Revolutionary Day of Love

Artistic Uprising 2/14/17

Last week, on Valentine’s Day, a large group of protesters gathered in Washington Square Park to participate in the Artistic Uprising as a part of the Revolutionary Day of Love.

The event, organized by members of the One Billion Rising group, spoke out in solidarity with women and minorities who are currently being targeted in the United States. A lot of the dialogue centered around President Donald Trump and his problematic Muslim Ban, Cabinet nominations, and the people surrounding him in the White House.

The stage on which people spoke and performed lit up the whole park.

Men and women, including event organizer Eve Ensler, got onstage to share their perspectives, advocate for their communities, share their stories, and inspire others.

At 6pm, the crowd took up a large portion of the park, and verbalized their passion for the cause by affirming and cheering as the speakers shared their spoken art. Even as Trisha Alexandro became emotional and choked up during her deeply personal story, the crowd encouraged her to continue and to not be scared.

Singers, poets, politicians, and actresses were among the variety of artists and activists who combined their abilities to get their message across to the crowd, the general public, and anyone who was willing to listen. The message? that oppressed groups of people and their allies will continue to rise against the Trump Regime and fight for their rights. Everyone involved in the event made it clear that they were not going anywhere any time soon, and were determined to make sure that the people oppressing them were taken down.

The words of these people certainly inspired the spectators, and even encouraged people who were just passing by, to stop and see what was happening. Several people, including 28 year old Arielle Goldman and her friends, said this was their first time attending a One Billion Rising event, but had decided to “continue their support and stay involved in such an important issue.”

A sign created in reference to Donald Trump’s comments about offensive speech towards women being simply, “locker room talk.”

The crowd consisted of men and women, young and old, all with different backgrounds, but with the common ground of having something to fight for.

No one in the crowd seemed to mind that the protest was occurring on Valentine’s Day. In fact, NYC Comptroller and longtime public servant Scott Stringer said, “I told my wife to choose what we did for Valentine’s Day, and said she wanted to be with Eve [Ensler] and all of you.” His dedication and that of everyone involved was inspiring, and the vocality of the audience reflected the passion behind the movement.

Simona Kobe, 24, said that she felt it was appropriate to have such a protest on Valentine’s Day, because it “paralleled the message of love over hate.” She also remarked that the nick-name of the event, V-Day, was important because of the “V” which referenced female genitalia and, therefore, female empowerment.

Another point of view, given by Amanda, 20, was that since Valentine’s Day is so commercialized and born out of capitalism, having an event that brings the true meaning of the holiday is refreshing. She said, “it makes it less about your romantic partner, and more about loving strangers and even your enemies by working towards equality for all.”

By the end of the night, the crowd was energized and left feeling that their Valentine’s Day had been more than roses and over-priced candy.

One Billion Rising has annually held this event on Valentine’s Day and intends to continue Rising until the needs of society are met.