If you like your Valentine’s Day romance with a nice dose of political activism, here are two events to check out today:
• “One Billion Rising,” from noon to 1 p.m. at Tower Square, part of V-Day, an international movement working to stop violence against women.
“One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will become the victim of violence in her lifetime,” notes a press release from Springfield’s TSM Design, which helped organize the event via a new group called Western MA Rising. “With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.” Today’s Springfield event—and others around the region and across the world—is a call to end that violence.
The Tower Square event, emceed by one-time local news anchor Kathy Tobin, will include performances from Evelyn Harris, a former member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Valley Women’s Martial Arts, Small Planet Dancers and others. Western MA Rising’s member groups include the Women’s Fund of Western Mass,. the YWCA, Safe Passage, the United Way, the Springfield BID and the Sisters of Providence and of Saint Joseph.
• Later in the afternoon, local activists will deliver postcards to the Springfield offices of U.S. Rep. Richie Neal and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Mo Cowan, “calling for shifting money from the Pentagon to provide jobs, housing, and Medicare.”
“HAVE A HEART—No More Cuts! HAVE A HEART—Tax the 1%. HAVE A HEART—Increase Funding for Housing,” urges an announcement from the event’s organizers, Arise for Social Justice, the Alliance to Develop Power and Fund Our Communities, Not War.
Participants will meet at Warren’s office at 1550 Main St. at 12:30, then move to Neal’s office, at 300 State St., for a 12:45 rally, before delivering his cards at 2 p.m. Similar events are planned in other U.S. cities.