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Place de la Republique
Image: Reuters/G. Fuentes

World vigils to mourn Paris shooting victims

Kate Brady
January 7, 2015

Vigils have begun around the world in tribute to the 12 victims who died in a shooting at the Paris headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The gunmen are still on the run.


Thousands of people gathered at the Place de la Republique in France's capital, Paris, on Wednesday evening as they silently held up pens to remember the 10 journalists and two police officers who lost their lives in the attack. The symbolic gesture came after what has been regarded as many as an attack on freedom of speech.

Paris mayor, Anne Hidaglo invited "all Republicans" to march in silence.

French football club Lille also said that it would hold a minute's silence before Wednesday's home league game against Evian as a mark of respect.

French daily Le Monde posted a map showing vigils taking place not only across France but in cities around the world including, London, New York, Berlin, Munich, Rome and Buenos Aires.

In Berlin, crowds gathered at the capital's Brandenburg Gate. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Wednesday described the shooting as "a barbaric attack against our European values."

A vigil was also set to take place in London's Trafalgar Square. Organizers on Facebook had called on those attending to peacefully support the families of the victims as well as the Charlie Hebdo publication by bringing along pens "to celebrate freedom of expression," as well as flowers, French flags, and banners bearing the words "Je suis Charlie."

The phrase, which translates as "I am Charlie" was trending on social media on Wednesday in a sign of solidarity with the publication.

After being offline for several hours, the Charlie Hebdo website also replaced its usual content with the slogan against a black background.

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