On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered the École Polytechnique, affiliated with the University of Montreal, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He went into an engineering class, separated the men from the women, began to scream about how he hated feminists, and then opened fire on the women. He continued his rampage in other parts of the building. Fourteen women - 13 students and a secretary - died before he committed suicide.
He left a note explaining that he blamed feminism for the failures in his life, including not being accepted into engineering school, despite the fact that women only made up 20 per cent of engineering students at that time.
The massacre profoundly shocked Canadians. When Lépine's motive became clear, the event served as a massive spur for the Canadian feminist movement and for action against violence against women. December 6 is now observed as a memorial day, especially in Montreal; Parliament declared the anniversary as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. A white ribbon is the symbol of December 6 memorials.
The Montreal Massacre (as it is also known) was also a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement, which finally resulted in the passage of strict gun control legislation in 1998.
The women who died were:
|Artwork Nef pour quatorze reines (Nave for fourteen queens) by Rose-Marie Goulet, in the Place du 6-Décembre-1989, a memorial to the École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal (in the Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough)|