In a misty warm Valentine's Day on the Taos Plaza today (Feb. 14), a determined smattering of approximately 150 people gathered for the seventh annual One Billion Rising demonstration to protest violence against women and girls worldwide.
In a misty warm Valentine's Day on the Taos Plaza today (Feb. 14), a determined smattering of approximately 150 people gathered for the seventh annual One Billion Rising demonstration to protest violence against women and girls worldwide. Sporting bright pink shirts, painted faces and other festive attire, in rain slickers and holding umbrellas, the crowd--mostly women of all ages, but also men and many children--gathered to lend solidarity in this "extraordinary" show of community support.
"We are celebratory activists," enthused co-organizer Julia Daye, who is in her fifth year as the MC and leader of the "flash mob" dance in Plaza center. "This community is so extraordinary how it comes together every year."
The participants were as determined to make it fun as to turn out for a good cause. "It is a way of people getting enthusiastic and joining in the the fun that is the prevention part," agreed Malinda Williams, execuitve director of Community Against Violence, in Taos. "I like the rising part--that we are rising for future generations, and to speak for those who can't speak right now."
On hand were free massages offered under a tent as well as tables laden with cupcakes and other treats – the hot chocolate was apparently supplied by a beaming Mayor Dan Barrone, who was present with his family. After Daye supplied a rousing introduction– "We come back to the body, the scene of the crime" – some women shared brief prayers and blessings at the microphone, followed by poignant poetry offered by some students of Anasi Charter School, in El Prado.
Finally, the group broke out into the exhuberant flash mob dance –carrying them in a chanting procession through the back streets via Juan Largo.
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