Remembering Dec. 6

CDN Centre invites women to ceremony


By Joel Ceausu
www.thesuburban.com

A Côte des Neiges women’s centre is inviting all women to join the solemn commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre on Dec. 6.

It was 25 years ago, Dec. 6, 1989, that Marc Lépine murdered 14 young women at the Polytechnique and Femmes du monde à Côte des Neiges wants women to wear white ribbons in solidarity with each other and signal the urgent need to stop violence in all its forms.

Last year the organizations handed out more than 3,000 ribbons with community partners, and is this year hoping to reach and even greater number of Montrealers. FDM is also inviting women to join them at the centre’s office before the ceremony for a lunch and discussion about violence towards women in 1all its forms.

“We always try to talk about things before and after events,” says organizer Patrizia Vinci. “Many women still don’t know what Dec. 6 was, what had happened. It was here in Côte des Neiges at Polytechnique, which is still right here, and the Place du 6 décembre is here. Some who may have arrived in Montreal only two months ago might not understand. It’s our duty to inform them,” she told The Suburban. “It’s also a way for women of different backgrounds to share experiences and to realize that we have this problem of inequality between men and women in common, no matter where we come from, and violence is a major issue that we all struggle with.”

Since that day in 1989, 1,039 women and children have been killed by men in Quebec, and the vast majority of victims knew their killers, according to the sisyphe.org website, which posts the names of all victims of male violence.

Femmes du monde offers support and services to all women, and conducts outreach to the population through educational activities and information meetings about the fight against violence.

Vinci agrees that the current public discourse surrounding rape and sexual aggression is helpful to “start the conversation” about violence against women. “It’s always important to talk about it,” she says, “and the fact that it is often in the news these days helps us to open doors to more specifics: When is it rape? What is sexual aggression? There is still a lot of information to convey to women who may not be aware, especially if it happens in the family, of what their rights are here in Canada.”

“Violence against women cannot be seen as an isolated act,” she says, “or as a family problem, it’s all of society that has the problem.”

Women interested in participating in the noon discussion before the Saturday, Dec. 6 commemoration should come to 6767 Côte des Neiges, Suite 597. The group will depart by bus or on foot (depending on the weather) towards the ceremony, which takes place at 2 p.m. at the Place du 6 décembre memorial at the corner of Decelles and Queen Mary. For more information call [514] 735-9027.
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