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DTES Annual Women’s Memorial March
February 14, 2017- 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
27th Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March
Tuesday Feb 14th, 2017
Family and community members gather in remembrance at 10:30 am ( *** please note earlier start time ***)
March starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings)
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 seven years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women and all women’s lives lost in the Downtown Eastside. 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. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.
On Tuesday Feb 14th 2017, we will gather at 10:30 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 Main and Hastings; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall.
We continue to call for a national inquiry that is led by family and community members and that centers our experiences, need for healing, and quest for answers, concrete action, and meaningful justice.
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) ATTEND: Spread the word and join us (all genders welcome) to the Feb 14th march. We respectfully ask that you please do not bring your agency or group banners, flags, or leaflets as the Women’s Memorial March carries five banners only to honour the women. Sign honouring womens lives are welcome.
2) PLAN: Plan a memorial march in your community. Last year, memorial marches were held in approximately twenty other cities and communities. 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) DONATE: Please donate. The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is made possible by organizations and individuals like you. Please make cheques payable to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and include Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March on the memo line. Mail cheques to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, 302 Columbia St. Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1. All donations over $10 will be gratefully acknowledged with a tax deductible receipt.
Thank you all for your support and commitment,
Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee