Thirty-three years ago today, on December 6, 1989, fourteen young women were killed in an abominable, cowardly, anti-feminist crime when a man entered the École Polytechnique and started shooting, but not before asking the men present to leave the classroom.
Another sad anniversary, one might say. But although we pause each year to solemnly remember and honour these women, some well known celebrities can still claim to be unaware of this dramatic event. This deeply disturbing lack of memory or ignorance leaves one speechless. And must reinforce the determination of feminist organisations to fight violence against women and guns in the face of pressure from pro-gun lobbyists on government attempts to curb the circulation of assault weapons.
At Concordia, we remember and know all too well what, 30 years ago, an individual carrying and using an assault weapon did to his colleagues and the entire community.
“I didn’t know” is no excuse for naively supporting a pro-gun organisation that mocks the massacre and the Polytechnique anniversary for promotional purposes… So, despite the fact that more than 30 years have passed, we must, together with Poly Remembers and other organisations, continue to hammer home the message against violence against women and against gun violence, and especially against assault weapons like the one used by the perpetrator of the Polytechnique massacre.
We can’t afford to forget or let anyone claim ignorance. These young women deserve better. Montrealers deserve better. Canadians deserve better. We all deserve better.