december 6th candlelight vigil
Today marks the “National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women” as folks across Canada take action to end gender-based violence and remember the tragedy that took place on December 6th 1989, when an armed man walked into an Engineering class at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal and tragically murdered women for being women and learning what he considered a “man’s field of study.” This tragedy reflects our need to continue critically interrogating the hate in society because it leads to tragic violence.
Gender based violence and violence against womyn exists in all countries and in all societies. This violence happens in private and public places, and in physical as well as virtual online spaces. Although gender-based violence affects millions of folks around the world every single year, not all of the violence makes headlines.
In the movement to end gender based violence the lives of these 14 womyn murdered in Montreal have overshadowed the countless womyn of colour, indigenous womyn, trans women, disAbled folks and queer folks who face violence, whose stories are still unaccounted for and whose lived experiences don’t make headlines.
December 6th is a time that we remember and take action to end ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE against womyn. Sexism as well as racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and other forms of discrimination are all violence so when we address gender-based violence we have to connect it to all other forms of violence to take meaningful and constructive action.
Today we remember the womyn murdered on december 6th in Montreal, we remember the missing and murdered indigenous womyn in Canada, we remember womyn subject to sexual, physical, economic, political and structural violence and we remember colonialism not as a part of our past but rather a process that continues to have detrimental impacts on our present. The structures that paved the way for inequities in society must be recognized to take action on gender based violence.