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Montreal Massacre Remembered

Students Display T-Shirts Painted by Abuse Survivors

By Julie-ann R. Francis

Anti-sexism groups yesterday handed out black ribbons and displayed t-shirts painted by abuse survivors yesterday to mark the second anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

In 1989, Mark Lepine opened fire on a room full of women students at the University of Montreal, killing 11 and wounding 13 others. He was reported to have said, "You're all a bunch of feminists," before shooting.

As part of an ongoing project by a Massachusetts women's group, the Lyman Common Room yesterday became a showroom for t-shirts designed by victims of violence against women.

The shirts, hung on a clothesline criss-crossing the room, are colorcoded according to the nature of the crime experienced. White stands for murder, yellow for battery or assault, red for rape, blue for incest and purple for attacks against lesbians.

One white shirt said "This is for the 14-year-old CHILD (his student) that my father raped and for her fetus that was aborted. I guess I was lucky not to get pregnant [when she herself was raped]...I wish I could meet that other survivor (I feel guilty)."

The Clothesline Project's organizers provide shirts and paint at their displays, but also accepted shirts mailed in beforehand. The project, which was first started a year ago by the Cape Cod Women's Agenda, has travelled across the state and country.

"There is a healing aspect about the shirts," said Agenda member Rachel A. Carey-Harper. "Some people need to think about their shirt, others need to make it right away."

The group also distributed leaflet and buttons condemning racism and homophobia.

"We make the connection between racism, homophobia and anti-feminism," said Carey-Harper.

The Harvard Anti-Sexist Men's Group showed their solidarity with feminists by handing out black ribbons and leaflets in the lobby of Gutman Library. The leaflets gave the details of the Montreal Massacre and warned of the dangers of male violence.

"We believe it's really important that men take responsibility for this outrageous action," said co-founder Jackson T. Katz '92.

Katz said that the student response yesterday was encouraging.

"We are trying to raise and awareness that this level of violence is intolerable, and we must start speaking out against it," he said

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