On V-Day, DC dances to end violence against women

One Billion Rising, Farragut Square, Washington, DC

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.

And see more pictures of DC Rising here.

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The Silken Tent

Photo by ahisgett/Flickr

She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To everything on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

-Robert Frost