The History of the Memorial March
1) The first March was held in Vancouver, BC, 20 years ago...
In January 1991 a woman was murdered on Powell Street. 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.
Decades later, the march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women. 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 heinous and unimaginable violence that have taken the lives of so many has left a deep void in our hearts. We gather each year to mourn and remember our sisters by listening to their family members, by taking over the streets, and through spiritual ceremonies.
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. Every year the list of women going missing also increases. 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.”2) Then Edmonton started one in 2005 or 2006.
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.
This March was started by Danielle Boudreau in 2006 - to coincide with the Annual Vancouver Downtown Eastside March that began 18 years ago.3) then Calgary in 2008
Edmonton (and sadly many other Canadian cities) have been suffering the same plight as Vancouver - but, it doesn't only effect Survival Sex Trade Workers.
Project Kare, a joint task force between the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service, is investigating the cases of more than 20 Edmonton women who have been killed - or who have been missing - since 1983.
This issue affects women of all ages and races, and this March unites people from all over western Canada by honoring those they have lost............
What better day than Valentines Day - February 14th - to show our love, respect, support, and honor to these women and their families.
Please come and support this March - let's show them Edmonton cares!
February 14th, 2009 - Show your solidarity!
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DONATION TO HELP PAY FOR PERMITS, FOOD, POSTERS OR POLICE ESCORTS.......YOU CAN GO TO ANY TD BANK AND DONATE UNDER:
MEMORIAL MARCH OF EDMONTON
There are many other cities including Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Victoria. Once I get when the Marches are I will post those as well.
Here is the poster and press release for the Edmonton Memorial March.
Pictures are clickable.