Saturday, March 31, 2012

Open to Public Disability Rights Event at Wesleyan Saturday

Disability Community Remembers George Hodgins
and Other Disabled Victims of Domestic Violence

Middletown, CT – Local disability rights advocates will be holding a vigil to honor
the lives of disabled people murdered by their families and caretakers. This is part of a nation-
wide Day of Mourning, during which disability rights activists in cities across America will hold
events to remember members of the disability community whose lives were lost to domestic

On March 6, George Hodgins, a 22-year-old autistic man, was murdered by his mother in
Sunnyvale, California. In response, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) held a vigil in
Sunnyvale on March 16th. During the vigil, mourners read a list of names, beginning with Tracy
Latimer, a disabled teenager killed by her father in 1993. At the same time as ASAN’s vigil was
being held, Tracy’s father was speaking on a television panel for the Canadian Global News,
arguing for legalizing the killing of disabled people - in the name of "mercy."

When disabled people are murdered by caretakers or family members, many people justify these
murders as “understandable,” or talk about the “burden” of caring for someone with a disability.
This is the view that was aired on Canadian Global News, and in many news articles covering
the murder of George Hodgins. Many people are quick to justify the murder of a disabled person,
when they would offer no such justification if the murder victim were not disabled. Therefore,
the national Day of Mourning is meant to demonstrate to the community that the lives of
disabled people have value.

The vigil will be held at Wesleyan University, Usdan Courtyard, Saturday March 31rst, 6pm to 8pm.

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