In the wake of the attacks last week on Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, a million Parisians took to the streets this weekend. They were joined by over 50 world leaders in a “Unity March”: a show of unity in defiance of the attackers, a defence of free speech and an act of solidarity with the 17 victims and their families.
Photos taken from above show the sheer volume of supporters in the Place de Republique and surrounding streets:
Demonstrations weren’t limited to Paris, however. In cities around world, people showed their solidarity, through everything from marches to light shows – in some cases, despite difficult or threatening circumstances. Here’s a selection.
London landmarks, including the National Gallery and Tower Bridge, were lit up with the three colours of France’s national flag on Sunday night (11 January).
During the day on Sunday, thousands gathered in Trafalgar square to show their support.
Around 100 journalists took part in a rally down one of the Turkish capital’s main roads on Sunday, chanting “We are all Charlie”.
However, the march attracted criticism, and even violence, from several passersby who stood in favour of the attacks. According to the Washington Post, one man approached the group shouting “Muslim blood is being shed!”
The man in the picture below was arrested by a plain-clothes police officer as he tried to attack a journalist during the rally:
The Empire State building’s exterior light system was shut off for five minutes at 8pm on Sunday, and the tower’s tip showed the three colours of the French Tricolore flag.
On Saturday, a gathering was also held in Washington Square Park for French expats and their friends and supporters. The assembled crowd included Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund.
Egyptian journalists protested against the attacks outside Egypt’s syndicate of journalists on Sunday. They raised their pens, and held a banner which read: ” ‘The Egyptian journalists syndicate condemn the attack on journalists and denounce all forms of terrorism.”
In Egypt, the attackers’ targeting of the free press holds extra potency: journalists were regularly imprisoned under the rule of President Morsi, and three Al-Jazeera journalists are currently imprisoned under the direction of president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Reporters Without Borders released a statement saying it was “appalled” that Al-Sisi attended the Unity march in Paris, considering his treatment of journalists in Egypt.
An 18,000-strong vigil was held in central Berlin to remember the victims. This resident holds a sign reading: “Against Hate and Intolerance and for Freedom and Humour”.
The French embassy held a memorial for the victims on Sunday, and its flag flew at half mast.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that a gathering of journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club on Thursday, the day of attacks, was monitored by around eight police officers, both plain-clothes and uniformed. Looks like demonstrations in defence of free speech aren’t quite to the Chinese government’s taste.
In Abidjan, economic capital of Ivory Coast, supporters gathered around the French Embassy and hung messages of support on its fences. The country was once a French colony (it became independent in 1960), but it still retains close ties with France.
Several artists created sand sculptures commemorating the victims on the city’s Juhu beach. Here’s one of them, surrounded by students:
Reporters Without Borders held a demonstration for “peace and respect” in the Swedish city on Sunday, despite freezing temperatures and snow.
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