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NEWS - News of B'nai B'rith

January 22, 2015

JeSuisCharlie

The terror attack over the weekend in Paris brought the world to a standstill. The targets of the main attacks: the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the kosher supermarket, were meant to provoke a level of terror past that of murder. Here we are facing an attack on our freedoms, our freedom of speech and press, our freedom of religion, our freedom for a peaceful and civil society: the very liberties for which we stand.

For a complete timeline of the events of what happened you may follow this link:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237

Thousands of people gathered at the Place de la République in Paris for a spontaneous demonstration Wednesday after the attacks. There were no speeches by politicians, just spontaneous cries of "Je suis Charlie!" Many people, braving the cold, symbolically brandished pens, in sympathy with the cartoonists and journalists who died in the attack. Others in the crowd held up back issues of Charlie Hebdo featuring controversial cartoons.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo proposed that Charlie Hebdo "be adopted as a citizen of honour" by the city. "What we saw today was an attack on the values of our republic, Paris is a peaceful place. These cartoonists, writers and artists used their pens with a lot of humour to address sometimes awkward subjects and as such performed an essential function."

Retired teacher Agnes Quandalle said: "In the 1960s and '70s, we grew up with those cartoonists . . . It feels as if those behind the attack want to kill us all." Spontaneous demonstrations also took place in other French cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse, and all over Europe.

French President François Hollande declared a national day of mourning for Thursday, and political parties called for a united mass demonstration in Paris next Saturday. For now, the world is taking a stand for free speech. Proclaiming the pen mightier than the sword. On Monday, France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, paid a visit to the Montrouge school – on the premises of a synagogue – to reassure the staff and parents. He announced the reinforcement of security measures outside Jewish schools and synagogues where police have already been deployed following other antisemitic attacks.

In addition to the deployment of 4,700 police and paramilitary gendarmes, he said the army would also be on hand within two days. He appointed a prefect, Patrice Latron, to oversee security in future at France's 717 Jewish schools and places of worship.

Sources: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sutter-je-suis-charlie/
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/12/charlie-hebdo-terrorism-surveillance
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/13/french-jewish-community-ponders-future-after-paris-attacks