Canadians honour the students that died 33 years ago in the Polytechnique Massacre
The École Polytechnique massacre, also known as the Montreal massacre or Ecole Polytechnique massacre, occurred in Montreal at an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal. In addition to the fourteen women killed, ten women and four men were also injured.
On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine (born Gamil Rodrigue Liass Gharbi) entered a mechanical engineering class at the École Polytechnique and ordered the women and men to opposite sides of the classroom. He separated nine women, instructing the men to leave. As he opened fire, he declared he was “fighting feminism.” He shot at all nine women in the room, killing six.
After that, he moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, shooting women for less than 20 minutes before turning his gun on himself. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history. Following the attack, various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motivation have been discussed in search of a rationale. The massacre has been characterized as an anti-feminist attack symbolizing societal violence against women.
Other interpretations emphasize the effect of Lépine’s history of abuse as a child. Several scholars suggest that the massacre was merely the result of a madman acting alone without regard to more significant social issues. Some have attributed violent behaviour to the media and social problems like poverty, isolation, and alienation, especially in immigrant communities.
As a mark of remembrance and action against violence against women, the anniversary of the massacre is celebrated annually.
- Geneviève Bergeron (1968–1989), civil engineering student
- Hélène Colgan (1966–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Nathalie Croteau (1966–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Barbara Daigneault (1967–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Anne-Marie Edward (1968–1989), chemical engineering student
- Maud Haviernick (1960–1989), materials engineering student
- Maryse Laganière (1964–1989), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
- Maryse Leclair (1966–1989), materials engineering student
- Anne-Marie Lemay (1967–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Sonia Pelletier (1961–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Michèle Richard (1968–1989), materials engineering student
- Annie St-Arneault (1966–1989), mechanical engineering student
- Annie Turcotte (1969–1989), materials engineering student
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (1958–1989), nursing student
In addition, suicides were later reported among students who had been present at the time of the massacre. At least two students left notes confirming that they committed suicide due to distress caused by the massacre.
Content reference: Wikipedia
Photo Source: Canadian Crime