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January 12, 2015

4

Charlie Hebdo March – Vive la Liberté

by soundlandscapes

IT WAS THE LARGEST number of people ever to fill the streets of Paris. Somewhere between one-and-a-half and two million people stretching from Place de la République to Place de la Nation in a display of unity and solidarity.

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Last week, two gunmen killed twelve people at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo while another man murdered a police officer and then four hostages at a kosher supermarket in the east of Paris. These tragic events left the city and the country shocked but unbowed.

Rue Nicolas Appert - Charlie Hebdo

The offices of Charlie Hebdo where the attack took place

Rue Nicolas Appert - Charlie Hebdo

Outside the Charlie Hebdo offices after the attack

Boulevard Richard Lenoir - Charlie Hebdo

Tributes left at the site where the police officer, Ahmed Merabet, was shot in the head as he lay wounded in the street.

Rue Nicolas Appert - Charlie Hebdo

Over the last sixteen years, I’ve witnessed countless marches and demonstrations in Paris but I’ve never experienced anything quite like Sunday’s march.

The march was attended by over forty heads of government from Europe and the Middle east but the day was not about them – it was about ordinary people standing up and being counted; ordinary people demonstrating the power of unity and freedom of expression over fanaticism and terror.

Vive la France – Vive la Liberté!

Sounds of the Charlie Hebdo march:

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Boulevard Voltaire - Charlie Hebdo

Place de la République - Charlie Hebdo

Boulevard Voltaire - Charlie Hebdo

Boulevard Voltaire - Charlie Hebdo

Boulevard Voltaire - Charlie Hebdo

Boulevard Voltaire - Charlie Hebdo

Rue Nicolas Appert - Charlie Hebdo

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. hmunro
    Jan 12 2015

    How moving to hear so many voices joined to sing the Marseillaise — and to hear children among the crowd, too. You’ve captured another wonderful moment in history for posterity.

    Reply
    • Jan 15 2015

      Thank you, Heather.

      Over the years, I’ve witnessed more marches, demonstrations and protests in Paris than I can count but I’ve never experienced a march quite like this. The word ‘solidarity’ is often overused in French culture but, on this day, ‘solidarity’ seemed to encapsulate the very essence of this expression of public sentiment.

      Reply
      • hmunro
        Jan 15 2015

        Beautifully said.

  2. Jan 19 2015

    Once again thank you Des for making us feel like we’re there, listening.

    Reply

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