#JeSuisCharlie rallies held worldwide to condemn Paris massacre (PHOTOS)
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of cities across the world overnight to show their sympathy for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris that killed 12 on Wednesday and wounded 11 more.
France saw the biggest rallies as residents from many cities, including Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Lyon, Metz, Nantes and Toulouse flooded the streets standing in solidarity with victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. In Paris, people lit candles and held up their pens to support press freedom.
— Le Parisien (@le_Parisien) January 8, 2015
Parisians gather under umbrellas for a minute's silence in front of Notre Dame. pic.twitter.com/S8ofHSMdkQ
— NickdMiller (@NickdMiller) January 8, 2015
More than 1,000 people gathered at Pariser Platz outside the French Embassy in Berlin to show their sympathy for the Paris shooting victims and their families.
Many participants of the rally carried slogans “Je suis Charlie” [I am Charlie], while others chanted “Long live freedom of the press” and “long live caricature.” Demonstrators were holding candles.
“I know a cartoonist who's worked at Charlie Hebdo and I've worked for satirical newspapers,” Joël Espi, a Swiss freelance journalist who organized the rally on Facebook, told the Local, adding that he was devastated by the attack.
Sweden also joined the global vigils to pay tribute to those killed and injured. About a hundred French expats and Swedish citizens gathered outside the French embassy in Stockholm.
— Maddy Savage (@maddysavage) January 7, 2015
“People are spontaneously gathering to show their emotion after this barbaric terrorist attack,” France’s Ambassador to Sweden Jacques Lapouge told The Local, “France is united in the defense of freedom of expression and of the press.”
— Benoît Derrier (@benoitderrier) January 7, 2015
Hundreds demonstrators also joined rallies in Switzerland. At least 500 people assembled at the Place de la Riponne, in Lausanne, chanting “Je suis Charlie” and carrying candles.
— Jean Chr. Schwaab (@jcschwaab) January 7, 2015
“I grew up with Charlie Hebdo and the Canard Enchaîné (another French satirical weekly),” cantonal cabinet minister Béatrice Métraux told the 24heures newspaper, “I am profoundly shocked by what has happened.”
— Helena de Freitas (@sillage12) January 7, 2015
Also 500 people gathered in Geneva at the Uni Mall, one of the University of Geneva’s main buildings, while 200 people took to the streets of Bern.
— Quentin Baulier (@baulier) January 8, 2015
London’s Trafalgar Square also hosted a vigil for the victims of Wednesday’s Paris shootings. Promoted by a spontaneous social media campaign, the London vigil is taking place alongside similar gatherings across the world.
Les trains affichent ce message en Angleterre actuellement pic.twitter.com/nLHXJxxCYb
— Самуэль (@sxmsxm_) January 8, 2015
Solidarity vigils were also held across the US. Manhattan's Union Square saw several hundred people who were chanting: "We are not afraid" and carrying signs "We are Charlie."
“These guys just proved today that laughter has become a very dangerous job,” French citizen Rick Therie told CBS Local.
Several hundred people assembled in front of France’s consulate in San Francisco on Wednesday night. The crowd, carrying flowers and candles, held pens in the air calling for freedom of the press.
"There is nothing we can do but be together," Julia Olson, of Nimes, France, told ABC news.
About 100 people in Seattle also joined the worldwide call. People, carrying signs in support of the victims, gathered near the French Consulate.
In Australia, a vigil in Melbourne saw more than 1,000 people at the city’s Federation Square. It was organized by Maeva Siena, a member of the city's French community who knows a survivor of the attack.
— Mohamed Taha (@Mo_Taha1) January 8, 2015
"We will be thinking of all the family of the dead men,” she said.
— Courtney Bembridge (@courtbembridge) January 8, 2015
"Even if we are far away from our country, we need to show them we are with them, and we are all concerned by what has happened in France."
— Jake Wishart (@jake_wishart) January 8, 2015
Hundreds of Canadians came to show their support for the victims at Montreal’s French Consulate.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 7, 2015
The city’s Mayor Denis Coderre invited Canadians to City Hall on Wednesday evening for a candlelight vigil.
"We have a duty to protect our freedom of expression. We have the right to say what we have to say,” he said.
Along with the #JeSuisCharlie campaign, there is another campaign dedicated to Ahmed Merabet, the policeman who was killed in the massacre. His supporters have shared their feelings on Twitter using the hashtag #JeSuisAhmed.
— Kees Diepeveen (@kdiepeveen) 8 января 2015
— Jennifer Down (@JenniferDown4) 8 января 2015
— Harry Shotton (@HarryShotton) 8 января 2015