“THEIR SPIRITS LIVE WITHIN US!” – Women’s Memorial March this Sunday, Feb. 14
February 10, 2021
To: All MoveUP Members
Please join members of our Women’s Rights Committee and Human Rights & Multicultural Committee this Sunday, February 14 at noon (12 p.m.) on the corner of Hastings St. and Main St. in Vancouver for the 30th Annual Women’s Memorial March.
On February 14, 1992, the first Women’s Memorial March was held in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today to respect 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 (DTES) on unceded Coast Salish Territories.
Thirty years later, the Women’s Memorial March continues honouring the lives of our missing and murdered women. Sadly, we are seeing an increase in deaths of vulnerable women from the DTES which continues to leave family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action addressing these tragedies, or addressing the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.
This year, at 10:30 a.m., loved ones will gather again at Hastings St. and Main St. where the family members speak in remembrance. Given space constraints, the organizers are asking the broader public to join at noon, when the march takes to the streets and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside. The march will feature stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found, speeches by community activists, a healing circle at Oppenheimer Park around 2:30 p.m., and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall. COVID-19 protocols are in full effect – social distancing and masks are required.
For those of you who are unable to attend in person, the 2021 march will be fully live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Christy Slusarenko, Chair, Women’s Rights Committee, Co-Chair Human Rights & Multicultural Committee
Gunter Seifert, Co-Chair, Human Rights & Multicultural Committee
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.