“Elles étaient quatorze” / “They were fourteen”.
Today we mark the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre in which a male student walked in to the university of Montreal, seperated the men from the women and proceeded to shoot the women point blank before continuing his rampage. He killed 14 women and injured 14 other students (one survived despite 4 bullets in her body) before reading out his anti-feminist manifesto and turning the gun unto himself. He blamed women for taking away avantages reserved for men.
His act has had huge ramifications for Canada including strict gun laws, a firearms register that was started by one of the victims’s sister (and abolished by the current Conservative government, don’t even get me started on those guys) and a very strong belief in equal rights for men and women. There is a long way to go still (just look at the Jian Ghomeshi affair) but we can say that Polytechnique will always be remembered as the day we said no to mysoginist crimes.
I was 14 years old and will always remember that day. This is my hommage to them and this was my Awesome Ladies Project for yesterday and a contribution to Project No More Silence.
The fourteen were :
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
I remember them. Je n’oublierai jamais.