A Service of Remembrance and a Witness for Women’s Lives
On December 6, 1989, 14 young women from the Engineering Faculty at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal were brutally murdered. They were killed precisely because they were women: women who had dared to step through the barriers to equality in what many still considered to be a field of study that rightly belonged to men only.
In July of this year, a woman sex trade worker who had frequented our Friday Drop-In was brutally murdered just a couple of blocks south of All Saints. She was beaten and stabbed and her body thrown over the balcony. Why? Because she had failed to pay $10.00 that she owed her pimps. Her death was never recorded – no ceremonies were held in her memory. We only found out about it because the morning after, another sex trade worker who comes to the Friday Breakfast came to the church in a state of hysteria. As a witness to the murder, she recounted the full horror of the event: her fear of like treatment befalling her making her at once fearful, angry and remorseful because she did not intervene. On reflection, I thought we should have some kind of memorial for all the women who have been murdered in the Dundas/Sherbourne neighbourhood so that women and men could have a chance to grieve together and also to gather strength for the community to continue the struggle for an end to violence against women.
So All Saints is organizing a special service on December 6 2016: a service of remembrance for women who have died by violence, and of empowerment for all of us to continue the struggle for justice and equality. There will be a smudging ceremony, a chance for reflection and remembrance, a native women’s drumming circle and some communal singing. Neighbourhood organizations will have displays and information available, and we will end with a light lunch.
PLEASE JOIN US FROM 11.00am – 1.00pm on TUESDAY DECEMBER 6
315 Dundas Street East (The southeast corner of Sherbourne & Dundas) Toronto, ON M5A 2A2
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