President marks Day of Remembrance as York events unfold today

All students, faculty and staff are invited to take part in a Day of Remembrance silent march this evening to commemorate the Montreal Massacre.

“As we mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique, we remember the victims’ families, the survivors, faculty, staff and students, and all those whose lives changed forever on that day,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “This is also an opportunity for each of us to consider the actions we can take to eliminate all forms of violence against women.”

Left: Two of the 14 cut-outs that will be part of the Silent Witness art installation today in Vari Hall

Beginning at 6pm by the fountain in the Harry Arthurs Common, members of the York community will march in solidarity with survivors, and in protest, defiance and memory of the 14 women – 13 students and one faculty member of l’École Polytechnique – who were killed on Dec. 6, 1989, just because they were women. The march also commemorates women who have been assaulted and murdered all over the world.

At 7pm, participants will be invited to a free screening of director Denis Villeneuve’s 2009 dramatic film Polytechnique at the Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building.

For the past two weeks, members of York’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line (SASSL) collected pledge cards from people describing what they are willing to do to prevent violence against women. The cards will be on display in Vari Hall today, along with a special art installation, from 9am to 6pm. The project, titled Silent Witness, is a volunteer effort by students, staff and faculty to mark the 20th anniversary of the shooting. (See YFile, Dec. 3)

For more information on the pledge campaign and event schedule, visit the SASSL Web site’s News & Events page.