Today marks 30 years since the massacre at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal when 14 women were senselessly and violently murdered. On this December 6, we remember Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colga, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz.
Their deaths prompted Parliament to designate this date as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, when Canadians honour the memory of the 14, and those who continue to experience gender-based violence.
Until this year, the memorial plaque near the site of the murders did not mention that anyone was killed — instead referring to a “tragic event” — nor the fact that 14 women were gunned down simply because they were women. A new, recently erected plaque now states clearly that the women were killed in an antifeminist act, and explicitly condemns all forms of violence against women.
Naming and condemning gender-based violence is a concrete action against the disproportionate violence that women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals continue to face every day. CAUT supports the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign that runs annually from November 25 to December 10, which calls on each of us to share the concrete actions we are taking in our own communities and in our own lives to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence.