Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal. They died because they were women.
As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
We must never forget...
GENEVIEVE BERGEON , 21 years
HELENE COLGAN, 23 years
NATHALIE CROTEAU, 23 years
BARBARA DAIGNEAULT, 22 years
ANNE-MARIE EDWARD, 21 years
MAUD HAVIERNICK, 29 years
BARBARA MARIA KLUCZNIK, 31 years
MARYSE LAGANIERE, 25 years
MARYSE LECLAIR, 23 years
ANNE-MARIE LEMAY, 27 years
SONIA PELLETIER, 28 years
MICHELE RICHARD, 21 years
ANNIE ST-ARNEAULT, 23 years
ANNIE TURCOTTE, 21 years
"I can't help but think about the morning of Wednesday, December 6, 1989: young women getting out of bed as if it were any other day, appearing mildly distracted at breakfast, their heads full of details for the next exam, or vacation plans for Christmas. Dreaming. Thinking about life. At that very moment, elsewhere in the city, someone who probably hasn't slept all night is writing his hate letter, preparing his weapon and his ammunition, going over each step leading him to his death mission. He's found scapegoats for his failures: women, who deny the existence of the old father who commands, gives orders, excludes, dominates, punishes, beats, who holds the right to life or death over women and their children. The killer-to-be knows that the Almighty father can never exist again, and he would do anything rather than accept the challenge his own life represents: to deserve, not overpower, the love which is no longer his privilege simply because he was born male. His reasoning is superficial, one-dimensional: women today are out of line; all feminists want to be like men, so there's only one solution, to put them in their place before it's too late, before women become human beings like everybody else. No more, no less."
(excerpt from "A Matter of Life or Death: Second Installment" by Ã‰laine Audet, The Montreal Massacre (gynergy books 1991)
"When I think of that poor young girl who, lying on her stretcher, said that she wasn't even a feminist, I feel like crying. When I think of that girl in the classroom, the only one who tried to reason with the killer, crying out: "We're not feminists. We're only women who want an education,"
I feel like screaming."
(excerpt from "Letter to the Media" by Louise Malette, The Montreal Massacred (gynergy books 1991).
*For more information or to donate to the YWCA December 6th fund: http://www.dec6fund.ca/
* More information about local events and the University of Toronto December 6th candlelight vigil (Philosopher's Walk) http://status-women.utoronto.ca/16dayscalendar07.html
**On December 6th and every day please take some time to remember....
Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI)
140 Holland St. West, PO Box 13022
Bradford, ON, L3Z 2Y5