Throwing random flash mob dance parties was always a good time. Now it’s also a way to combat domestic violence.
Scores of people flooded the Plaza de la Cultura in San José last Friday as part of One Billion Rising, a global campaign to end violence against women. They formed a tight group in the middle of the square and began a synchronized dance, attracting hundreds of spectators over the next five minutes.
“It’s not just us,” said Joan Dewar, representing Blooms, a women’s empowerment organization based in the Central Valley. “I saw last year on Facebook that the event was taking place around the world. We did a little one last year in Grecia, but this year it’s bigger, because we got together with the University of Peace.”
Indeed, numerous organizations helped coordinate the flash mob, including UPEACE, Blooms, The Humanitarian Foundation of Costa Rica, and The International League of Women for Peace and Liberty. The event attracted such a varied group of people that many participants did not meet in person until minutes before the flash mob took place.
One Billion Rising refers to the number of women expected to be victims of violence within their lifetimes. Founded by playwright Eve Ensler (author of “The Vagina Monologues”), One Billion Rising ballooned in the wake of the gang-rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi, India, and last year events took place in more than 200 countries.
“All of a sudden, the campaign got its voice,” said Dewar.
When the dance ended in a hail of cheers, co-organizer Briana Cavion took a microphone and spoke to the crowd in Spanish and English.
“We are united to say we will fight for equality for men and women together,” Cavion said. “Equality for all people, no matter what your country is.”
Added Dewar: “I think next year will be even bigger.”