All Posts Tagged With: "Marc Lepine"
Worst-ever Gangnam parody, gun control & pub trouble
1. “This Gangnam Style parody made by high school students in New Holland, Pennsylvania, is so terrible it’s destined to outlive the original music video,” writes The Albatross. That may be going a little far, but there’s a reason this kooky video has a million clicks already. It’s hilarious!
2. A “possible abduction” at York University on Wednesday turned out to be just a prank, say Toronto Police. The pranksters had said they saw a person forced into a van by two men near the Fine Arts building. “Police have investigated the incident and spoken with the people involved. It has been revealed it was a prank played between the people involved,” they write.
3. Quebec’s universities say they were blindsided by a cut of $124-million to be implemented during the current school year. This comes as universities scramble to make up for revenue lost after tuition hikes were cancelled in September by the new Parti Québecois government.
A coast-to-coast round-up of remembrance
On this date in 1989, a young man named Marc Lepine rounded up women at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal and opened fire, killing 14 females and injuring 14 others before turning the gun on himself. In his suicide note, he blamed women for his problems.
Since 1991, Dec. 6 has been The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Across Quebec today, survivors of the shooting will gather with activists and ask the Quebec government to sue the Canadian government over Bill C-19, which will abolish the long-gun registry and—they say— allow more violence against women to occur.
Here are a few of the ways universities across the country are marking the sombre occasion.
“Out of respect for the victims, the killer should be completely anonymous.”
When Marc Lepine first walked into a classroom at the École polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989, and interrupted an engineering student’s presentation on heat transfer, nobody took him seriously.
He stood there, in his threadbare parka, holding a 223-calibre Sturm-Ruger rifle. People stared, confused. One student asked him if he was playing a prank. “Everybody thought it was just a bad joke until he fired his weapon,” Rolando Rifiorati said softly as he cast his mind back 20 years to his last class of that semester.
“Then a kind of panic took over.”
Rifiorati, who was a 24-year-old student at the Université de Montreal’s engineering school, was witnessing the start of what is still Canada’s worst mass shooting ever, an event whose 20th anniversary will be marked in solemn ceremonies across Canada on Sunday. Fourteen women died in Lepine’s 20-minute war on “feminists”—the people he blamed for ruining his life. When he killed himself at the end of his rampage, he had 60 bullets left.
The slain were: Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.
It never occurred to Rifiorati at the time that Lepine was targeting only women. He first thought he was after the men when he separated the males and females into two groups. “He kind of rushed us out of the class because I guess he was in a hurry to do what he needed to do,” Rifiorati recalled in an interview with The Canadian Press.
When Rifiorati and the other male students tumbled into the narrow corridor which led to a bank of photocopiers and a small lounge, he was stunned to see everything was normal outside the classroom. He expected more people with guns. “The guys coming out of the class were screaming that this guy had a gun and then we started hearing gunshots.” Moments later, the classroom door swung open.
“We saw him come out of the room and start shooting all over the place,” said Rifiorati, recalling how he saw bullets smash into the concrete walls. “We just ran for our lives.” Rifiorati knew six of the dead, including St-Arneault. “She was a very jovial girl, very happy-go-lucky girl, laughing all the time,” said her classmate, who became a mechanical engineer. “A very happy girl.”