Day of Remembrance.

This is late, but important.

As many of you probably know, yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of the Montreal Polytechnique Massacre – during which a man named Marc Lepine killed 14 women because he was “fighting feminism”.

Yesterday, we remembered :

Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

This anniversary is also commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, in Canada.
Here are a few links around the occasion :

At Shameless Magazine.

Marc Lepine purchased his weapons legally, and it’s in reaction to the Montreal massacre that more stringent gun control laws such as the gun registry were instituted. A gun registry that PM Harper aims to scrap. A survivor’s reaction.

“Je me souviens” – and what we don’t remember.

An old but relevant post by Jessica Yee : what is often forgotten about Dec. 6th.

13 comments for “Day of Remembrance.

  1. December 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I didn’t know this. But I do know now.

    Thank you for sharing this with me.

  2. December 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you, Mounia.

  3. superior olive
    December 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for posting about this. I was 12 when it happened, and it was inconceivable that this could happen here in Canada.

  4. LC
    December 7, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I had moved to Montreal two summers before.
    Still remember it.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of pushback on the concept this year. Lots of, “it should be a day against violence in general, not signaling out women” – which is really pissing me off. I don’t know if I just never noticed that pushback before or if it really has grown this year.

  5. LC
    December 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I think I should clarify. I’m not mad at the people who point out that remembering this while ignoring other violence is a problem, or that there is something to be said about the disproportionate prominence this has, being 14 white women, versus the often forgotten other days that are out there.

    It’s the idea remembering a specific incident, and the specific type of violence it represents, is somehow unseemly and should be shut down or appropriated to something broader and non-specific, which to me feels like whitewashing.

  6. December 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm


    I agree.. it pisses me off as well. Yes, there should be efforts to reduce ALL violence, not just violence against women.

    But in this case? There were no men murdered that day. These women were murdered for the crime of simply BEING WOMEN and daring to do things men do.

    So, I hope people will excuse me if I don’t take five freakin’ minutes to consider the menz.

  7. December 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I just learned about this myself. It is very important to remember these victims.

    Here’s a post I enjoyed about it called December 6, 1989.

  8. Laurent
    December 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I am a graduate of Polytechnique. I liked studying there and I was in a small specialty with a high (for engineering) women/men ratio.
    To this day, I cannot think about this incident without wishing that the guy had been captured alive and beaten to death by the students. I know it is not constructive but I just cant help it. Also, knowing the Harper government attitude about firearms still makes me sad about our politics in Canada. Lastly, I am also very sad about the loss of promising colleagues.

  9. Rob in CT
    December 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I’d never heard of this. I was 12 at the time, and in the US. Anyway, wow that’s awful.

    I agree that, given the act of violence was against women for the crime of being women, it’s entirely appropriate that a rememberance be all about violence against women.

  10. LC
    December 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Rob in CT, it was weird when I moved back to the States, and Columbine hit. It was treated like it was shocking, new, unprecedented, and the worst ever. It confused the hell out of me, because I thought Polytechnique was a lot more well known.

    Andie: So, I hope people will excuse me if I don’t take five freakin’ minutes to consider the menz.

    Indeed. Personally, I *would* like to see an “end violence against men” day, because the violence (almost all male on male) that is considered so “boys will be boys” is not a good thing.

    As far as a general Anti All Violence day, I would move for either International Peace Day or International Day of Non-Violence – even if each is somewhat more narrowly focused now. (State violence and Non-Violence as a tactic).

    I would also back any of the many other (anti-elderly violence, anti-child violence, anti-aboriginal violence, anti-transgender violence, etc. etc.) getting more push, more prominence. But I think each of those things tend to manifest in their own way, and treating them with a one-sized-fits-all approach remembrance isn’t right.

    By expanding the White Ribbon campaign to half the population, though, the people supporting it do have an obligation to include violence beyond educated white women.

  11. xenu01
    December 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    The most frustrating, terrible, awful thing about crimes like this is that these women never wanted to be remembered for dying so young. They wanted to go to school, get jobs, and be boring. They just wanted to live their lives. RIP.

  12. kungfulola
    December 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you for waiting until the 7th to post this; I prefer not to see the killer’s name mentioned as part of December 6th memorials on the actual day.

  13. Skye
    December 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I was 10 years old when this happened. I remember being frightened and confused: how could this happen? We girls had been told all our lives we could be whatever we wanted. How could it be that someone could hate women so much he’d kill 14 of them?

    I think that’s the day the feminist in me was born.

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