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National Day Of Remembrance

December 6,  is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

We must never forget…

GENEVIÈVE BERGEON , 21 years
HÉLÈNE COLGAN, 23 years
NATHALIE CROTEAU, 23 years
BARBARA DAIGNEAULT, 22 years
ANNE-MARIE EDWARD, 21 years
MAUD HAVIERNICK, 29 years
BARBARA MARIA KLUCZNIK, 31 years
MARYSE LAGANIÈRE, 25 years
MARYSE LECLAIR, 23 years
ANNE-MARIE LEMAY, 27 years
SONIA PELLETIER, 28 years
MICHÈLE RICHARD, 21 years
ANNIE ST-ARNEAULT, 23 years
ANNIE TURCOTTE, 21 years

“I can’t help but think about the morning of Wednesday, December 6, 1989: young women getting out of bed as if it were any other
day, appearing mildly distracted at breakfast, their heads full of details for the next exam, or vacation plans for Christmas. Dreaming.
Thinking about life. At that very moment, elsewhere in the city, someone who probably hasn’t slept all night is writing his hate letter,
preparing his weapon and his ammunition, going over each step leading him to his death mission. He’s found scapegoats for his failures:
women, who deny the existence of the old father who commands, gives orders, excludes, dominates, punishes, beats, who holds the
right to life or death over women and their children. The killer-to-be knows that the Almighty father can never exist again, and he would
do anything rather than accept the challenge his own life represents: to deserve, not overpower, the love which is no longer his privilege
simply because he was born male. His reasoning is superficial, one-dimensional: women today are out of line; all feminists want to be
like men, so there’s only one solution, to put them in their place before it’s too late, before women become human beings like
everybody else. No more, no less.”

(excerpt from “A Matter of Life or Death: Second Installment” by Élaine Audet, The Montreal Massacre (gynergy books 1991)

“When I think of that poor young girl who, lying on her stretcher, said that she wasn’t even a feminist, I feel like crying.
When I think of that girl in the classroom, the only one who tried to reason with the killer, crying out: “We’re not feminists.
We’re only women who want an education,” I feel like screaming.”

(excerpt from “Letter to the Media” by Louise Malette, The Montreal Massacred (gynergy books 1991).

*For more information or to donate to the YWCA December 6th fund:  http://www.dec6fund.ca/

**On December 6th and every day please take some time to remember….

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From Footnote to Fame in Civil Rights History

By BROOKS BARNES

Published: November 25, 2009

On that supercharged day in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Ala., she rode her way into history books, credited with helping to ignite the civil rights movement.

Claudette Colvin in a portrait taken in November (left) and as a child around 1953.

Ms. Colvin around 1953.

But there was another woman, named Claudette Colvin, who refused to be treated like a substandard citizen on one of those Montgomery buses — and she did it nine months before Mrs. Parks. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his political debut fighting her arrest. Moreover, she was the star witness in the legal case that eventually forced bus desegregation.

Yet instead of being celebrated, Ms. Colvin has lived unheralded in the Bronx for decades, initially cast off by black leaders who feared she was not the right face for their battle, according to a new book that has plucked her from obscurity.

Read Full Article

Women, Listen to Your Mothers

 Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes (with characteristic brilliance) on the abortion-activism generational divide. Her finding: the post-Roe generation gets less worked up about the right to choose “not because younger women are any less supportive of abortion rights than their elders, but because their frame of reference is different.”

I think she’s nailed it. I don’t believe that my generation is more pro-life than my mother’s generation, but I’m not sure that we understand what’s at stake. We’ve grown up in a time and place in which it’s unthinkable that any of us seeking an abortion would be told, No. No way.

The difference between the generations—and it’s both our blessing and our curse—is that my generation has the luxury of thinking about abortion in a more complicated way.  What are my feelings about abortion?  How can we fine-tune pro-choice rhetoric to reflect the complexity of abortion?

Read more at Reality Check.org

The HerStory (and Future) of abortion rights in America. No matter what you believe there is a troubled past when it comes to women’s reproductive rights in America and throughout the world…

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