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Posts tagged ‘Charlie Hebdo’

12
Jan

Charlie Hebdo March – Vive la Liberté

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

8
Jan

“Je Suis Charlie”

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a day makes!

Shortly before 11.00 this morning I arrived in Place Jean-Paul II, the open space in front of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, to find that it was home to a selection of the world’s media. Radio and TV broadcasters were busy establishing satellite links with their studios and preparing to broadcast ‘live’ to their audiences around the world.

Notre Dame - Charlie Hebdo

Yet twenty-four hours earlier the media would have been hard pressed to find a story here – any story – let alone a story worth reporting. But then, in what seemed like the blink of an eye, everything changed.

Notre Dame - Charlie Hebdo

Shortly before 11.30 yesterday morning, 7th January, two masked gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher stormed the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in rue Nicolas Appert in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. They shot and killed twelve people, including eight Charlie Hebdo employees and two police officers, and wounded eleven others.

After the news broke, there was an outpouring of sympathy for the victims, support for freedom of speech, and defiance against the perpetrators. The symbol for all this became encapsulated by the declaration, “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”).

03

At midday today people in Paris and across France paused for a minute of silence to mourn the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Notre Dame - Charlie Hebdo

In declaring today a day of national mourning it was decreed that flags on all public buildings should be flown at half mast and that the bells of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris should be rung in honour of the victims.

The Bells of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris speaking for the nation:

From the Place Jean-Paul II I listened as the cathedral bells began to peal a minute or two before midday. The rain fell, a crowd gathered and then the sound of the bells faded and the crowd fell silent. The sound of a police siren in the distance reminded us why we were here and brought into stark relief the names of those who were not, those who were murdered at around this time yesterday …

  • Frédéric Boisseau, 42, building maintenance worker for Sodexo, killed in the lobby
  • Franck Brinsolaro, 49, police officer, was assigned as a bodyguard for Charb
  • Cabu (Jean Cabut) 76, cartoonist
  • Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist
  • Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), 47, cartoonist, columnist and editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo
  • Philippe Honoré, 74, cartoonist
  • Bernard Maris, 68, economist, editor, and columnist
  • Ahmed Merabet, 42, police officer, shot in the head as he lay wounded on the ground outside.
  • Moustapha Ourad, proofreader
  • Michel Renaud, 69, festival organiser, a guest at the meeting
  • Tignous (Bernard Verlhac), 57, cartoonist
  • Georges Wolinski, 80, cartoonist

After the silence the bells began to peal again and they did so for a further twenty minutes. Despite the heavy rain, practically everyone stayed until the bells had finished after which there was spontaneous applause.

It seemed to me that the silence, surrounded by the sound of the bells and the sound of the rain falling like tears from the sky said everything that needed to be said.

Notre Dame - Charlie Hebdo

The remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo have announced that publication will continue, with next week’s edition of the newspaper to be released as usual except that, with eight pages, it will be half its usual length – but it will have a print run of one million copies compared to its usual 60,000.

Notre Dame - Charlie Hebdo