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One Billion Rising framed a new nimbleness in women's protests
The success of a protest in media-saturated times can depend as much on its branding as the nobility of its cause. No one would argue that the goals of One Billion Rising, a global campaign initiated by playwright Eve Ensler to protest violence against women, are anything but virtuous. But the campaign is also a remarkable example of the ways in which the women's movement has evolved to embrace social media.
OBR marked its day of action on Valentine's Day, eschewing the traditional signifiers of protest, with few angry speeches, black flags or bra burnings. Instead, it adopted more artful methods to capture attention. In this country, where women's rights have become a political issue after the Delhi gangrape, OBR was celebrated with plays, dances and flashmobs. Balloons were released in London, there was dancing everywhere from Bangladesh to Amsterdam, and marches in Afghanistan and Fiji, among other places.