Tomorrow marks the 26th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when a gunman murdered 14 female engineering students at the École Polytechnique at the University of Montreal.
Marc Lepine injured fourteen others before taking his own life.
Today, Vancouver’s Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter held a memorial conference on violence against women to mark the occasion.
Crisis worker Louisa Russell says it’s about celebrating the work done to prevent similar horrors in the future.
“We’re demonstrating in a plethora of ways the many creative, bold, bright moves that women have taken this year to resist male violence.”
The Montreal attack was explicitly targeted at women. Lepine began his rampage by declaring his hatred of feminists, and asking male students to leave the room before opening fire.
— VancouverRapeRelief (@VanRapeRelief) December 5, 2015
With the recent shooting and Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Russell says the memorial has particular weight this year.
“All across women are speaking up saying enough is enough, but that shooting was a really stark reminder that there’s a long way to go.”
Russell says despite the setbacks, 2015 has been a strong year for women standing up and fighting back, particularly in well publicized cases like that of Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi.