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The 19th Annual Feb 14th Womens Memorial March takes place on Sunday, February 14 2010 and begins at 12pm.
At noon, we gather at the Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main Street (corner Hastings, Vancouver) where family members speak in remembrance. At 1 pm, the march takes to the streets and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside, with stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at the police station; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 3 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall.
In January 1991 a woman was murdered on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. This woman’s murder in particular was the catalyst that moved women into action. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Coast Salish Territories.
Nineteen years later, the march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women. Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the DTES still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Over 3000 women are known to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1970s. Last year, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued this statement: “Hundreds of cases involving aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past two decades have neither been fully investigated nor attracted priority attention.”
Please respect the memorial march and the leadership of those organizing it. This event is organized and led by women in the DTES because women, especially Indigenous women, face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence on a daily basis. This is a memorial not a protest; it is a deeply emotional time for family members and women affected especially in Vancouver’s DTES. We ask that you please do not bring your banners, flags, or leaflets as the Women’s Memorial March carries five banners only to honour the women.
The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is an opportunity to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, remember the women who are still missing, and to dedicate ourselves to justice. Please join us (all genders welcome) and we thank you for your support of the Women’s Memorial March.