PRESS CONFERENCE: SAT FEB 14th
held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memories of the women from
the Downtown Eastside who die each year due to the violence of physical,
mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. The Women’s Memorial march began 18
years ago after the brutal murder of a Coast Salish woman that left the
neighbourhood in shock. This was the catalyst that moved women to take
action against ongoing violence of women in the Downtown Eastside.
Abotsway, Marnie Frey, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin, Mona Wilson and
Brenda Wolfe has left a void in the community.
According to Marlene George, Feb 14th Memorial March Committee Organizer,
the community is also awaiting justice for the murders of the additional
twenty women: “We demand a full measure of justice for the twenty women
whose murders have unfortunately become a closed chapter for this
government. These women may not be with us today, but we cannot let their
lives and struggles be forgotten.”
These women are: Andrea Borhaven, Heather Bottomley, Heather Chinnock,
Wendy Crawford, Sarah DeVries, Tiffany Drew, Cara Ellis, Cynthia Felics,
Jennifer Furminger, Inga Hall, Helen Hallmark, Tanya Holyk, Sherry Irving,
Angela Jardine, Patricia Johnson, Debra Jones, Kerry Koski, Jacqueline
McDonell, Diana Melnick and Dianne Rock.
According to the Missing Women’s Task Force, there are still 39 women
officially listed as missing from the DTES. “Every year the list continues
to grow. We have to understand that violence against women is always
unacceptable. These women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties,
grandmothers, and friends. Every life is precious and we must continue to
work for justice for murdered and missing women,” states George.
This year, marches will also be held on the same day in Toronto, Winnipeg,
Calgary, Edmonton, Sudbury, London, and Victoria. In Vancouver
community of friends and family members led by women will move together
through the streets of the Downtown Eastside, stopping at the sites where
women have died, lay a red or yellow rose in remembrance, and perform
spiritual ceremonies for healing.
10:30 AM: PRESS SESSION on Carnegie Centre Patio. Q&A with community members.
11:15 AM: Media accreditation for Carnegie Centre Theatre program (please
note media is not guaranteed space, arrive early and line up along the
back as the Theatre fills up by 11:45). There will be no Q&A.
12:00 PM: Carnegie Centre Theatre Program: Family members speak in
remembrance of their daughters
1:00 PM: March begins with a circle at Main & Hastings (Media are asked
not to film any of the spiritual ceremonies that are part of the march)
2:00 PM: Community activists speak outside the Vancouver Police Station
2:30 PM: Healing Circle at Oppenheimer Park, Candles of Remembrance