Thousands of demonstrations in over 200 countries are planned for Valentine's Day this week, to call attention to the effort to end violence against women and girls. Healdsburg is one of them, with a noon "flash mob" dance to be held at the Plaza.
Known as the international One Billion Rising campaign, it was spurred by Eve Ensler, author of the "Vagina Monologues," to end violence in all its forms. It is Ensler's goal that by Thursday, every country in the world will be signed up to participate.
In Healdsburg, the demonstration will take place at the Healdsburg Plaza with a noon start time. Participants will perform a song and dance flash mob to the organization's anthem, "Break the Chains” -- first in English, and then in Spanish. Men are invited to stand in solidarity and support, forming a semi-circle around the dancers, and singing with the women.
Lyrics of the song include "I can see a world where we all live safe and free from all oppression. No more rape or incest or abuse, women are not a possession.”
A video of the dance and English-language song is available with this article or on YouTube at http://youtu.be/fL5N8rSy4CU.
Local demonstration organizer is Janice Blalock, a Zumba instructor in area health clubs including Healdsburg's Parkpoint. "I'm hoping to get at least 20 participants," Blalock said, adding that she's had a couple rehearsals already.
"It's a beatiful song, and it's very empowering," she said. "We really want people to be there!"
Details and ways to participate in Healdsburg are on this page.
Ensler writes, "More than 1 out of every 3 women on this planet will experience violence during her lifetime. With 7 billion people on the planet, that's one billion women. One Billion Rising is a global strike, a call to refuse to participate until rape and rape culture ends. It's a solidarity reach. Dance joins us and pushes us to go further, and that is why it's at the center of One Billion Rising."
The One Billion Rising website currently says 203 countries are participating. Today it was announced that San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is helping to organize a choreographed dance by inmates and staff at county jails on Thursday as part of the international campaign against domestic violence.
Mirkarimi, whose own domestic violence case nearly led to his ouster from office last year, has invited the group Dancing Without Borders to coordinate a dance in both the men's and women's jails, sheriff's Chief Deputy Kathy Gorwood said today.
Everyone is invited to participate in this movement by joining a local action. Just go to onebillionrising.org and type in your zip code to find the action nearest you.