France terror attacks prompt historic mass protest marches

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Four days after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine, followed by the murders of two police officers and two bloody sieges which saw four people executed in a Jewish supermarket, the people of France have taken to the streets in record numbers - 3.7 million - in a day of solidarity with the 17 victims of the attacks. For the first time in a quarter of a century the French president marched with the people as François Hollande joined more than 40 world leaders on the streets of Paris which he said had become the “capital of the world” for the day. But the most moving part of the massive march between two major squares in Paris, the place de la République and the place de la Nation, part of the biggest public gatherings seen in France since the Liberation in 1944, was the volume of ordinary citizens who turned out to show support for the victims' families and their determination that people's freedoms should not be undermined by terrorists. Mediapart reports on the turnout in words and pictures (updated Monday).

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A massive demonstration took place in Paris on Sunday January 11th as French citizens came out in their millions to voice their solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo massacres, and two bloody sieges last week, including the murders of four people in a Parisian Jewish supermarket, and the shooting of a woman police officer, which left 17 innocent people dead. In Paris a huge procession linking the two huge public squares, the place de la République and the place de la Nation, attracted around 1.7 million people. For the first time in a quarter of a century a French president was on the streets marching with the people. President François Hollande, who said that “Today, Paris is the capital of the world” was joined by close to 50 world leaders who had come to France to pay their respects and stand shoulder to shoulder with the French people. But the huge turnout was not confined to Paris. Gatherings involving a total of 2 million people were held in cities and towns across France. And marches were held in other countries, too, to reflect the wave of revulsion over the unprecedented attack on freedom of speech when 12 people at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were gunned down last Wednesday just after 11am, and continued with the killings of police officers and the slaughter of four people in a Jewish supermarket on Friday. This is an account of the key events as they happened, with numerous photos from the march in Paris.