Flash mobs broke out across several continents yesterday, Valentine's Day, to raise awareness of the altogether too-frequent acts of violence against women. Sponsored by the campaign "One Billion Rising" (named for a recent horrifying United Nations statement that roughly 1 billion women—approximately 1 in 3—will be subject to a rape or beating in their lifetime), hundreds upon thousands of women (and men) took to the streets of cities worldwide including Chicago, San Francisco, London, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Hawaii, Dehli and Steubenville, Ohio. In fact, flash mobs in 203 countries were scheduled to rise up and demand an end to the violence. Visit the One Billion Rising site to see footage of the protests and dances—they're really powerful.
Although it's February 15, the action isn't over. You can still get involved. One Billion Rising was created by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, who, in 1998 founded V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Many V-Day events occur throughout the year at various locales (called V-Spots), and you can even organize your own. See http://www.vday.org/take-action to learn more.
photo by Anindito Mukherjee/European Pressphoto Agency; via india.blogs.nytimes.com