Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looking back on the Montreal Massacre

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre: On Dec. 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered the engineering school École Polytechnique and killed 14 women and injured 10 other women and four men.

According to Wikipedia:
"Lépine had long complained about women working in non-traditional jobs, and after separating men and women in a classroom, he shot the women, claiming that he was fighting feminism. He then moved into other parts of the building, targeting women as he went, before killing himself. His suicide note blamed feminists for ruining his life."You can read his note at the Wikipedia link. Warning, it's disturbing.

I don't know how many people in the United States (or elsewhere outside of Canada) know about this event. The U.S. has, of course, had a number of school shootings, but you never hear this one brought up when news stories talk about deadly massacres. Why is that? Because it happened in Montreal? Because the victims were women? Because it was a hate crime, and not a "random act of violence?"

Since 1991, every Dec. 6 in Canada is marked as National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, to commemorate the event and remember those who died. We non-Canadians should all join them.

More reading:
  • I highly recommend this article from The Star, "Lessons of the Montreal Massacre," with the summary of "Twenty years ago Sunday, Nathalie Provost yelled 'We are not feminists' as Marc Lépine sprayed her and her classmates with bullets. Today, the engineer and mother of four says: 'I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist.'"
  • I also highly recommend Antonia Zerbisias' post on the subject, "The F Word."
  • Ontario Federation of Labour Statement: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women December 6, 2009
  • The Canadian Press: "Killer Lépine did not destroy hope at Polytechnique, massacre survivors say"
  • Calgary Herald: "Killer's gun shots echo 20 years later"

1 comment:

Jha said...

Thank you for writing this.

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