Monday, December 1, 2014

Community News

Action Against Violence

National Day of Remembrance for the École Polytechnique deaths Dec 6

Released by Patti MacAhonic, Ann Davis Transition Society


nce again as we near December 6th, we remember the Montreal Massacre and that terrible day of violence against women in 1989.


Although some things have advanced since then and awareness grows, others have regressed and to date we have the horrific spectre of more than 1200 missing and/or murdered Aboriginal women here in Canada.


Between 1980 and 2012, nation wide Canada saw 6,456 women of all races and ages, killed mostly by known male perpetrators.

I remember the Montreal Massacre of December 6, 1989 because I was living and going to University in Montreal. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a legally obtained Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle, shot twenty-eight people before killing himself at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.


My room mate, another female university student and I, first heard about the shooting when we started to get phone calls from family and friends in BC and Alberta who had picked up the news on television and were worried that we might have somehow been affected.


We attended Concordia University and had not yet heard the news about the well known Engineering school. It was chilling for us to hear that one man had nurtured such a hatred for women seeking to advance themselves in their chosen field, that he strode into a classroom and after segregating the women from the men, shot all nine of the women; accusing them of being feminists and killing 6 of them. He continued through the school and killed 14 women, injured 10 women and 4 men in total.


The gender-selective attack shocked all of Canada and moved Parliament to declare Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada in 1991.

Today it seems as though some sectors of our society have not learned anything from the carnage that day and in subsequent events. Women who are assertive or who succeed in what is generally a male dominated area of work or who are strong and proud of who they are, seem to be looked down on or vilified by some men who see themselves as threatened. Aboriginal and marginalized women are targeted indiscriminately.


When will it end? When will we all be respected and treated as individuals who are different in nature but equal in status? Perhaps only when enough women and men stand up and affirm that enough is enough and that the violence must end!

Join us ... Light a candle and help us lift the darkness.




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