Still feminist, still fighting: Dec. 6 committee

We must all work for a society without gender-based violence

Banner of a women's symbol with a woman raising a fist and the text "reclaiming our power".

A banner at the Dec. 6 memorial event at George Brown College in 2014

Dec. 6 is recognized annually as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Each year Canadians unite in solidarity to honour the lives and memory of 14 women murdered at L’École Polytechnique de Montréal on Dec. 6, 1989.

An anti-feminist gunman wandered the halls of the university that day, separating women from their peers, promoting misogynistic beliefs and displaying an explicit hatred of feminists, before opening fire and murdering the women.

Not only is this a day to reflect on the tragic events of Dec. 6, 1989, but also to recognize the continuing acts of gender-based violence in our society. George Brown College’s annual remembrance event is to raise awareness and encourage everyone to work towards social change.

This year, the main issues being addressed at the event include the increasing numbers of missing and murdered indigenous women and why black lives matter.

According to our new federal government’s commitment to take action and launch an inquiry of missing and murdered aboriginal women, we support the coalition of First Nations and advocacy organizations that are requesting pre-inquiry consultation. We also must make sure that they include the families of the women, when establishing the inquiry’s terms of reference and its process for selecting commissioners.

In Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne said that sexual violence “was rooted in misogyny which is deeply ingrained in our culture.” She announced that her government’s newly created plan to combat sexual violence has multiple prongs—from public awareness to funding and legislative change. It seems that there will be no more passing the blame to other levels of government, no more debating or studying if there really is a problem.

Black Lives Matter, an advocacy group working towards police accountability, is demanding a public apology and making visible the racism perpetrated against black members of our community. We are saying “no” to police violence in our communities.

The students of George Brown’s assaulted women’s and children’s counsellor advocate program are speaking out about the relevance of today’s organizing. After 26 years, the murder of 14 women at L’École Polytechnique de Montréal is still in the forefront of our minds. It is still risky to identify as a feminist without receiving threats. Gender-based violence in our society has multiple faces that require us to take action using various strategies to eradicate it.

We say “no” to a society that condones gender based violence.

 

The Dec. 6 committee is a group of students and faculty from George Brown’s assaulted women’s and children’s counsellor advocate program. They will be holding a college-wide memorial on Dec. 7, at George Brown College, 200 King St. E in the main lobby from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m..

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Still feminist, still fighting: Dec. 6 committee