[Image Description: single lit candle against a dark background. Text reads: "Disability Day of Mourning, Remembering people with disabilities murdered by caregivers"]
March 1st, 2020 is the eighth annual International Disability Day of Mourning.
Disability Day of Mourning is observed around the world to commemorate people with disabilities murdered by their caretakers. We honour and celebrate the lives of the victims, who have been taken away unjustly and much too soon.
Often, media coverage underplays deaths of disabled people and sympathizes with the murderers, calling the deaths "mercy killings". The victims are reduced to their disabilities and portrayed as burdens. The ableism and systemic conditions that lead to the murders, and the subsequent conversations surrounding them, show a horrific lack of value for disabled people's lives.
On Disability Day of Mourning, the disabled community will be gathering to commemorate victims murdered individually, and from systemic violence and institutionalization. We honour their lives, their hopes, their dreams. We remember them for who they were, not as burdens, but as people. Their voices may have been silenced, but we carry them forward. We will continue to tell the world that disabled lives are worth living.
This year, vigils will be held across what is colonially known as Canada. Locations are listed below. Most vigils take place on March 1st, 2020.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Time: 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Halifax Central Library, BMO Community Room, 2nd floor
Address: 5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS
Contact: Autistics United Nova Scotia, firstname.lastname@example.org
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1295112354025671/
Taking place on the traditional territories of the Wabanaki Confederacy and Mi'kmaq First Nations.
Time: 3:00-5:00 PM
Location: Ryerson University, SHE Building (Room 560)
Address: 99 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON
Contact: Autistics for Autistics Ontario, email@example.com
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/472118103677022/
Taking place on Dish With One Spoon Territory, the traditional land between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee peoples.
Contact: Kinnery Chaparrel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: University of Ottawa, Student Lounge
Address: 85 University Private, Ottawa, ON
Contact: Morgan Wall, email@example.com
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/203304244359128/
Taking place on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation.
Time: 2:00-4:00 PM
Location: University of Winnipeg, The Hive
Address: 515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, MB
Contact: Autistics United Manitoba, firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/194593891625384/
Taking place on the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.
Fort McMurray, Alberta
Time: 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
Location: Suncor Community Leisure Center, Main hall
Address: 1 MacDonald Dr, Fort McMurray, AB
Contact: Autistics United Fort McMurray, firstname.lastname@example.org
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/202533714141956/
Taking place on the traditional territory of the Cree, Dene, and Dane-zaa Peoples and on the Homeland of the Métis Nation.
Burnaby, British Columbia
Time: 3:00-4:30 PM
Location: Burnaby Neighbourhood Community Hall
Address: 5024 Rumble Street, Burnaby BC
Contact: Autistics United Vancouver, email@example.com
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/208952573574838/
Taking place on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Wauthuth, Sto:lo, Qayqayt, Kwanten and Stz'minus First Nations.
***A live stream of this vigil will be available***
Kamloops, British Columbia
Time: 7:00-8:00 PM
Location: Riverside Park, Rose Garden
Address: 100 Lorne St, Kamloops, BC
Contact: Brenda Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
More details at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2574232616166477/
Taking place on the traditional territory of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation.
The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network in the USA is also holding a virtual vigil on March 1st at 5-7 PM EST. More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/188326562372098/
We hope you will join us in remembering those we have lost in our community.
Autistics United Canada organizers