We must not forget
On Dec. 6, 1989, Marc Lépine walked into Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, armed with a rifle. Shouting “I hate feminists,” Lépine separated the men and women in one of the classrooms, and opened fire on the women. Fourteen women were murdered. Thirteen other people were injured.
Lépine believed that it was because of the female students at the university that he was rejected from engineering school. Before killing himself, Lépine left a letter containing a tirade against feminists, and a list of women in the city he wished he could kill – from firefighters and police officers, to politicians.
While a lot has changed since 1986, a lot still needs to be done. To some, feminism is still seen as a radical and dangerous movement, while to others, domestic violence is a normal and everyday reality. The Montreal massacre, and the women who lost their lives to the violence, is a haunting memory for Canadians that violence against women is still present, and needs to be put to an end.
“We need to encourage young women to see that feminism is not a dirty word, that women’s equality matters, that violence against women can and will affect them, and that they have a responsibility to act,” said Pamela Cross, a feminist lawyer, in her keynote speech titled ‘Violence Against Women: A Report Card.’
“You, like me, are here today because you want to commemorate the lives that Marc Lépine ended so abruptly on this day in 1989,” Cross went on saying in her speech. “We’re here because we still have work to do, and we want to be part of that work.”
This is a moment of silence and remembrance to those lives lost, and to those who continue to fight for justice and equality in our world.
Photo courtesy cbc.ca