First of all, what is flashmobbing?
Flashmobbing means slightly different things to different people. (wiki definition of flashmob)
In its purest form flashmobbing might be described as any group behaviour which involves interaction, improvisation and spontaneity for no other purpose than to break out of the habitual trance state we are all prone to entering due to the monotony of daily routines (job, commuting, TV, shopping) and learned socialization and instead enter into a more heightened state of awareness and vitality, and also to express and transmit this heightened state to others.
In other words flashmobbing is playing when it is done by grown ups.
It its most impure form it might be described as a contrived and cynical parody of all of the above by corporations in order to advertize their products and services.
A third category would be flashmobbing used to raise awareness of a good cause or campaign.
Trafalgar Square, London hosted an awareness spreading flashmob event on April 4th 2011. According to this in the Metro online:
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 11
146 West End Stars hold a flashmob in support of the non-profit organistation Love 146, which campaigns to end child sex slavery and exploitation, at Trafalgar Sqaure on April 11, 2011 in London, England.
(Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Who are ‘Love 146’?
According to their website Love 146 is a non profit campaign group dedicated to the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. I have never heard of them before, have you? Unfortunately this event does not seem to have got much publicity or coverage in the mainstream media.
Here’s how Love 146 got their name (according to their website).
In 2002, the co-founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of our co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel, where they witnessed children being sold for sex. This was their experience. This is the story that changed our lives.
“We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification. They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children…raped each night… seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness. Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us, with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl…
“…All of these emotions begin to wreck you. Break you. It is agony. It is aching. It is grief. It is sorrow. The reaction is intuitive, instinctive. It is visceral. It releases a wailing cry inside of you. It elicits gut-level indignation. It is unbearable. I remember wanting to break through the glass. To take her away from that place. To scoop up as many of them as I could into my arms. To take all of them away. I wanted to break through the glass to tell her to keep fighting. To not give up. To tell her that we were coming for her…”
Watch this video:
If anyone was there in Trafalgar Square either watching or participating (or filming?) please leave a comment/ video link – thank you!
And a big thank you to Love 146 and to all the flashmobbers!
Trafalgar Square hosted another event recently aimed at raising public awareness of the abuse of children. The UK Rally Against Child Abuse was held there last year on Saturday 7th August. Unfortunately, this event was not heavily publicized or covered by the mainstream media either. And according to one of the event’s speakers, the filmaker Bill Maloney of Pie and Mash Films, over 600 members of parliament were invited to attend……….. not one single MP showed up.
Here’s Bill Maloney talking about his personal campaign to sort out institutional child abuse to ITV London News who were present to cover the event that day. I am not sure how much of this interview (or the event) was ever broadcast by the television though. Does anyone know?
Bill Maloney meeting fellow survivors on that day
Bill Maloney addressing the public (video contains some heartfelt language peppered with the occasional swear word)
There were many speakers that day. Here’s David Icke telling it like it is…
…. and here’s Minty Chalice speaking out
Another speaker that day was Robert Green who is investigating/ campaigning for the Hollie Greig alleged child abuse case. Here’s a very brief overview of that case taken from Robert’s own blog
Hollie Greig alleged in 2000 that she was the victim of a paedophile gang in Aberdeen. Her mother Anne was forcibly sectioned within days of the allegations being made. Hollie was awarded £13,500 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in spite of the fact that no-one was ever charged with any crime. Grampian Police only interviewed two of the fourteen people named by Hollie as abusers and none of the six people she named as fellow-victims.
Here is (part 1) of a talk given by Robert Green outlining this extraordinary and shocking case in more detail.
An interview with Hollie, her mother Anne Greig and Robert Green from April 2010
Kenny MacAskill questioned by Robert Green at Portobello Hustings
(Edited to add: More videos of Robert’s campaign can be found here)
Watching these people speak from the heart, from experience, and with such passion and conviction is – I’m sure you will agree – an emotional experience. And it raises so many questions about this world we live in that it is hard to know where to begin. For example, why do we not spend more time championing these causes to protect such vulnerable children (as all children are), and why don’t we regard the people who do campaign so valiantly as some of society’s greatest heros and heroines?
I can’t imagine anyone (apart from those who actually abuse children) who wouldn’t want to see child abuse exposed and stopped wherever possible. Therefore supporting these campaigns and championing their campaigners should be a ‘no brainer’ cause, right?
So in that case why is it that these people are often left shouting to crowds of 50-100 people in Trafalgar Square (London’s population is approx 10,000,000) while later that evening millions at a time will tune in to watch mass entertainments like televised ‘X-factor’ or ‘Masterchef’ game shows or televised football games every evening or every weekend?
This can’t even be properly explained away using the idea of ‘selfishness’, because surely the satisfaction and ‘feel good factor’ of helping to bring these causes to light, bring them to justice and in doing so help prevent any future abuse of children must outweigh the ‘feel good factor’ of watching a bunch of fame obsessed out-of-tune singers, celebrity cooking wannabe’s or even the most talented sports games players?
The next video happens to feature David Beckham but is not meant to be a personal criticism of his contribution to society (it could have been any overpaid sports, music or movie celeb). But this example of an overblown ceremony of sports celeb adoration does raise the valid question: why are we not treating these researchers and campaigners like Robert Green who are fighting so hard to stop the rape of children a bit more like this?!!!
In a future post I will look further into why today’s adults are not only failing in their duty to protect their own children (and the children’s generation as a whole), but are also helping to perpetuate society’s dysfunctional condition in the process.
Meanwhile, I found this wonderful TEDx talk by Chameli Ardagh on ‘….. how to allow for a natural response towards injustice, without creating more hurt, how to embody the power and beauty of feminine rage, why we are called to step up and give voice to the power of the fierce feminine, and how anger is not intrinsically negative, only what we do with’.
When it comes to understanding, and then dealing with injustices such as child abuse of all kinds, this might be a good starting point.
Every 80 years or so the whole population of the planet is replaced, yet the dysfunction at the core of our society (but not, I would suggest, at the core of our human nature) never changes. What is going on with that? Clearly some kind of ‘damage’ is being passed down somehow from each generation to the next to create an unbroken cycle.
The fact that we are so utterly familiar with society’s dysfunctional state does not mean we necessarily understand its root cause at all (but it does mean we are more likely to accept it without even questioning why).
But if we were to ever gain a proper understanding then perhaps society could be transformed, quite naturally, simply as a result of that increased understanding.
Or to put it another way:
Just what incredible changes to civilization might we see if we could allow just one new generation to grow up free from systematic sexual/ violent abuse by adults?
At the moment any answer is speculative because it’s never happened before.