Ceremony marks 19th anniversary of Montreal massacre
14 women killed by gunman at Montreal's l'École Polytechnique
Last Updated: Saturday, December 6, 2008 | 7:23 PM ET
Community members and politicians gathered in Montreal Saturday to mark the 19th anniversary of Canada's worst mass shooting, which left 14 women dead.Women gather Saturday at a memorial for the Polytechnique massacre in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
White roses were placed on monuments paying tribute to the women, who were gunned down at Montreal's l'École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989, by Marc Lepine, 25, who blamed women for the failures in his life. He wounded ten other women and four men before killing himself.
"Together, men and women, let's act," said Michele Asselin, president of the Quebec Federation of Women.
"Let's break the wall of silence. Today, we're wearing the white ribbon in solidarity but every day we can act."
About 50 people, including community leaders and politicians from all three levels of government, attended the somber event at Montreal's Place du 6 Decembre.
The 14 monuments — sculptures engraved to honour each victim — are the site of an annual remembrance ceremony held on Dec. 6, which has become known as the national day of commemoration and action against violence against women.
Women's groups used the day of remembrance to demand more resources to fight violence against women.
"We ask [for] a large education campaign to increase the knowledge of people who work with victims: Crown prosecutors, judge, social workers … and also to raise the awareness of fellow citizens," said Louise Riendeau, who spoke on behalf of a coalition of women's shelters in Montreal.
Aboriginal women were pointed out as being especially vulnerable to violence. Last month, the United Nations called on the Canadian government to investigate why hundreds of deaths and disappearances of aboriginal women remain unsolved.
"Canada and the U.S. have the right to protect all people equally under the law. Canada has failed miserably," said Ellen Gabriel, president of Quebec Native Women Inc.
"Violence against women is a human rights violation. I don't think there's enough seriousness taken by the authorities and enough proper training given to authorities in regards to conjugal violence and violence in general."
Advocates also implored political leaders to continue efforts towards strengthening gun-control laws.
Anastasia's Law, which prohibits firearms in schools and on public transit, and requires gun club owners to report suspicious behaviour, came into effect in Quebec in September.With files from the Canadian Press
Self-Loathing, opportunistic, vote-seeking, pandering Canadian male politician and member of the Canadian parliament
The following is an example of a mother's abuse against her children. Please be forewarned it may make you feel uncomfortable while reading it.
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By Mail Foreign Service10th December 2008