FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION: ALL NEWS EDITORS
Justice for Missing and Murdered Women in the Downtown Eastside:
Their Spirits Live Within Us
WHAT: Monday February 13th from 9:30 am to 2 pm
Murdered Women, Missing Justice
Rally against Sham Provincial Missing Women’s Inquiry 701 West Georgia (Georgia and Granville)
WHAT: Tuesday February 14th
21st Annual Women’s Memorial March
Press Conference on Tues Feb 14th at 10:30 am in Carnegie Patio
Please note there will be NO MEDIA in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between noon-1 pm. Media may record the march at 1 pm, except no recording of ceremonies during the march.
February 10, 2012 VANCOUVER, Coast Salish Territories- The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of women from Downtown Eastside who have died due to the violence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. Now in its 21st year, the March is 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 in the DTES face on a daily basis.
“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. 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,” says Marlene George, Memorial March Committee organizer.
This year, the Annual Women’s Memorial March will be preceded by a rally on Monday February 13th at Georgia and Granville against the Sham provincial missing women’s inquiry headed by Wally Oppall. Says George “We are boycotting this Sham Inquiry 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 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. The organizations formally submitted that “The Commission continues the pattern of grave and systemic discrimination against women in the Downtown Eastside which the Commission was supposed to investigate.”
Marches will also be held in at least twelve other cities including Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Penticton, Calgary, Kelowna, Merritt, Thunder bay, and London. In Vancouver, friends and family members led by Indigenous women move through the DTES and stop at sites where women died or were last seen. At these sites, women offer prayers, medicines, ceremonies, and lay roses in remembrance.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marlene George: 604-665-3005, Carol Martin 778 322 3069, Lisa Yellow-Quill 604 618 1061, Mona Woodward 604-697-5662, Stella August 604 833 8516, Corinthia Kelly: 778 709 6494 (French) Website: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
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