Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Montreal Massacre Remembered: Dec. 6, 2014 by Barbara Billey ARCWP

Montreal Massacre Remembered: Dec 6, 2014

It was a cold, drizzly day on December 6th, 1989 when a young man brandishing a firearm burst into a college classroom at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada. The 60 or so engineering students had little time to react before the men were ordered from the room and the gunman began shooting the women. Six female students were killed instantly, while three more were left injured.

The killer, 25-year old Marc Lepine was armed with a legally obtained mini-14 rifle and hunting knife: he had earlier told a shopkeeper he was going after “small game.” Lepine had previously been denied admission to the Ecole Polytechnique and had been upset, it later transpired, about women working in positions traditionally occupied by men. Before he opened fire, Lepine shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!”

The gunman then moved through the college corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot. By the time Lepine turned the gun on himself, 14 women were dead and another 10 were injured. Four men were hurt unintentionally in the crossfire.

In Canada, December 6th is a Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Michele Birch-Conery, Priest and Barbara Billey, Deacon stood in solidarity with other men and women on the campus of the University of Windsor, Canada to protest violence against women and to remember the tragic demise of the women killed in Montreal. As the feminist writer Andrea Dworkin said: “It is incumbent upon each of us to be the woman that Marc Lepine wanted to kill. We must live with this honor, this courage. We must drive out fear. We must hold on. We must create. We must resist.” 

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