22nd Annual February 14th Women’s Memorial March – Downtown Eastside Vancouver
Our team is preparing for the 22nd Annual February 14th Women’s Memorial March Downtown Eastside Vancouver. With one heart we connect with at least eleven other Women’s Memorial Marches being held across the land. Established to remember and mourn women who are missing and women who have been murdered as a result of violence and oppression. We ask that you join us this Feb. 14th at 11 am at Hastings and Main in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory to honour their lives and support the families who are missing their loved ones.
Thursday Feb 14th
March starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings)
* Please NOTE that this year the march starts one hour earlier *
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. 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, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. Twenty two years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.
On Thursday Feb 14th 2013, we will gather at 11 am at the Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main Street (corner Hastings, Vancouver) where family members speak in remembrance. Given space constraints, we ask the broader public to join us at noon, when the march takes to the streets and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside, with stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at the court house; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall.
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. This year, the Women’s Memorial March occurs in the context of the provincial missing women’s inquiry, which marginalized the voices and experiences of DTES residents, Indigenous communities, and women’s groups. Women continue to go missing or be murdered with no action from any level of government to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism. We are calling for a national public inquiry and continue to seek justice internationally with submissions at the level of the UN.
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 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.
* SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH
There are many ways to support the Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March:
1) Spread the word and join us (all genders welcome) to the Feb 14th march. We respectfully ask that you please do not bring your banners, flags, or leaflets as the Women’s Memorial March carries five banners only to honour the women.
2) Plan a memorial march in your community. Last year, memorial marches were held in approximately ten other cities and communities. If you are organizing a memorial march please email us the details at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can maintain
communication, compile the information on our website, and build strength in our coordinated efforts.
3) If you want to help volunteer (setup, cleanup, serving food etc) on the day of and can commit to 2-hour shifts between 8 am and 6 pm, please email email@example.com
Thank you all for your support and commitment, Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee
Phone: 604 665 3005
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org(Committee Chair Marlene George)