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Thursday morning the Roundhouse was the site of a massive dance party when more than 800 dancers descended on the state capital to participate in a global movement to end violence against women, called One Billion Rising.
The brainchild of award winning poet, author, and playwright Eve Ensler, of Vagina Monologue fame, and her organization V-Day, One Billion Rising has been endorsed by British Parliament, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Robert Redford, Thandie Newman, Jane Fonda, Anne Hathaway, and countless other politicians and celebrities.
New Mexico’s very own State Representative Brian Egolf Jr. (D) brought One Billion Rising to the House floor Thursday morning when he requested permission to leave the session in order to join the demonstration outside and “dance.” He reportedly showed his peers a few moves before making his way out to the concourse where he gave a speech promising to help create better laws protecting women and children from violence.
V-Day organizer and Managing Director, Cecile Lipworth, told the crowd that she was rising so that her 10 year old daughter would not go to college and “become a statistic.” She explained that 1 in 5 female college students are victims of campus rape and that she did not want that to be her daughter’s future.
Lipworth also praised the men who showed up to show their support, while also asking that more men get involved and stop passively standing by while violence against women and girls takes place in their communities.
In all, New Mexico was joined by more than 200 countries and territories, including Iran, Pakistan, and the Congo, who participated in “Risings” around the world. The day’s events at the capitol building culminated with the entire Roundhouse crowd erupting into dance to the official One Billion Rising theme song, “Break the Chain, which began with a haunting a capella solo that cascaded into a rollicking R&B style anthem. Not satisfied with one play, the dancers repeated their performance three more times before striking out on a march to the Farmers Market escorted by the “Vagina Van,” and local police, where V-Day would be hosting live streaming of Risings from all over the world.
One Billion Rising participants wore red and black to show solidarity and held signs and banners to explain why they were “rising.” Many wore hand written posters taped to their backs: “I Am Rising Because: I want to end the oppression,” “I Am Rising Because: My sister was raped,” “I Am Rising Because, My Grandmother was violated, I was violated, and it stops with ME.” And a personal favorite, “I Am Rising Because: Well DUH!”
See more photos by Daniel Quat, www.danielquatphoto.com