Demonstration

Taos joins 'One Billion Rising' movement

Annual event is set for Valentines Day in Kit Carson Park

By M. Elwell Romancito
Posted 2/12/17

There’s a way you can be part of a global movement that is positive and looking to shed light on dark problems. You don’t have to go door to door with a clipboard, make phone calls or walk up to busy people on the street. You can throw your head back and sing a positive song.

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Demonstration

Taos joins 'One Billion Rising' movement

Annual event is set for Valentines Day in Kit Carson Park

Posted
There’s a way you can be part of a global movement that is positive and looking to shed light on dark problems. You don’t have to go door to door with a clipboard, make phone calls or walk up to busy people on the street. You can throw your head back and sing a positive song. “One Billion Rising” is a movement that first began in 2013 as a fierce struggle against sexual and physical violence. The movement took on advocacy against rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, building on the famous “V-Day” campaigns begun by activist Eve Ensler 18 years ago. Julia Daye is one of the local organizers of One Billion Rising - Taos. She works with other organizations and said she likes stepping into the organizing role every year. “Here in Taos, women face a lot of difficulties. In New Mexico in general, the statistic is that over 347,000 women are raped or beaten in their lifetime with a population of just over 2 million for the whole state. In Taos, unfortunately, a lot of these go unreported. And even when women do report them, ... a lot of people will tell you, very little seems to happen,” she said. She claims there were fewer charges, fewer arrests and subsequent prosecutions of sexual and domestic violence and, due to this neglect on the part of the law and public officials, there is subsequently a general lack of confidence among the females of Taos and places like Taos. In other places in the country, she added, the law and public officials would be considered good tools for safe action to counter the violence against women. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women in the world will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s where the number “one billion” comes from. Every February, women and men demonstrate in hundreds of countries across the world to show their  communities and the world what a billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of rape and violence most often face.   “We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable,” according to a statement at onebillionrising.org. The website goes on to make connections and associations between the One Billion Rising movement and other moments that are on the rise in the current political landscape.
“Over the last four years, as One Billion Rising has grown and the local campaigns deepened, it has also brought in economic violence and the violence of poverty, racial violence, gender violence, violence caused by corruption, occupation and aggression, violence caused by environmental disasters, climate change and environmental plunder, violence impacting women in the context of state-sponsored wars, militarization, and the worsening internal and international displacement of millions of people, and violence created by capitalist greed, among so many others,” the website says. What began four years ago as a worldwide “flash mob” dance protest has now also emerged as a collective act of defiance using art as a powerful political tool for resistance and protest. It’s also a colorful, diverse and creative demonstration of local and global solidarity. Activists around the world have highlighted where these systems support each other in the continuing oppression and exploitation of the most marginalized sectors that include women, children, indigenous communities, migrants, workers, youth and the LGBTQ community. The oppression cuts across gender, race, class, culture, religion and caste. Movement organizers are calling on everyone to hold their institutions of authority and justice accountable to end the culture of impunity and violence. This includes the media, schools, local and national governments and churches. “So much of the violence towards women and girls we are seeing today has at its root – deep-seated discrimination, exploitation, marginalization, and oppression – in all structural forms: economic, political, social, sexual, cultural,” the website states. Valentine’s Day, or V-Day, Tuesday (Feb. 14), participants will gather at Kit Carson Park at 3:30 p.m. with the dancing and singing starting at 4 p.m. After some time at the park, the group will march to Taos Plaza. The event will last until 5:30 p.m. Organizers are suggesting participants wear pink or red. Everyone is welcome.
There are free rehearsals Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 11-12) from 1-2 p.m. to learn the choreographed steps to “Break the Chain.” The dance practice is at High Altitude Health and Fitness (formerly the Northside Spa), 1307 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in El Prado. “There has been a growing interest as people hear about it year after year. We’re excited about this year because there has been an ongoing conversation about what it means to support women, especially in light of this new administration,” Daye said. “A lot of people, especially young people, thought progress for women was inevitable, but we’re finding out that’s not true. There’s a lot of conversations and women’s marches. People are excited, although there has always been an excellent level of participation in Taos.”

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