Not forgotten: 28 years since 14 women slain at l'École Polytechnique


Bouquets of red, pink and white roses were laid outside Ecole polytechnique on Wednesday at the foot of a plaque bearing the names of the 14 women who were killed there 28 years ago.

Fourteen women were killed at École Polytechnique nearly 30 years ago, simply because they were women.

Every year on December 6, people across the country remember the victims of École Polytechnique shooting and raise awareness about gender-based violence.

Seven out of 10 Albertans have known a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse, McLean said. It began on International Day for the Elimination of Violence will end on International Human Rights Day.

"It actually seems to me the start of a culture change, that women aren't going to be as afraid to come forward".

Violence against women and girls is not just a women's issue.

Mercifully, there were no new local names to add to the list of victims this year, said Andy Lou Somers, with East Prince Women's Information Centre and one of the memorial's organizers. A victim, her mother says, of someone with a violent past who targeted women.

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"Today is a day to reflect on the reality that violence against women and girls remains pervasive in our society".

On Dec. 6, we commemorate and honour the lives of everyone who has died from gender-based violence and the intersection of systemic discrimination such as homophobia, poverty, and racism, including discrimination against Indigenous Peoples.

Police enter the École Polytechnique after a lone gunman opened fire at the school in Montreal on December 6, 1989.

A co-founder of the Victim Justice Network, de Villiers said that while strides had been made in the effort to combat violence, more work is needed.

He said more has to be done to combat gender-based violence at home and overseas through fighting injustice and inequality.

"This event is named a ritual and a ritual by its very design honours grief, sadness, and anger and then moves through that to transform it into hope for action", said Young-Milani. It not only led to stricter gun control laws in the country, but it sparked national discussion on how to address gender-based violence.

"They were promising engineering students, murdered for one reason: they were women", Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean said in a statement.

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