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

A Time to Remember, a Time to Change

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On December 6th, 1989, fourteen young women were separated from their male classmates and murdered with a semi-automatic rifle by one man at ecole ploytechnique in what became known nationwide as the Montreal Massacre.

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25 years have passed since a group of dedicated women from the Women’s Centre of Hamilton first placed the commemorative rock at Hamilton City Hall in honour of these 14 women, and all women who have been victims of violence. The following year, the federal government established December 6th as the national Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Continue reading

How Do We Remember?

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December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.  We take the day not only to remember the fourteen victims of the Montreal Massacre but to remember all women who have been killed by men.

It’s a time for reflection and for action.

Did you know that Hamilton has a memorial to the victims of 1989 Montreal Massacre?

If you visit the west side of City Hall in Hamilton, near the corner of Main Street and Bay Street, you’ll find a rock with a plaque remembering the women who were killed on December 6th and also remembering all women who have been victims of violence. Continue reading