Hundreds of Ottawans are expected on Parliament Hill tomorrow to demand justice for 600 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. The event is part of the nationwide February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March, which is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of the women.
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Time: 12:00pm until 1:00pm
Facebook Event Page: Families of Sisters in Spirit 2nd Annual Day of Justice
Speakers: Chief Gilbert Whiteduck of Kitigan Zibi, Pam & Fred Fillier parents of Hilary Bonnell, Fred Fillier Jr., younger brother of Hilary Bonnell.
“We are here to honour and remember the women, and we are here because we are failing to protect women from the degradation of poverty and systemic exploitation, abuse and violence,” said Marlene George, a Vancouver-based Memorial March Committee organizer in a press release. “We are here in sorrow and in anger because the violence continues each and every day and the list of missing and murdered women gets longer every year.”
Solidarity marches spearheaded by organizations and coalitions across Canada are taking place in Penticton, Kelowna, Merritt, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto, London and Montreal.
According to the February 14 Women’s Memorial March website: “The March is an opportunity for all cities and communities to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters and remember the women who are still missing. We encourage all women to journey and heal together by organizing memorials on this day because women face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence on a daily basis. Violence against women is always unacceptable; every life is precious and we must continue to honour and work for justice for murdered and missing women.”
“Women continue to go missing or be murdered with no action from any level of government to address these tragedies or gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism,” George said.
The release noted that the marches are “an immensely powerful women’s action that brings courage and commitment to remember and honour murdered and missing women, and to end the violence that vulnerable women face on a daily basis.”
The Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee and the Downtown Eastside (Vancouver) recently made submissions under Article 8 of the Optional Protocol of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and are now seeking justice internationally.
Photo: Hilary Bonnell; credit: Oldmaison