let’s remember jane doe, not willy pickton

there is a sad mystery in the trial of william pickton, the trial of canada’s most gruesome serial murder. dozens of women disappeared between 1997 and 2002 from vancouver’s downtown eastside, and today william pickton, a pig farmer from coquitlam, a city part of great vancouver, was charged with second degree murder of six of them.

all in all, willy pickton is accused of murdering 26 women. however, the remains of one woman were never identified, and he could only be charged for killing 25. the truly missing woman, we call her jane doe.

let’s just take a moment and remember all the john and jane does of this world.

the jane doe of vancouver, who was used, killed and thrown away like a candy bar wrapper.

all the soldiers that were and are still being used as cannon fodder. the grave of the unknown soldier in canberra, australia

the desaparecidos of argentina and chile – thousands of people who disappeared in cruel dictatorships.

and people who are still alive today – people whose homelessness and poverty makes them so invisible, they are close to dead.

i’m writing this in a warm, spacious, loving home, my belly full of a good supper that i had in the company of a handful of wonderful people.

i don’t really know what to say.

only that i can’t just look away from the unknown soldier, from the madres de plaza de mayo who never found their children again, from the person who is homeless just a mile away, and from jane doe.

may you rest in peace, jane. and may we not fall asleep in our comfort but continue to be restless in our search for peace justice, and social justice.

i was going to stop here. and then it occurred to me – let’s not remember these people for being desaparecidos.

i truly believe that there are few greater needs in life than to feel that we belong, that we are part of, that we contribute. we don’t know all these unknown, disappeared people but at least we can imagine how they enriched the world …

… jane doe’s laughter, and the cigarettes that she shared with her neighbour …

… the unknown soldier’s buddy – oh, wait, let’s give the unknown soldier a name, too. let’s call him tommy hawkings. tommy’s buddy met his wife at one of the barn dances that tommy was so famous for organizing …

maria beatriz maroni, a young argentinean woman, who had dedicated her spirituality to social justice …

… and – see how the circle comes round again: young homeless gay men in new york, who help each other deal with the struggles in the survival sex trade …

people who contribute.

let’s give the last word to sting here on you tube as he sings

one day we’ll dance on their graves
one day we’ll sing our freedom
one day we’ll laugh in our joy
and we’ll dance
one day we’ll dance on their graves
one day we’ll sing our freedom
one day we’ll laugh in our joy
and we’ll dance

(thanks to kamasupra for the lyrics and madsta for the image of the tomb of the unkown soldier)

(this post was mentioned in the carnival against sexual violence, one of the best blog carnivals around) 

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