Today we pause to mourn the loss of 14 women who, because they were women, were massacred.
Gunman massacres 14 women
Broadcast Date: Dec. 6, 1989
A gunman confronts 60 engineering students during their class at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. He separates the men from the women and tells the men to leave the classroom, threatening them with his .22-calibre rifle. The enraged man begins a shooting rampage that spreads to three floors and several classrooms, jumping from desk to desk while female students cower below. He roams the corridors yelling, “I want women.”
Before opening fire in the engineering class, he calls the women “une gang de féministes” and says “J’haïs les féministes [I hate feminists].” One person pleads that they are not feminists, just students taking engineering. But the gunman doesn’t listen. He shoots the women and then kills himself. Parents of the Polytechnique students wait outside the school crying and wonder if their daughters are among the 14 dead tonight.
The 14 dead were: Anne St-Arneault, 23; Geneviève Bergeron, 21; Hélène Colgan, 23; Nathalie Croteau, 23; Barbara Daigneault, 22; Anne-Marie Edward, 21; Maud Haviernick, 29; Barbara Klueznick, 31; Maryse Laganière, 25; Maryse Leclair, 23; Anne-Marie Lemay, 22; Sonia Pelletier, 23; Michèle Richard, 21; and Annie Turcotte, 21.
December 6, 1989. Sylvie Gagnon was attending her last day of classes at Ecole Polytechnique when a gunman opened fire on women students, yelling “you’re all a bunch of feminists.” Sylvie survived a bullet wound to the head while fourteen other women were murdered. This clip shows testimony from Sylvie Gagnon about what the massacre means to her.
Today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Today we mourn. Tomorrow, we organize.