1,000-shoe online art gallery walks Friday in memory of women killed in British Columbia

VANCOUVER – On the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, in which more than a dozen women were killed at a university, hundreds of shoes lined the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday.

On the evening of December 6, 1989, an armed man entered the École Polytechnique de Montreal and killed 14 women in what was called an anti-feminist mass massacre before taking his own life.

“Thirty years ago, 14 young women were shot dead in a horrific act of violence that shocked people in British Columbia, Canada and around the world,” said a joint statement issued by the Prime Minister John Horgan and Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.

“On December 6, 1989, these women were full of life, with a bright future ahead of them. Their life was cut short by a man who entered a mechanical engineering course at École Polytechnique de Montreal. He separated the women, claimed feminists had ruined his life and opened fire, killing 14 people and injuring many more. “

Now December 6 is also known as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and an annual memorial is placed on the steps of the art gallery to recognize the women who are killed each year in Colombia. -British.

But BC human rights commissioner Kasari Govender said violence against women takes many forms in the province, adding that misogyny should be singled out as the driving force behind gender-based violence.

“On two occasions in the past two weeks, a Canadian appeals court has had to issue acquittals in cases that have perpetuated long-debunked myths about sexual assault complainants,” Govender said in a statement. Press.

“The violence committed against these women by the men in their lives was excused or diminished because of what they were wearing or, in the case of a child raped by her stepfather, because a judge ruled that ‘she had shown an interest in sex. In this way. thought is odious and discriminatory, and it must stop. “

Horgan and Dean’s statement indicates that British Columbia still has a long way to go.

“Every week in our province, there are approximately 1,000 physical or sexual assaults against women. These assaults disproportionately target Indigenous women and girls, people of color, transgender people and people with disabilities, ”the statement said.

“Today we call on all British Columbians to join us in commemorating and unite with us in ending gender-based violence.”

A ceremony was held in Vancouver on Friday at 1 p.m. outside the gallery and the names of the victims were displayed with the 1,000 shoes.

The shoes were subsequently donated to women’s emergency shelters.

For the past several years, the memorial service has been held on the Robson Street gallery side, but with the construction of a permanent car-free plaza underway, this year’s service has been held on the Georgia Street side.

In Victoria, a public vigil was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. outside the Parliament Buildings and the Canadian flag was at half mast from sunrise to sunset.


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