On December 6, 1989, 25-year-old Mark Lepine shot 28 people as a declaration of his fight against feminism. He entered a classroom and separated the females from the males, shooting nine of them. Six of them died. He then proceeded to move through the school hallways, shooting women. Fourteen women were killed in total. He then shot himself.
Lepine’s suicide note said that feminists had ruined his life, and included a list of 19 women he believed to be feminists, whom he wished to kill.
The day has been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The event has also led to tighter gun control laws in Canada.
Hay River honoured this date on Sunday, holding a memorial for the women slain. Councillor Ken Latour represented the Town at the memorial.
“We’re trying to show solidarity with the rest of the country in remembering what was a truly grizzly, horrifying incident,” said Latour.
“We don’t want their lives to be lost in vain. Not that they meant to sacrifice their lives, but that’s what happened in the end.”
Community members showed up to perform a candle-lit memorial in front of the Town Hall. Latour read the names of the 14 women slain. Others from organizations gave an address, as well.
“We do it to remember those who were killed, but also to renew the commitment to working toward true gender equality,” said Latour. “So long as there is inequality, violence against women will continue.”