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    Posted February 15, 2013 by
    New York City, New York

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    One Billion Rising: New York


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     beachtar photographed a flash mob in New York City’s Washington Square Park on February 14. He says the flash mob was organized by One Billion Rising, a group which aims to empower and promote women's rights across the globe. He explains that the flash mob was attended by hundreds of women who were campaigning to end violence against women. 'The dance itself was tremendously inspiring, even to the men in attendance. It was a gorgeous day. Spirits were incredibly high and the energy seemed to be very empowering to the women who participated,' he said. He says the flash mob was a joyous event, 'but I hope the feelings it engendered and the awareness it raised about violence against women carries far beyond that one event in that one park in New York.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I left New York City’s Washington Square Park yesterday after a One Billion Rising flash mob event with the oddest sense of female empowerment. Why odd? Well, mostly because I’m a man. Nonetheless, I found the spectacle and high-energy performance of nearly 300 women dancing to the strains of Tena Clark’s Break the Chain tremendously inspiring.


    The One Billion Rising campaign is based on the statistic that 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in her lifetime; astoundingly, that adds up to 1 billion women worldwide. This Valentine Day marked the 15th Anniversary of the founding of “V-Day” by award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, with the goal of ending violence against women and girls.


    Major events were planned in more than 200 countries worldwide, but nowhere was more going on than in New York City, where events were staged throughout the five boroughs in schools, in parks—even on the Brooklyn Bridge.


    If I felt empowered, I can only imagine how the women who took part in this dance flash mob felt. And indeed they showed how strongly affected they were, smiling, hugging and standing as one with their hands thrust in the air in the shadow of the Washington Square Park’s iconic arch.

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