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December 6th 1989 is always on our mind

December 6th, 1988 was a typical day for me as a child, coming from my day at the daycare. Life seemed pretty good, fun, and peaceful.

But, this day was one of fear, anxiety, and deep sadness.

These negative emotions made an entrance in my life and I think, many Canadians, Quebecers and, especially Montrealers.

I was in preschool at that time, but I do remember exactly, coming home after this so-called “typical day” for my family and thousand of families. The face of my mom changed when she saw what was happening while watching the news. My brother was as quiet as my mom. For me, this silence was unusual.

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The silence was soon followed by my phone ringing at home. The waves of shocks started.

The Chronicle photo

I still didn’t understand why I was seeing the flashing red light of ambulances on tv or why I kept hearing the word “Polytechnique”. I asked my brother what washappening and he calmly explained to me that we didn’t know yet, but there had been a shooting.

A shooting?

That was my reaction. I was so scared. We were all so scared. The minutes passed and little by little, we learned the names of the victims. I realized early on, these were womens’ names. I heard “Maryse”, “Barbara”…. I was thinking “OMG, I don’t understand what is going on”.

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Our world changed. I went to bed, crawling in with my mother to sleep. I didn’t want to lose my Mommy! She was (and still is) the most important woman in my life. I was thinking maybe a young girl,like me, wasn’t able to crawl into her mother’s arms that night.

With December 7th, 1989 came the realization that this wasn’t a bad dream. It was a reality that could never be wiped from our minds and souls. By then, we knew more about what happened. I seem to remember my brother telling me that life wouldn’t be easy for me as a girl or, later on, as a woman, but I had to keep fighting for my role in society and be invincible.

But while he told me those words of wisdom, like he always did, his eyes were scared. I never saw my big brother, my hero, that scared. He was so sad. He couldn’t understand what had happened. He was a smart 11-year old that was brought up to be respectful to women and to admire them for their accomplishments. He always made me feel I could be whatever I wanted, even if it required stepping inside a man’s world. But on December 7th, 1989 he seemed lost and scared.

I was a mix of a girly girl (Barbie, My Little Pony, singing Nathalie Simard songs and watching her tv show religiously) with a big dose of tomboy (wrestling matches with my brother, the hardcore way, playing soccer and hockey, and not being afraid of getting dirty with my beautiful dress on). Impossible means nothing was my moto.

When I learned what had happened to those fourteen women, twelve of which were studying engineering, breaking barriers by entering a male-dominated world. At the time, the words of wisdom from my brother the night before seemed unrealistic.

On December 6th, 1990, I made a promise to myself. My promise was to never forget what happened in 1989 and to truly believe a peaceful society was something that would be achievable one day. Violence is not the answer.

Those women, like many others before and after that tragedy, lost their lives in the most horrific way just because they were women.

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This is a wake up call. Enough is enough.

 

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Angelina is walking the walk!

I’m in front of my computer screen to write what’s going on right now in my head. I close my eyes and say to myself again in 2017, women, young children and even men are victims of sexual violence around the world and especially in developing countries.

I have finished watching Angelina Jolie’s speech at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference and I feel a range of emotions such as grief, empathy for the victims and especially frustration when, in 2017, these atrocities still exist. .

Angelina UN

I believe very strongly in the day that we will have a world without wars and without violence. Until when will violence against women continue to go? During Angelina’s speech, she cites a fact that an 18-month-old child has been the victim of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But what the fuck 18 months… This is just so awful.

At that moment, I started to cry. She asked audience members to imagine that on their streets, trucks with armed men are invading their homes and they are attacking all women and girls in their homes in front of their family members and that As a result, the government of this country asks them to act as if nothing had happened.

It emphasizes that these acts destroy a life and a family. It was not a speech with words in the air. On the contrary, it was a speech of the most touching, most difficult to listen in the sense that it is not a fictional story but the reality. All of this, coming from a brave woman and determined to contribute to bring some peace in this world.

Angelina UN

There were no fanfares, no trumpets, but powerful words that drew her sheets of paper. A messenger ready to continue fighting the good fight. She is one of the voices of optimism in this world so gray. She does not waste her time talking about cosmetics, diets and the next party she will be attending. Rather, sometimes with her children, she puts on her backpack and goes to meet these victims to better understand, to cry with them and to bring them a small ray of sunshine while working very hard with different organizations to they find a better quality of life.

