December 6: A National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

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On December 6, a memorial service will be held at the Diamond Jubilee Terminal in Saint John to commemorate the thirty-second anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre. This mass murder was an anti-feminist attack at an engineering school in Montreal in 1989 resulting in the death of 14 women.

(UFCW/Website)

The memorial service is being held on Monday by the December 6th Memorial Committee. This service marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and will take place at 7:00 p.m.

This year, people across the country will gather at vigils and memorials to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered by a gunman chanting “I hate feminists.”

Why is December 6 nationally recognized?

The 14 victims of the 1991 Ecole Polytechnique shooting. (CBC News/Website)

In 1991, the Parliament of Canada announced the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada as an annual day of mourning and remembrance for those 14 young women.

December 6 is also a day to reflect that gender-based violence is still a prevalent reality for many women and children in domestic relationships. We remember thousands of other women who have not reported their physical or psychological abuse, whether inside or outside the home.

Saint John event

The memorial event in Saint John is being held at the Diamond Jubilee cruise terminal. (SJ Port/Website)

Lauren Lavric, a member of the December 6 committee, shared that they are inviting the community and media to join them in reflecting on the role we play in working to end gender-based violence.

The memorial will include speakers from Domestic Violence Outreach, Second Stage Housing, Coverdale, the Indigenous Community, and more. The Purple Ribbon Campaign will also be part of their “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and The Silent Witness Project”. 

The memorial will conclude with a candle-lit vigil walk to the Three Sisters Lamp. Proof of vaccination and masks will be required. Entrance/Exit to the event will be through the north “Staff Only” entrance. 

On December 6, join the rememberance of Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte and recommit to take action and confront all forms of violence against girls and women, wherever it is seen.