Washington, DC downtown lunch-goers picking up a bite to eat at the Farragut Square food trucks found a dance party in progress at their picnic place.
The fair weather drew several hundred people to an event sponsored by the One Billion Rising campaign, which aims to wrest the Valentine spotlight from the consumerist holiday and shine it on violence directed at women.
Long celebrated as Valentine’s Day in many cultures and leveraged for the last fifteen years by women’s rights activists in the “V-Day movement,” today’s actions are a culmination of the “One Billion Rising” campaign spearheaded by author, playwright and activist Eve Ensler and champions equal rights and an end to violence against women and young girls.
The stark fact underlying the campaign is that one in three women–more than a billion–will be beaten or raped in her lifetime.
Revelers in Farragut Square joined thousands in One Billion Rising events around the world, including Khartoum, New Delhi, and Joy (Democratic Republic of Congo), using dance as a form of empowerment:
When One Billion bodies rise and dance on 14 February 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness. Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.
Watch people around the world dance.