Naomi Klein: The Montreal Massacre

A critical moment in Canadian history pushed Klein into politics.
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TRANSCRIPT

Naomi Klein: There was a moment where I became involved in politics as a university student, and that was . . . It was a moment that I think Americans won’t remember, but Canadians do, which it’s known as the “Montreal Massacre”. And it was a . . . It was a school shooting, but it was a very political school shooting. It happened . . . It happened at the University of Montreal, and I’m from Montreal so it affected me a lot. And I was in first year university, and it was a shooting at an engineering school by a man named Mark Lepine who had tried to get into this school but he hadn’t gotten in. And he decided it was because there was affirmative action for women, so he went into the engineering department and he separated the men from the women and said, “You’re all a bunch of fucking feminists,” and killed 14 women . . . just gunned them down. So this was an amazing political awakening for a lot of women because the politics were just so clear, and we felt really vulnerable as women in universities at that point. So up until then I had really decided, you know, I didn’t wanna be involved in activism and I didn’t wanna follow in my family’s footsteps. But that was like a wakeup call. Recorded on: 11/29/07