UN CONFERENCE

Actress Angelina Jolie, special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks during the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Over 500 delegates from more than 70 countries and international organizations will gather at the upcoming Defence Ministerial to discuss improvements to UN peacekeeping operations and focus on securing new pledges from Member States. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In recent weeks with all the scandals happening in the artistic and political world regarding sexual violence sexual harassment against women and even towards men, people are paying more attention.

But it should not take a scandal in the art world to talk about it. Women and girls, for example Nadia Murad, there are thousands. I hope we will pay more attention to those victims who do not have the social media to talk or make noise.

I hope we will support them and make noise for them. The abuse of power is a monster and even I would write that it’s a devil. But the power to do good to one’s neighbor with love and tolerance is angelic. Angelina is an angel on this earth and I’m sure she is not the only one.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie meets displaced Iraqis who are members of the minority Christian community, living in an abandoned school in Al Qosh

Let’s follow her!

Angie charityAngelina Jolie at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference

Angelina Jolie nous fait réfléchir!

Je suis devant mon écran d’ordinateur pour écrire ce qui se passe actuellement dans ma tête. Je ferme les yeux et je me dis encore en 2017, des femmes, des jeunes enfants et même des hommes sont victimes de la violence sexuelle à travers le monde et spécialement dans les pays en voie de développement.

J’ai terminé de regarder le discours de Angelina Jolie lors du UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference et je ressens une gamme d’émotions comme de la peine, de l’empathie pour les victimes et surtout de la frustration quand 2017, ces atrocités existent encore.

UN CONFERENCE

Je crois très fortement au jour que nous aurons un monde sans guerres et sans violence. Jusqu’à où la violence envers les femmes continuera à aller?

Durant le discours de Angelina, elle cite un fait qu’un enfant de 18 mois a été victime de violence sexuelle dans la République Démocratique du Congo. Mais quoi… 18 mois. À ce moment, je me suis mise à pleurer.

Elle a demandé aux membres de l’auditoire de s’imaginer que sur leur rue, des camions avec des hommes armés envahissent leur demeure et ceux-ci agressent toutes les femmes et les filles dans leur maison devant les membres de leur famille et que par la suite, le gouvernement de ce pays leur demande de faire comme si de rien n’était. Elle met l’accent sur le fait que ces actes détruisent une vie et une famille.

Ce n’était pas un discours avec des mots en l’air. Au contraire, ce fut un discours des plus touchants, des plus difficiles à écouter dans le sens que ce n’est pas une histoire fictive mais bien la réalité. Tout ça, venant d’une femme courageuse et déterminée à contribuer à apporter un peu de paix dans ce monde.

Il n’y avait pas de fanfares, pas de trompettes, mais des mots puissants qui dessinaient ses feuilles de papier. Une messagère prête à continuer de combattre le bon combat. Elle est une des voix qui porte un message d’optimisme dans ce monde si gris.

Elle ne perd pas son temps à nous parler des produits de beauté, des régimes et de la prochaine fête qu’elle va participer. Plutôt, avec parfois sa marmaille, elle enfile son sac à dos et part à la rencontre de ces victimes pour mieux comprendre, pour pleurer avec eux et avec elles et pour leur apporter un petit rayon de soleil tout en travaillant très fort avec différents organismes pour qu’ils retrouvent une meilleure qualité de vie.

Angelina Jolie Vancouver 2017

Depuis quelques semaines avec tous les scandales qui se passent dans le monde artistiques et politiques concernant la violence sexuelle l’harcèlement sexuel envers des femmes et même envers des hommes, les gens portent plus d’attention. Mais ça ne devrait pas prendre un scandal dans le monde artistique pour qu’on en parle. Les femmes et jeunes filles comme par exemple Nadia Murad, il y en a des milliers.

J’espère qu’on portera une plus grande attention à ces victimes qui n’ont pas les médias sociaux pour parler ou faire du bruit. J’espère qu’on les soutiendra et qu’on fera du bruit à leur place.

Justin and Angelina

L’abus du pouvoir est un monstre et même, j’irais à écrire que c’est un diable. Mais le pouvoir de faire du bien à son prochain avec amour et tolérance, c’est angélique.

Angelina est bien un ange sur cette terre et je suis sûre qu’elle n’est pas la seule.

Angie charity

Suivons-là!

 

Discours de Angelina Jolie U.N Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference 2017