We Remember

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On December 6th we remember the 14 women murdered in the Montreal Massacre and we also remember women experiencing violence or who are at risk of violence.

In 2016, there were too many women killed in Hamilton. Quite often the media does not name their deaths as gender based violence.

Recognizing their deaths is an opportunity for action.

We need space to mourn their loss. We need space for our sadness and anger. We need to say their sames and to remember their lives.

  • Tammy Le – 25 years old,  January 23 2016

“We honour and remember – Tammy Le, and the other workers who have survived and lost their lives to violent ends. May they live on in our hearts and provide us with great strength and integrity as we stand up for human dignity and the right for all sex workers to live free from violence, racism, and discrimination” – Asian Migrant Sex Workers Network

“Tammy Le was murdered as a direct result of gender-based violence and not because of how she chose to earn a living.” – Woman Abuse Working Group

Her mother described her as free-willed with an uncontained spirit.  She had an angelic voice and enjoyed music in every sense, and earned the name Rainbow for her changing hair.  She had two children she loved.

Jenna was found dead in an apartment in Hamilton. She was a teacher for adult learners at St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centre.

Gina was retired, but was a manager at Tim Hortons. Her colleagues described her as a great manager and fun to work with. She will be missed by many relatives in South Korea, and was a loving mother, sister, cousin, and aunt.

Marilyn was a senior living in downtown Hamilton.

This list is based on the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses‘ yearly femicide list and is probably, unfortunately, not complete. If you have a name to add to the list please contact us.

 

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December 6th in Hamilton

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December 6th is the International Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

We celebrate on December 6th because it is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre – a shooting at ‘École Polytechnique de Montréal, where women engineering students were separated from the men and killed.

They died because they were women.

We remember the dead, those who have died this year because of misogynist violence. We fight to prevent all forms of violence and oppression.

There are two events happening in Hamilton this year: Continue reading

#December6 – Time to End Injustice

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by Kojo Damptey

Kojo “Easy” Damptey is a music producer, songwriter, keyboardist, composer and filmmaker. He was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. At the age of 17 he moved to Hamilton, to pursue an education at McMaster University studying Chemical Engineering. Kojo Damptey is working daily to speak out and take a stand against the violence that women too often face in Hamilton.  Check out his song Broken Promises which supports the work of Interval House.

Martin Luther King is credited with the quote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.[1] This quote epitomizes humanity’s desire to at least create a society where we are our brother and sister’s keeper.

Nonetheless there are a number of gigantic injustices plaguing our society today, one of which is gender-based violence. On this issue we have failed to address the root causes and when I say “we” I mean “men”.

In Canada, every time December 6th rolls around we are reminded of the gruesome act at Ecole Polytechnique; where a male shooter shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide. Since, that tragedy we have been reminded that there needs to be more work done to end violence against women.

As a man involved in community work I feel it is necessary to create spaces where “men” can contribute in tangible ways to end violence against women. Here are my thoughts:

Paulo Freire explains oppression as any situation in which “A” exploits “B” or hinders his and her pursuit of self-affirmation as a responsible person is one of oppression; and mostly this situation constitutes violence.[2] Based on this definition there is no doubt that our current society has a problem whereby men continuously exploit women in all forms of life.

This “acceptable phenomenon” has created a society that supports the perpetuation of condoning men’s behavior in situations of violence while victimizing women that have experienced different forms of violence. This atmosphere of victimizing women ensures that men who are involved in acts of violence continue to use their power and control to further oppress women. Continue reading