Sign commemorating Polytechnique massacre to be updated
MONTREAL - A sign commemorating the massacre at Ecole Polytechnique will be changed to reflect the anti-feminist nature of the attack.
The sign, installed at the Place du 6 Decembre at the corner of Decelles Ave. and Queen Mary Rd., currently reads:
"In memory of the victims of the tragedy at Ecole Polytechnique where 14 women were killed on Dec. 6, 1989. That date has become the international day of commemoration and action against violence against women."
A group of Quebec feminist studies researchers proposed the sign be changed to acknowledge the sexist nature of the attack. The idea caught on.
Philippe Tanguay, director-general of Ecole Polytechnique, agreed the change was necessary.
"It was an act against women, and it was intentional," he said. "Marc Lepine [the shooter] was really shouting through the university that he was targeting women, so yes, it's important that now people realize that the victims were the women, not the students."
Lepine had a list of other women he wanted to kill that day, and he separated women from men before opening fire.
The new sign will read:
"This place was named in memory of the 14 women murdered during an anti-feminist attack at Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989. It is a reminder of fundamental values of respect and equality and condemn all forms of violence against women."
Sue Montgomery, Cote-des-Neiges-NDG borough mayor, supported the change.
"I think it was so horrific, it was such a horrible, horrible day that I think people have a hard time recognizing and coming to terms with the fact that there is misogyny, there are men who hate women to the point that they will kill them, and I think now that we've recognized that, now that we've named it, that's a big step forward in addressing the problem and changing things," she said.
The new sign will be installed in the days leading up to the 30th anniversary of the massacre, which is this year.
With files from Cindy Sherwin