This December 6th, and every December 6th we remember the lives of the 14 women who died at the hands of Marc Lepine, in the name of “fighting feminism.” The root causes of gender-based violence lie in the ways patriarchy manifests in our society — through our divisions of labour, our economic system, through rape culture and the ways we interact with each other daily.
December 6th is much more than a single incident. On this, and every other day of the year, we remember the lives of women who have been lost to discrimination, physical and emotional abuse, to racism, immigration raids, to hunger and poverty, to sexual violence and murder.
We remember the struggle of women and trans people as we continue to seek for determination, for justice in the workplace and safety on the streets. Every day of the year, we remember women in prisons, away from their families and friends. Every day of the year, we honour the more than 500 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Every day of the year, we honour the lives of sex workers. We continue to honour the lives of women who continue to endure the violence by the state.
In the face of this violence, the role of people-power is especially important. Events such as Take Back the Night marches and December 6th rallies demonstrate important resilience and demand the eradication of gender-based violence. An end to violence against women and trans people signifies an end to patriarchy, sexism, homophobia, racism, classist policies. It signifies justice and self-determination for all.