Today we remember the events of December 6, 1989, we acknowledge the ways that violence continues to constrain and destroy the lives of women and girls, and we act to create a world without violence against women and girls.

Recently, Nathalie Provost, shot four times in 1989, went to Parliament Hill to urge MP’s not to end the long gun registry.  The goverment was bent on repeal, but Provost said:

We have to try now. It’s democracy. When you’re a citizen and you don’t agree, you have to speak up

Some of you may remember Provost’s words from 1989.  In response to the shooter’s separation of men from women, and assertion “J’haïs les féministes!”, she said:

We are not feminists…We are only women who are studying engineering.     We are only women who want to live a normal life.

Twenty years later, in 2009, she said

In 1989, feminism to me was a movement of women fighting to make sure women had the same rights as men. But as a woman, I never felt I needed to struggle; I believed doors were wide open for me. I used to see feminism as a conflict between men and women, but it’s not that for me now. … It’s making sure women have an equal chance. (source, Globe and Mail)

That same year, she told the Toronto Star,

“I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist. I was a woman studying engineering and I held my head up.”

 

This video promotes the YWCA’s Rose Campaign.  Click here to send a “virtual rose” to your MP – a message on how to support the fight against violence – to your MP.

You can see some news coverage from 1989 here in the CBC archives.  In 2009, a powerful  film based on the events of December 6th 1989 was released.  You can see a trailer for Polytechnique (dir Denis Villeneuve) here.  Read some reviews here.

Some men were inspired to speak out against VAW after December 6.  The White Ribbon campaign was started in Canada.  This year, they organized 16 Ways in 16 Days – 16 Ways that Men and Boys can Make a Difference.  This is the first year that the White Ribbon campaign will be without Jack Layton. one of the movement’s founders.

Take a moment to remember.