20th Annual Women’s Memorial March–Vancouver–February 14th

Posted on February 12, 2010


This posting updated 10 January 2011.

‘Their Spirits Live Within Us.”

  • February 14 Women’s Memorial March for Murdered and Missing Women takes place Monday, February 14, 2010.

This March gives families, friends, community members an opportunity to come together to grieve and remember these beloved sisters, and to remind the powers that be that we have not forgotten those who are still missing. We dedicate our energies to justice. This event is organized and led by women in the DTES because women, especially Indigenous women continue to face physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence.

This is not a day of protest but an opportunity to show we care and to let the families know we have not forgotten. We ask groups and organizations not bring banners, flags, or leaflets. The Women’s Memorial March carries five banners in honor of the women. All genders & nations welcome. We thank you for your support of the Women’s Memorial March.

  • In January 1991 a woman was murdered on Powell Street.   Her name is not spoken today, respecting the wishes of family.  Her death was the catalyst to move women to take action leading to this special Valentine’s Day march.

The following information is posted on the 20th Annual Women’s Memorial March Event page on Facebook:

2011: 20th Annual Feb 14th Womens Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women

~ 20th- year commemoration events from Feb 1 – 14. Details to be confirmed.
~ Annual Women’s Memorial March on Monday, February 14 2010, begins at 12pm.

…* Tues Feb 1 – Community Exhibit and Display, Carnegie Centre (Main and Hastings) 3 pm

* Wed Feb 2 – Women’s Talking Circle at DEWC (302 Columbia) 5 – 8 pm. Dinner served at 5pm. Open to all self-identified women residents of the DTES.

* Thurs Feb 3 – Art Auction Fundraiser at Interurban (1 E. Hastings) 6 – 9 pm

* Fri Feb 4 – Craft Night at WISH Drop-in 6 pm. Open to members of WISH Drop-in.

* Sat Feb 5 – “Honouring Our Women”: Poetry Night, Carnegie Centre (Main and Hastings). 7 pm

* Tues Feb 8 – BWSS Women’s Craft Night at DEWC (302 Columbia) 5 – 8 pm. Dinner served at 5pm. Open to all self-identified women residents of the DTES.

* Wed Feb 9 – “Struggle Survival Strength”: Launch of the DTES Power of Women movie and speakers from the Downtown Eastside, followed by screening of “Finding Dawn”. Vivo Media Arts Centre (1965 Main Street). Doors at 6pm, Screening at 6:30 pm.

* Thurs Feb 10 – Fundraiser at Langara College with Film Screening including “Finding Dawn”. Cosponsored by ReelCauses.

* Fri Feb 11 – “Their Spirits Live Within Us” Night of Music at W2 (151 W.Cordova). Doors at 7pm, performances at 8pm with Bitterly Divine, Murray Porter, Faith Nolan, Little Hawk, Dalannah Bowen & more.

* Mon Feb 14 – 20th Annual Womens Memorial March. Noon at Carnegie (Main and Hastings)

The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a 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, Coast Salish Territories. Twenty years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women.

In its twentieth year, we are hosting a series of events leading up to the memorial march from Feb 1- Feb 14. These events will include film screenings, educational events, art installations, DTES women’s poetry, a music night, and more to honour the voices of women and women’s leadership in the Downtown Eastside. Details, as they become available, will be posted to http://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/

On Feb 14th, we will gather at the Carnegie Community Centre Theatre, 401 Main Street (corner Hastings, Vancouver) where family members speak in remembrance. At 1 pm, 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 police station; a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 3 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall. 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.

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. Over 3000 women are known to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1970s. Two years ago, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued this statement: “Hundreds of cases involving aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past two decades have neither been fully investigated nor attracted priority attention.” 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.

There are many ways to support the Annual Women’s Memorial March:

1) Join us. Please join us (all genders welcome) to our events and 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. We encourage women in other cities and communities to journey and heal together by organizing memorials on this day because women face violence on a daily basis. 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 marlene.george@vancouver.ca so we can maintain communication, compile the information on our website, and build strength in our coordinated efforts.

3) Organize an event. If you are a community centre, youth association, union, women’s group, educational institution, Indigenous organization, social justice collective, or artist space in the Lower Mainland and want to host an event during Feb 1-Feb 14, we encourage you to do so and to contact us. We can provide suggestions for speakers or films for your event, and we support a wide spectrum of individuals and groups raising awareness about the issue of missing and murdered women. We are compiling events on our website, so please email us details of your event at hwalia8@gmail.com.

4) Please donate. The February 14th Women’s Memorial March is made possible by organizations and individuals like you. Each year the Memorial March committee must raise funds to pay for such things as hall rental, sound system, food, red & yellow roses, memorial brochures, blankets, posters, candles, tobacco and other expenses. Please make cheques payable to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and include 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.

Violence against women is always unacceptable; every life is precious and we must continue to honour and work for justice for murdered and missing women.

Thank you all for your support and commitment,
Women’s Memorial March Committee

Website: http://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
Phone: 604 665 3005 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 604 665 3005 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email: marlene.george@vancouver.ca (Committee Chair Marlene George)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=264380380945 or search “FEBRUARY 14 WOMEN’S MEMORIAL MARCH DTES VANCOUVER”