By Angie Torres
On December 6, 1989 a gunman named Marc Lepine, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife, entered an Engineering class at L’ecole Polytechnique in Montréal. He separated the men from the women and ordered the men to leave. Lepine then went on a killing rampage around the school, which led to the deaths of fourteen women, and several others injured. After proclaiming his anti-feminist wrath, he took his own life.
Today, 21 years later, the horrific event (also known as the “Montréal Massacre“) has become the basis of recognizing widespread gender-based violence in our society that occurs every single day, here in Canada and beyond.
December 6 marks the national day of remembrance and, most significantly, ACTION on violence against women.
So remember the 14 women who died. Take a moment to reflect on the hundreds and thousands of woman and girls that have endured sexual, physical and verbal abuse and harassment at home, on campus, in the workplace or in any other public area. Mourn those that have disappeared or gone missing… and then, work for change.
Here are a few ideas to get inspired and take action:
– Event: [Today] Women’s College Hospital Remembers the Montreal Massacre at Women’s College Cummings Auditorium; 12 to 1 p.m. Call 416-323-6400 ext. 315 for more details.
– Hey, gentlemen: Try getting involved in the White Ribbon Campaign. The initiative calls on men to take responsibility, create awareness for other men and youth, and challenge patriarchal acts of violence against women.
– Get educated: Make sure to check out this earlier time line from our Winter 2010 print issue:
(Click to enlarge; go to page 15)
– There are many local and global organizations such as UNIFEM’s UNiTE campaign, Say NO to Violence, Canadian Women’s Foundation, WomenattheCentrE, among others that serve to empower, educate and stir action for equality (and safety for all).