists and entrepreneurs alike seek us out because we are offer limitless design possibilities, great prices, and family-style customer service. then we take things a step beyond the ordinary by promoting our customers products through our own social networks and platforms.
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