December 6: Acknowledge the rose
It has been 25 years since a lone gunman forced the females in a second year engineering class at École Polytechnique to line up against a wall. Twenty-eight women were shot, 14 women were killed. The Montreal Massacre of December 6, 1989 is a black mark in Canadian history.
You will find the 2014 OSSTF/FEESO December 6 poster within this edition of Update. Before you put it up, please take the time to look at it. The rose, which has become the symbol of December 6, is different this year. It is not glamorous nor is it whole. It is disturbing; as were the events of December 6, 1989. It is unfinished; as were the lives of the 14 murdered women; as is our work to end the ongoing Violence against Women.
Fourteen women were killed BECAUSE they were women. “It’s easier to think that violence is something that happens to someone else—in a different country, a different community, a different home. But the truth is that every day, everywhere, women are raped, beaten and killed just because they are women” 1. Canadians are reminded of this truth every December 6.
November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks the beginning of the White Ribbon Campaign that ends on December 6, The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. The results of the groundbreaking Canadian Labour Congress survey—“The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace” will be published on December 6, 2014. Please look for, read and discuss this release. OSSTF/FEESO has purchased the rights, for the 2014–2015 school year, to show the film Polytechnique for professional development purposes. Find the 77 minutes to view this work with your colleagues. There are online resources available to engage colleagues and students of all ages in a deeper understanding of the systemic nature of Violence against Women in our society (see links at end).
OSSTF/FEESO is committed to ending Violence against Women. Every worksite will be provided with a White Ribbon Campaign signing poster and with OSSTF/FEESO December 6 buttons and pins. We ask that you commemorate December 6 with a worksite display the week of December 1–5. Hang and sign the White Ribbon Campaign signing poster, hang the OSSTF/FEESO December 6 poster (included in this issue of Update), display flowers, light candles, wear a button, a pin, a white ribbon, remember. Please take a picture of your display and share it with us so we can share with the world that OSSTF/FEESO speaks out on Violence against Women. Then, in the days and months to come, acknowledge in the truest sense of the word—Act Upon your Knowledge.
Bargaining Unit Presidents will be receiving a memo regarding photo sharing, media campaign details and an order form for White Ribbon Campaign signing posters and our 2014 OSSTF/FEESO December 6 buttons and pins.
- www.itstartswithyou.ca (commenceavectoi.ca)
1 “We need more than words to end violence against women” McInturff, Kate and Lauren Ravon — March 7, 2014 CPA