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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION: ALL NEWS EDITORS

Annual Women’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women

WHAT: 22nd Annual Women’s Memorial March Press Conference
WHEN: Thursday Feb 14th at 9:00 am
WHERE: Carnegie classroom, 3rd floor, Main and Hastings

MEDIA PROTOCOL: Please note there will be NO MEDIA in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between 11am to noon. Media may record the march at noon, except no recording of ceremonies during the march.

February 8, 2013 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 the Downtown Eastside who have died due to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence. Now in its 22nd year, the march 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 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.

In December 2011, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women announced that it was launching an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. This announcement came shortly after the Women’s Memorial March Committee and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center made joint submissions in October 2011 to the UN.

This year, the Women’s Memorial March occurs in the context of the provincial missing women’s inquiry, which marginalized the voices and experiences of DTES residents, Indigenous communities, and women’s groups. In December 2012, the international organization Human Rights Watch called on Canada to appoint a national commission of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“We are calling for a national public inquiry and continue to seek justice internationally with our submissions at the level of the UN,” continues George.

Marches will also be held in at least fifteen other cities including Edmonton, Calgary, Hagersville, Kelowna, Lebret, Montreal, Oshawa, Ottawa, Prince George, Regina, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Sault St Marie, Victoria, Winnipeg. 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 to offer prayers, medicines, and roses in remembrance.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Marlene George: 778 833 3094
Mona Woodward 778 241 8440
Lisa Yellow Quill 604 618 1061
Cori Kelly (French) 778 709 6494
For general media inquiries, contact Harsha Walia 778 885 0040

Website: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/

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22nd Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/488831777821558/
Web: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/22nd-annual-feb-14th-womens-memorial-march/

THURSDAY FEB 14TH 2013
March starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings)

* Please NOTE that this year the march starts one hour earlier *

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 two years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.

On Thursday Feb 14th 2013, we will gather at 11 am 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 noon, 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 court house; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall.

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. This year, the Women’s Memorial March occurs in the context of the provincial missing women’s inquiry, which marginalized the voices and experiences of DTES residents, Indigenous communities, and women’s groups. 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. We are calling for a national public inquiry and continue to seek justice internationally with submissions at the level of the UN.

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 marlene.george@vancouver.ca and hwalia8@gmail.com so we can maintain communication, compile the information on our website, and build strength in our coordinated efforts.

3) If you want to help volunteer (setup, cleanup, serving food etc) on the day of and can commit to 2-hour shifts between 8 am and 6 pm, please email hwalia8@gmail.com

Thank you all for your support and commitment,
Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee

Website: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
Phone: 604 665 3005
Email: marlene.george@vancouver.ca (Committee Chair Marlene George)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=264380380945 or search “FEBRUARY 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH DTES VANCOUVER”

On Monday December 17th, the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry report by Wally Oppal will be released by the provincial government to the public.

———————————
Monday December 17th from 8:30 am till 2 pm
In the courtyard between the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue and Delta Vancouver Suites.
(courtyard on Seymour Street between 550 and 580 West Hastings)
Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories
Bring drums and candles.
——————————–

Come support family members – many of whom were initially denied travel assistance – who have only a few hours to review the report before it is made public.

The Missing Women’s Inquiry has been a sham inquiry since the beginning – the voices and experiences of DTES residents, Aboriginal organizations, and womens groups were shut out, family members needs and wishes have been and continue to be blatantly disregarded and disrespected, and the proceedings overly favoured and protected the police and police evidence. Even the Independent Counsel for Aboriginal Interests, appointed by the Commission itself, withdrew from the proceedings.

This sham inquiry has continued the marginalization of those whom it was supposed to serve: women, particularly Indigenous women, from the DTES. Women in the DTES and Indigenous women across these lands continue to go missing or be murdered as a result of gendered violence, poverty, racism, and colonialism.

The BC Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry has been a disgrace, a betrayal, and a systemic failure. We affirm our support for family members and affected communities and reaffirm the call for full national inquiry as well as an independent international inquiry.

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.

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– 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:
https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/non-participation-sham-inquiry/

followed on Tuesday by…

21st Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March

Web link: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/236552276421022/
Download poster and distribute it here

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.

Continue Reading »

TO ALL NEWS EDITORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE UN SUBMISSION DETAILS;
Submission includes urgent appeal about discriminatory conduct of BC Missing Women’s Inquiry

December 14, 2011 Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories– In the past twenty four hours, the positive and much-awaited news has been released that the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women initiated a significant official inquiry process into the murders and disappearances of women and girls across Canada in October 2011.

Two women’s groups based in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, a neighbourhood known as the ‘ground zero’ for missing and murdered women, who are mostly Indigenous women, are releasing details of the submissions they made in October 2011 under Article 8 of the Optional Protocol of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION: ALL NEWS EDITORS

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Corinthia Kelly: 778 709 6494
Alice Kendall: 778 322 4594
Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040
Carol Martin: 778 322 3069

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and Women’s Memorial March Committee Announce Non Participation In Sham Inquiry, Say Will Rally on First Day of Hearings

Monday October 3, Vancouver Coast Salish Territories –Calling the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry a “disgrace” and an “insult to women in the Downtown Eastside”, the Coalition of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) and Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee (WMMC) have announced today that they will not be endorsing or participating in the Inquiry.

The Coalition is also announcing a rally at the beginning of the hearings on October 11th, 2011 at 9:30 am in front of at 701 West Georgia. They will be denouncing the Sham Inquiry and will call for a new fair, just, and inclusive Inquiry that centres the voices and experiences and leadership of women, particularly Indigenous women, in the DTES.

Continue Reading »