Canada’s National Day of Remembrance

In Memory – École Polytechnique, Dec. 6, 1989 from Faye Hicks’s Blog talks about this event:

Just after 4 pm on December 6, 1989 a man carrying a semi-automatic rifle entered the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada and shot 28 people.  He killed thirteen…  all women…  most were engineering students.  In the twenty years since, these women have been remembered each December in memorial ceremonies at engineering schools across Canada and around the world.  Probably every Canadian who remembers, or knows about, this event could name the murderer, but sadly few would be able to name even one of his victims.  So I will name them here – but I will not name him.  Never him.

Hicks, a professor of civil engineering,  mentions some changes brought about by this national tragedy, saying,

Did their deaths have meaning ? Of course not.  It was a senseless act of violence against women.  Did it make a difference?  Undoubtedly.  Perhaps not in terms of invoking better gun control laws as many (including me) might have hoped, but in terms of changing the school and working environment for women in engineering – absolutely.  Here are the things that vanished from my work world:

Here’s more on Canada’s National Day of Remembrance at Geek Feminism Blog: Marking the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

In the 20 years since this day, problems still remain. A report from the Canadian Labour Congress says,

For twenty years, women have been waiting for action. Twenty years is too long. On this anniversary of the December 6th murders, Canadians can take action to demand a serious government commitment to ending violence against women.

The Canadian Labour Congress has developed a campaign asking Canadians to send 20 postcard messages to the federal government. The campaign is called “20 Days 20 Ways to End Violence Against Women”.

An article in the Moose Jaw Herald states that the ceremony in Moose Jaw will emphasize action as well.

Karen Closs, executive director of transition house, said this year the ceremony, which is going to be held at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, is going to focus more on the action part of the day, opposed to the remembrance.

In remembrance.

UPDATE: See this article at BlogHer by SassyMonkey, a Canadian blogger: 20 Years after the Montreal Massacre We Still Remember.

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