Je suis Charlie: Up to two million march in Paris to oppose terrorism

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      Massive crowds gathered in and around Place de la République in central Paris to express solidarity with those killed at a satirical weekly newspaper and at a Jewish supermarket last week.

      An estimated two million demonstrators were also there to support freedom of expression in the wake of the horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo on January 7. It was followed by the shooting of a police officer in southern Paris and the death of four hostages at the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery outlet in the eastern part of the city.

      The three gunmen who perpetrated the attacks were all killed by police.

      Most of the marchers went from the square down Boulevard Voltaire to Place de la Nation in eastern Paris. Others took an alternate route.

      They walked not far from the offices of Charlie Hebdo, where 12 people were murdered. The victims included eight newspaper staff members, a visitor, a maintenance person, a police bodyguard assigned to protect editor Stephane Charbonnier, and a Muslim police officer standing on guard outside the building.

      Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack on the weekly paper, saying it sought vengeance for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

      Today's unity march attracted leaders from many religious faiths, including Islam. In addition, heads of state and senior officials from more than 40 countries joined French president Francois Hollande at the event. Among them was German chancellor Angela Merkel, British prime minister David Cameron, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was there representing Canada. U.S. attorney general Eric Holder is in Paris attending talks on security issues, but was not seen among the world leaders during the march.

      Meanwhile, the leader of France's anti-immigration National Front party, Marine Le Pen, was not invited. Former French prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy, however, was part of the procession.

      Comments

      18 Comments

      Rudy Haugeneder

      Jan 11, 2015 at 12:28pm

      Wow. This is amazing. World leaders -- friends and enemies -- linking arms. Now if only they could muster a fraction of such unity to fight Climate Change. Unfortunately that is unlikely until after some unmitigated disasters that by then will have become part of an irreversible global pattern of change.

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      stop the trade in weapons

      Jan 11, 2015 at 2:22pm

      The biggest contributor to terror is suffering fueled ignorance and weaponry and enjoyed by the wealthy

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      Really?

      Jan 11, 2015 at 4:43pm

      So, they plan a national unity rally in response to the Paris mass shooting attack by Moslem gunmen and refuse to invite the National Front to it. How can you have a national unity rally and behave in such a divisive manner?

      Is it any wonder that the French President Francois Hollande has such a low approval rating? Last I checked it was around 12%.

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      JC

      Jan 12, 2015 at 7:29am

      @Rudy Haugender; stop trade in weapons; Really?

      Your exhibition of pure compassion is so moving. I'm glad you didn't highjack this thread for your own stupid political pet projects.

      Tommy Khang

      Jan 12, 2015 at 9:05am

      Wow 2 Million people marched, I am sure the terrorists in the middle east are shaking in their boots! I guess it's still better then all the slacktivists posting things on social media telling everyone how they are in "solidarity" with the people of France. Your internet likes and reposts don't do anything to combat extremism okay.

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      Mmm, Psyop!

      Jan 12, 2015 at 9:36am

      This will do nothing about the domestic terrorism at home. People on University campuses are terrified to speak their minds because if they do, they know they can be expelled. We're no better than an Islamofascist Theocracy. The only difference is what sort of statements we prohibit and that we don't use such hardcore violence. I'd much rather be expelled from school than shot, but the idea that either should happen for speaking one's mind or telling a joke is offensive to common reason.

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      Martin Dunphy

      Jan 12, 2015 at 10:01am

      Tommy Khang:

      And you bring up the rear, doing the exact thing for which you put down what you call the "slacktivists".

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      Tommy Khang

      Jan 12, 2015 at 11:53am

      @Martin I aim to please. Also unlike those who post an image not of their own creation, I took at least 30 seconds of brain power to come up with that comment and thus more effort then any true slacktivist would take.

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      Stug Lite

      Jan 12, 2015 at 4:28pm

      They weren't marching for unity.

      They were marching in fear of a nationalist backlash.

      And this Charlie Hebdo massacre wasn't an attack on free speech, it was an attack on the indigenous people of France.

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      Price Vincent

      Jan 12, 2015 at 5:21pm

      Actually, Tommy Kang has a point.

      I mean these rallies sure accomplish a lot, don't they? Opportunistic leaders appeal to the "emotion" of the sheeple, and make people feel "good" that they're taking some kind of meaningless "stand" against whatever. All in the hopes of circumventing real action, all in the hopes of keeping our attention off who's really responsible.

      This show of unity and strength will be sure to keep the moslems at bay. Idiots are the only ones foolish enough to deny that that the only thing those people understand is force.

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