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Fourteen Not Forgotten

December 6th, 2008     by Stark Koenig     Comments

It’s been 19 years since a man walked into Ecole Polytechnique and killed fourteen women, making a statement of hatred against women and against feminists. It’s easy to remember the name of someone who commits such an act, but not as easy always to remember the names of those who died.

It’s also easy to forget that the attack was not just some crazy individual losing control, but a man acting in a context of institutionalized sexism. In his note, the gunman blamed feminists for ruining his life, and vowed to take them down with him. In the near twenty years that has passed since the Montreal Massacre, have Canadian society’s attitudes towards feminism and feminists changed for the better? Or the worse?

I like to take time on December 6th to remember the names of those women who were killed as well as others who have suffered violence, been killed, gone missing, etc., in the time since. I also like to think about my own identity as a feminist, as a woman and as an agent in a sometimes complicit society. Maybe at some point I will also be able to forgive the gunman and add his name to this list, but that time has yet to come for me.

The Fourteen Not Forgotten

Genevieve Bergeron, 21 Helene Colgan, 23 Nathalie Croteau, 23 Barbara Daigneault, 22 Anne-Marie Edward, 21 Maud Haviernick, 29 Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31 Maryse Laganiere, 25 Maryse Leclair, 23 Anne-Marie Lemay, 27 Sonia Pelletier, 28 Michele Richard, 21 Annie St-Arneault, 23 Annie Turcotte, 21

For those of you who are interested in taking part in memorials today, there are a number of events going on throughout the country; here are a few:

Vancouver: Vancouver Rape Relief and Womens Shelter Day of Action Saturday, December 6th 10:00 -6:00 pm Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street

Toronto: Women Won’t Forget Day of Remembrance Saturday, December 6th 6:00 pm Philosopher’s Walk, University of Toronto (path off Bloor St. between the Royal Ontario Museum and the Royal Conservatory of Music)

Montreal: Ecole Polytechnique Memorial Saturday, December 6th All Day (No official ceremony, but visitors are encouraged to come to the Memorial Plaque and leave roses, ribbons, etc.)

Stratford, ON: Memorial of the Montreal Massacre Saturday, December 6th 3:45 Optimism Place, 270 Freeland Dr.

Calgary: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women Saturday, December 6th 12:00 Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre

Tags: activist report, event listings

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