Dec 6 in Toronto
Thursday December 6th was Remembrance & Action Against Violence Against Women, stemming from the massacre of 14 women in Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique. Tara and I (and any of you) were unlucky in finding each other but it was my first attendance of a Dec 6 memorial so I was glad I was able to show support.
Women Won’t Forget December 6th held the memorial part at 6 pm, at the Philosopher’s Walk behind the Royal Ontario Museum – a serene atmosphere even within the heart of the city. 14 trees have been planted there in memory of the victims. Alicia Ross’ mother spoke, as well as a couple of women wishing to represent aboriginal people of Canada, North America, and the world. A few feminist men held up simple, spray-painted signs saying things like “Aboriginal Women R Missed” and “500 Missing,” referring to the 500 missing aboriginal women in Canada alone. Another young feminist also sang us some of her own songs, one that she had composed herself.
(On the comic relief side of things, it just so happened not intentionally that a couple of people’s candles lit their protective white cone paper wind-protectors on fire, oops!)
A line-up of women read various Canadian cases of women that have been sexually assaulted or murdered, both past and present, we took a moment of silence to remember & respect, and finally we placed a rose on the large rock as a symbol of our hope for change – sooner rather than later.
After the memorial there was also the option to head down to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (TWB) at 7 pm. There were a few performances by talented young feminists, including feminist rap! This event was very much to learn about the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC). They had a few pamphlets for sale from 10 cents to t-shirts.
I particularly liked a tee showing a woman sitting in a chair the opposite way you would sit down, with her legs on either side of the back, saying “No demand, no supply…..who profits from women’s bodies?”
Dec 6 was for the most part a quiet, memorial evening in Toronto (okay, except for those rappers and singers). It’s comforting to know that there are other women and men in our city who are passionate about equality. Slow but steady……