rafe arnott/metro vancouver
As the jury deliberates on the fate of Robert Pickton, people in the community where his alleged victims lived are remembering all abused women from the Downtown Eastside.
Around 200 people, mostly women, carried candles and marched through the DTES last night with signs that read Women Need Homes and Honour Our Lifegivers.
The event, hosted by the Power Of Women Group, coincided with the eve of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, held on the anniversary of Montreal’s École Polytechnique massacre.
Eighteen years ago today, Marc Lepine shot and killed 14 women at the school before turning the gun on himself. He claimed to be fighting feminism.
DJ O’Brien, a DTES resident who was abused for 19 years, said women in her community are always at risk of violence and that’s why shelters are so important.
"It’s more dangerous on the street," she said, adding she was friends with Patricia Johnson, one of the women Pickton has been accused of killing.
Bee, who did not want her last name used, was in an abusive relationship for 30 years and said she was taking part in the vigil in memory of her murdered sister.
"It is important for everyone to honour and remember the lives of these women," she said.