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The annual “White Ribbon Campaign” culminates on Dec. 6, the anniversary of the shooting massacre at Ecole Polytehnique in Montreal in 1989 that left fourteen women dead and another 14 people injured. The gunman, Marc Lepine, who turned his gun on himself after committing the atrocities, was said to have targeted women specifically because of a desire to “fight feminism.” The anniversary of the shootings has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, a symbol of the misogynistic and violent tendencies of men in our society against women and the need to change those tendencies.

The South Peace Community Resources Society (SPCRS) is once again coordinating the campaign in Dawson Creek in partnership with many local businesses and institutions that will be distributing white ribbons and displaying posters that citizens can sign to show their solidarity with the campaign.

Darren Johnson with SPCRS was at City Hall on Monday morning to receive a proclamation declaring Nov. 25 to Dec. 6 as “White Ribbon Days” in Dawson Creek. He said it was fitting to kick-off the campaign with civic leaders as one of the first champions of the White Ribbon campaign was the late Jack Layton during his time as a Toronto city councillor.

“When representatives of the community get involved in trying to make change, their voices carry a lot of weight. You are role models in the community,” said Johnson.

SPCRS has organized a ceremony on Dec. 6 to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The doors at Unchagah Hall will open at 5:30 p.m. for a showing of the film, “Polytechnique,” which examines the events at the Montreal university on Dec. 6, 1989, through the eyes of two students who witnessed the massacre, at 6 p.m. The film will be followed by a remembrance service, and then a short walk around Unchagah Hall in a show of solidarity. The public is then welcomed to stay for refreshments.

Johnson said it’s important to note that the idea behind the campaign is not to shame men who are no violent are biased towards women, but rather to raise awareness that the only way to change societal biases is for men and women to work together.

In the interest of full disclosure, Mile 0 City notes its reporter, Matthew Bains, is a board member of the South Peace Community Resources Society.

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