VANCOUVER, CANADA, MEDIA ADVISORY–(Marketwire – Feb. 7, 2010) – Press Conference: Wednesday, February 10th, 10:00 am, Carnegie Theatre, Main and Hastings, Vancouver

February 7, 2010. VANCOUVER, Coast Salish Territories- The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of the women from the Downtown Eastside (DTES) who die each year due to the violence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. The Women’s Memorial March began 19 years ago after the brutal murder of a Coast Salish woman that left the neighbourhood in shock. This was the catalyst that moved women to take action against ongoing violence of women in the DTES.

Over 3000 women are known to have gone missing or been murdered in Canada since the 1970s. Last year, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issued this statement: “Hundreds of cases involving aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in the past two decades have neither been fully investigated nor attracted priority attention.”

According to Marlene George, Memorial March Committee organizer, “Government and societal apathy to these losses of thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women living in poverty only compounds the ongoing risk to our women.”

An international press conference is being organized on February 10th at 10:00 am in the Carnegie Theatre to shed light on the heinous and unimaginable violence.

“This is an ongoing issue. An increasing number of women who are forced to live and work in conditions of extreme poverty and marginalization are being murdered or have gone missing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. These women may not be with us today, but we cannot let their lives and struggles be forgotten. Every life is precious and we must continue to work for justice for murdered and missing women,” further states George.

This year, marches will also be held on February 14 in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Sudbury, London, Montreal, and Victoria. In Vancouver, a community of friends and family members led by women will move together through the streets of the DTES, stopping at the sites where women have died, lay a red or yellow rose in remembrance, and perform spiritual ceremonies for healing.

MEDIA PROTOCOL FOR FEBRUARY 14TH: There will be a media scrum on the Carnegie patio at 11:00 am. There will be no media in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between noon – 1:00 pm. Media may not film inside any part of the Carnegie building as per their regulations. Media may record the Memorial March at 1:00 pm, except no recording of any of the ceremonies during the march. Thank you for your respect.

/For further information: Marlene George: 604-665-3005, Carol Martin 604 681 8480 x 233, Stella August 604 833 8516, Mona Woodward 778 241 8440, Bernie Williams 604 609 0552, Dalannah Bowen 604 642 2502. Website: http://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com//

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