Today marks the 15th anniversary of December 6th, 1989, when 14 young women were killed at the cole Polytechnique in Montreal simply because they were women.
We gather to remember these young women and to offer our solidarity to their families and loved ones. This tragic event is still raw in our hearts, and it still weighs on our spirits. This hurt, and this heaviness, will remain until all women are free of violence and instead lead lives full of the love, respect and joy that all people deserve.
We gather in recognition of the fact that acts of violence against women have not ended. Sadly, there remains much to do here in Canada and throughout the world.
As working people we mark this grim anniversary with a renewed pledge to end violence against women. And as working people we know that justice, however urgently needed, does not come without struggle and perseverance. We must work every day against violence against women and campaign against this oppression the same as we have struggled against other injustices.
I urge you to support the campaign against violence against women being waged by the Canadian Labour Congress. That campaign, 15 days/15 ways to End Violence Against Women, puts womens social and economic rights at the forefront of the steps we need to take to truly purge womens lives of violence. Women need, and deserve, affordable, safe housing and economic security through fair wages, EI, and decent pensions. We need to ensure funding for womens centres, rape crisis centres and womens shelters and to support and protect, in law, women reporting sexual assault. Women need better protection at work and strong support systems for immigrant women. Canada must also work internationally to be a leader to make all women safe. More on the CLC campaign.
We gather to remember, and to pledge ourselves to fight to eliminate violence against all women.