By David P. Ball - Windspeaker
Knock, knock, Mr. Harper.
Long-time women’s advocate Gladys Radek wasn’t surprised when the Prime Minister didn’t answer the door of his Parliament Hill office on Valentine’s Day when missing women’s family members called hoping for a meeting. It was in the wake of a blistering Human Rights Watch report, which alleged police were themselves among the perpetrators of violence against women.
But as Women’s Memorial Marches were held across the country to honour an estimated more than 600 missing and murdered women, the organizer with Families of Sisters in Spirit held a faint hope that Harper might at least acknowledge the growing crisis.
“Every day we hear a new story, a new injustice,” said Radek, who co-founded Walk4Justice following her niece Tamara Chipman’s 2005 disappeared along B.C.’s Highway of Tears. “Violence against Aboriginal women does not take a day off; it hasn’t for 520 years [of] colonization, assimilation and the outright desire for the land, water and air.
“The white people are right now almost succeeding in a silent genocide that’s taking our women, in any way shape or form. Nothing has changed in 520 years, the raping, pillaging, enslaving, buying and selling, and all-out killing our women under the watchful eye of this government.”