Montreal Bloodbath victims honoured in candlelight vigil at Ottawa’s Ladies’s Monument

Fourteen lights shine skyward at a vigil honouring the victims of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique assault on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Montreal.


A candlelight vigil was held Thursday to recollect the 14 younger girls who have been gunned down at l’École Polytechnique de Montreal nearly three a long time in the past.

The ladies — 12 of them engineering college students — have been murdered by 25-year-old Marc Lépine, who had tried and didn’t earn a spot in the identical college.

He blamed feminists for ruining his life.

Subsequent yr will mark the 30th anniversary of what turned often known as the Montreal Bloodbath, which shocked the nation on the afternoon of Dec. 6, 1989.

Holly Campbell, organizer of an advocacy group often known as As a result of Wilno, known as on the 300 individuals who gathered Thursday at Ottawa’s Ladies’s Monument to decide to working towards making certain that subsequent yr’s anniversary is marked by progress on the difficulty of violence towards girls.

“It’s as much as all of us to do the work that should be performed in order that subsequent yr after we collect right here — 30 years from the Polytechnique tragedy — we will additionally report on progress,” Campbell mentioned.

As a result of Wilno was based within the aftermath of the homicide of three Ottawa Valley girls by Basil Borutski, who was sentenced final yr to life in jail for the one-day killing spree.

Campbell famous latest UN report on gender-based violence discovered that “the unhappy actuality is that worldwide, probably the most harmful place for a lady is her own residence.”

That report, by the UN Workplace on Medicine and Crime, mentioned that 58 per cent of the 87,000 girls killed final yr died by the hands of male companions or members of the family.

It means, Campbell mentioned, that 137 girls around the globe are killed by members of the family each single day.

“The underlying causes have been studied for many years,” he mentioned, “however girls in our communities proceed to be killed. Twenty-nine years of vigils and poems and laying flowers and lighting candles has not stopped the killing. We have to do one thing totally different.”

She known as on the group to “demand brave management now:” demand that metropolis council ship extra inexpensive housing; demand that Queen’s Park higher fund frontline companies for sexual assault centres; and demand that the federal authorities deal with revenue inequality.

Michelle Lemieux, a human rights advocate and member of the Jap Ottawa Useful resource Centre, instructed those that gathered Thursday night time that gender-based violence crosses each socio-economic and cultural barrier. “Gender-based violence happens day-after-day in each metropolis and each village the world over,” she mentioned.

The vigil, organized by the Ladies’s Occasion Community of Ottawa, featured poetry, songs, candlelight and flowers. The names of the 14 victims of the Montreal Bloodbath have been learn out, and every of their lives described.

The vigil additionally honoured these killed in gender-based violence in Nationwide Capital Area this yr, together with:

  • Elizabeth Salm, 59, a volunteer for the First Church of Christ, scientist, who was killed Could 24 in a church studying room. Salm was remembered for her kindness, gentleness and love for her household.
  • Safaa Marina, 53, died on Feb. four, murdered by her husband at their Ottawa residence. Marina got here to Canada from Syria three a long time in the past and was remembered as a loving mom to 3 sons.
  •  Claire Hébert, 58, of Gatineau, was killed at her residence on Jan. 30. She was remembered as a loving mom of two and a grandmother.
  • Maria Desousa, 81, died at residence on Feb. 10. She was remembered as a loving mom of three kids, a grandmother of 5 and a great-grandmother of two.
  • Emilie Maheu, 26, was discovered useless on Oct. 13 in a discipline in Glengarry. Maheu was remembered because the mom of her much-loved two-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

The vigil was certainly one of dozens of comparable occasions held throughout the nation as a part of the Nationwide Day of Remembrance and Motion on Violence In opposition to Ladies.

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