World Unites In Historic March Against Terrorism

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On Sunday, January 11th, almost 4 million people across France and several hundred thousand more globally, marched in solidarity against terrorism. The biggest gathering was in Paris where an estimated 1.7 million people, including 40 world leaders, walked along the boulevards and avenues of central Paris. Some were carrying signs with the slogan “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), while others held up large stylized pencils or wore writing implements on their hats or other items of clothing.

All the symbols were a tribute to satirical magazine publisher Charlie Hebdo, where the event that terrorized the nation for three days, began. On Wednesday, January 7th, two gunman stormed into the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people, including two police officers, as well as the magazine's chief editor, Stephane 'Charb' Charbonnier. The assassinations conducted by brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi who had links to Islamic terrorist group Al Qaeda, are believed to be a response for the magazine's numerous mocking cartoons depicting prophet Muhammad, a strict taboo in Islam. The tragedy did not end there.

Despite efforts to stop them, the two escaped. On January 8th, with the police close on their tracks the terrorists hid inside a small printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, holding its manager hostage.

If that was not bad enough, an eerily similar scenario was unfolding in a different part of the city at about the same time. Another terrorist, Amedy Coulibally, who authorities believe was connected to Cherif and Said Kouachi, began by killing an unarmed police officer that was responding to a traffic incident in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge. The following day, just a few hours after the Kouachi brothers took over the printing press, he barricaded a kosher supermarket nearby, with a number of customers still inside.

On Friday, January 9th, the French police stormed both places almost simultaneously, successfully killing all three terrorists. While the manager of the printing press escaped unscathed, four supermarket customers held captive by Amedy Coulibally, were not as lucky.

To pay tribute to the 17 people that perished and demonstrate the country's unity against anyone that threatened their basic right of freedom, a group of residents decided to organize a march. They adopted the slogan "Je Suis Charlie", which soon went viral, becoming the most popular news hashtag in Twitter history, within two days. Not surprisingly, the march soon took on a life of its own, ending up as one of the biggest gatherings in the country's history.

People all across the world, from Berlin to London, New York to Sydney, showed support for France's determination to stand up to terrorism by holding similar marches in their cities. As for the publishers at Charlie Hebdo? Despite the major setback, they immediately got back to work. This week's magazine cover depicts Prophet Muhammad holding a "Je suis Charlie" sign - a clear indication that they are not going to let anyone dictate what they can or cannot publish in their magazine.

Resources: latimes.com, dailymail.co.uk,nbcnews.com, cnn.com

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293 Comments
  • smishball123
    smishball123over 6 years
    GO UNITERS!!!!! KILL THE TERRORISTS!!!
    • XEXE_fireover 6 years
      because they will take ove rthe world
      • ANONYMOUS almost 7 years
        Why is it important for the world to unite against terrorism? PLZ ANSWER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!!:)(:
        • anonymousalmost 7 years
          Why is it important for the world to unite against terrorism? PLZ ANSWER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!:)(:
          • bugsbunny101
            bugsbunny101almost 7 years
            Love it I want to join so much.
            • lucas oucsalmost 7 years
              WHAT!!!! HOW CAN A GOOD PEACEFUL CITY GET OUCUPIED BY D TERIRISTS!?!?!?!!?!!?!?!!
              • katniss12345
                katniss12345almost 7 years
                WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                • nico342almost 7 years
                  so many people :D
                  • billalmost 7 years
                    that's awesome
                    • chmee
                      chmeeover 7 years
                      1. to support france. the banners shirts and posters are to show that tey are against terrorism. 2. he was targeted bc the magazine publishers had pics that were mocking saddam Hussein. the terrorists names were Cherif and Said Kouachi who were involved with the Al Qaeda group 3. the other terrorist was named amedy coulibally who killed an unarmed policeman also he killed 4 people in a supermarket. Charlie hebdo was determined to show that the magezines could publish whatever they wanted. they did this by publishing a pic of saddam Hussein holding a "Je Suis Charlie" sign.