– Please forward this notice to your friends, family, and networks –
TWO EVENTS: MON FEB 13TH and TUES FEB 14TH
Murdered Women, Missing Justice
Monday February 13th from 9:30 am till 2 pm.
Rally outside Sham Inquiry 701 West Georgia (Georgia and Granville)
Every week since the beginning of the Sham Missing Women’s Inquiry, the Women’s Memorial March Committee has been rallying to denounce the disrespect and injustice happening inside. Dozens of DTES, Aboriginal, and Women’s organizations were shut out from participating in the Inquiry. Now we are hearing numerous stories, directly and as reported in the media, of family members outrage and anger and frustration with this inquiry as there are no answers, no apologies, and authorities are just protecting themselves and each other. We invite you all to join us – for five minutes or five hours – on Monday Feb 13th to show your disgust at this coverup sham inquiry and to call instead for for a new fair, just, and inclusive Inquiry that centres the voices and experiences and leadership of women, particularly Indigenous women, in the DTES.
See Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and Women’s Memorial March Committee Statement of Non Participation In Sham Inquiry from Oct 2011:
followed on Tuesday by…
21st Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. 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, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. Twenty one years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.
On Tuesday Feb 14th 2012, we will gather at noon at the Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main Street (corner Hastings, Vancouver) where family members speak in remembrance. Given space constraints, we ask the broader public to join us at 1 pm, when 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. Thank you to Buffalo Spirit for the big drum.
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, and annual women’s memorial marches now occur in dozens of communities across these lands.
This year, the Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March occurs in the context of the Sham provincial missing women’s inquiry headed by Wally Oppall, which we are boycotting because we have been shut out from it and it has continued to marginalize the voices and experiences of women from the DTES. Women continue to go missing or be murdered with no action from any level of government to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism. The Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee and DTES Women’s Centre have 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.
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. 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.
* SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH
There are many ways to support the Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March:
1) Spread the word and join us (all genders welcome) to the Feb 14th march. We respectfully 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.
2) Plan a memorial march in your community. Last year, memorial marches were held in approximately ten other cities and communities. If you are organizing a memorial march please email us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com so we can maintain communication, compile the information on our website, and build strength in our coordinated efforts.
3) Please donate. The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is made possible by organizations and individuals like you. Each year the Memorial March committee must raise funds to pay for such things as hall rental, sound system, food, red & yellow roses, memorial brochures, blankets, posters, candles, tobacco and other expenses. Please make cheques payable to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and include Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March on the memo line. Mail cheques to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, 302 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1. All donations over $10 will be gratefully acknowledged with a tax deductible receipt.
Thank you all for your support and commitment,
Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee
Phone: 604 665 3005
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Committee Chair Marlene George)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=264380380945 or search “FEBRUARY 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH DTES VANCOUVER”