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London honours the 14 women killed at Ecole Polytechnique

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London honours the 14 women killed at Ecole Polytechnique

On December 6, 1989, one man opened fire and killed 14 young women just because they were women in what has come to be known in Canada as the "Montreal Massacre".

Industrial engineering student Blanche Mageau-Beland said she believes the anniversary is especially meaningful to the school's female engineering students.

Aboriginal women are killed at six times the rate of non-aboriginal women. The need is made evident through the recent #MeToo movement.

Outside École Polytechnique, flowers were laid in front of a memorial plaque.

"Even though it happened in Montreal 28 years ago, it's something that's still very much happening in society today", said Kendra Strong-Garcia from the YWCA.

"For me it became a significant focus and is essentially why I stayed in the university environment".

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Elizabeth White (Year 4 ChemE), at left, and Julia Filiplic (Year 4 MechE). "They were taken away by that gentleman back in '89", says student Shannon Kelly. They are finding their courage-and everyone who has felt alone should be inspired by this newfound courage.

"From something awful, something handsome came out", she said.

"Some people are afraid of change and are afraid of having new perspectives and being told that their idea of something is maybe a little bit outdated", says Filiplic.

"You know, we may actually be at a place where women are going to start to feel safer and that's the whole point of something like this", says Sanagan.

If Canada's missing and murdered First Nations women were remembered with flowers, there would have been 4,520 white roses lying on the table, Indigenous women's advocate Suzanne Smoke, the Indigenous cultural co-ordinator at Biindigen Healing and Arts, said. The structure will be on display on King's College Circle on December 6.

Ceremonies take place throughout the day to remember those slain. She said she is happy to see an increase in their services being used, because that means more people facing violence are seeking help. She calls the killings a "premeditated attack against women who were breaking barriers and pursuing their dreams in a field traditionally dominated by men".

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