Paris' Eiffel Tower goes dark, unity rallies held after magazine massacre


For the second night running, in towns and cities across France people honored those who paid with their lives for press freedom.

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Paris' iconic Eiffel Tower went dark Thursday night, hours after silence descended across France for a minute as the nation marked poignant tributes for the 12 people killed in a terrorist attack a day earlier at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, reports CNN.

In the capital, many bowed their heads under umbrellas earlier as the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral tolled across the city.

It was a scene mirrored in towns and cities across France, and elsewhere in Europe, as people honored those who paid with their lives for press freedom.

On Thursday night (2 p.m. ET), lights on the Eiffel Tower were shut off in a somber tribute. Throughout the night, people lit candles, waved banners and paid their respect to the victims at makeshift shrines.

At Place de la Republique, where Parisians have been gathering for vigils, Pierre Cornet Thursday night held a spray-painted sign with a message in English: "We are Charlie."

"We are (determined) that they don't have the last word," he said of the terrorists. "We have to win, and we will win ... because our struggle is liberty."

Waving a sign with the now familiar "I am Charlie" refrain, Lesley Martin sounded defiant.

"I am not afraid," she said. "Tonight I'm here and, if tomorrow I have to be here, I don't care if anybody comes and just wants to do something really bad here. I'm not afraid to die."

Earlier, Journalist Isabelle Bordes, who works for regional newspaper Ouest France, was one of those who felt they had to observe the vigil in Paris despite pouring rain.

"We are here for Charlie, for the journalists who died yesterday, but also for the journalists who are alive and will go on," she said.

"We need Charlie -- it is unbearable to think that a newspaper could be killed by weapons -- so there will be another issue next week."

Read more of this report from CNN.

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