Members of the Memorial community will gather together to remember a December day in 1989 that forever shattered the lives of 14 families. Dec. 6 has become the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.
Fourteen women were killed as they studied and worked at Montreal’s l’École Polytechnique. The massacre galvanized post-secondary institutions across the country to pause for reflection each year since.
This year, the 20th anniversary of this tragic crime, a vigil will take place on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Engineering Building, room EN-2006, where it is held every year. The event will include a candlelight procession and special readings. Emcee Kate Bride, of the Department of Women’s Studies, said remembrance is vital to remain aware of the pervasive violence against women.
“I think it's important to mark the anniversary because it keeps open an ongoing conversation about how we might better remember the violent murders of 14 women,” she said. “Remembrance holds the promise that if we do so, the horrific violence that occurred on Dec. 6, 1989, will not happen again. But, as we know, violence is still very much a part of our daily lives.”
Musician Nikki Janes will perform and guest speakers include New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael.
Marking the anniversary each year represents a time to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also a time to reflect on the women and girls who live daily with the threat of violence or have died simply because of their gender.
It is also a day for communities and individuals to reflect on concrete actions that each of us can take to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women.
The vigil is organized annually by the Department of Women’s Studies and Memorial’s Sexual Harassment Office.