WHAT: Press Conference for 23rd Annual Women’s Memorial March
WHEN: Friday Feb 14th at 9:00 am
WHERE: Carnegie classroom, 3rd floor, Main and Hastings
MEDIA PROTOCOL: Please note there will be NO MEDIA in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between 11am to noon. Media may record the march at noon, except NO recording of ceremonies during the march.
February 4, 2014 VANCOUVER, Coast Salish Territories-The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of all women from the Downtown Eastside who have died due to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence in any form. Now in its 23rd year, the march brings courage and commitment to remember and honour murdered and missing women, and to end the violence that vulnerable women in the DTES face on a daily basis.
The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is hosting a press conference at 9 am in the Carnegie Center’s 3rd floor classroom at 9 am. The march begins at noon on Main and Hastings.
“We are here to honour and remember the women, and we are here because we are failing to protect women from poverty and systemic exploitation, abuse and violence. We are here in sorrow and in anger because the violence continues each and every day and the list of missing and murdered women gets longer every year,” says Marlene George, Memorial March Committee organizer.
March organizer Mona Woodward agrees. “Why is it such an uphill battle to get justice for missing and murdered women and their families and communities? We are calling for a national and international public inquiry led by family and community members. We need political will at all levels of government to address these tragedies as well as ongoing gendered violence, poverty, and racism.”
Marches will also be held in at least 10 other cities including Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Kelowna. Full list here: http://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/national/
In Vancouver, friends and family members led by Indigenous women move through the DTES and stop at sites where women died or were last seen to offer prayers, medicines, and roses in remembrance.
Marlene George 778 833 3094
Mona Woodward 778 241 8440
For general media inquiries or to set up further interviews, contact Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040.
23rd Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March
Friday Feb 14th, 2014
March starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings)
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/649903748374268/
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 three years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.
On Friday Feb 14th 2014, 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 pm; 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. Women 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. In light of the sham provincial inquiry, we are calling for a national and international public inquiry that is led by family and community members and that centers their 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.