January 2015
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Extra! Extra! A Post-Charlie World

That elusive paper...

It’s funny how a silly green newspaper can mean so much. I don’t regularly do much at 6AM, on account of the sleeping and all, but this past week I couldn’t not get up early. I had a mission.

Paris won’t go back to normal. What does normal even mean anyway? While the city will recover from the terrorist attacks on the weekly satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, it’s just not going to be the same here. The scar will stay.

But that’s OK. This is France, the land of revolution, coups d’état, and protests (and amazing over-the-counter cosmetics to cover it up). Things rarely stay the same, anyway. In the 1800s alone they went through two emperors and three kings as well as two republics. That’s a lot of change.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Unprecedented Paris Rally: A City Unites

A look up Boulevard Magenta, reportedly backed up to Gare du Nord

Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions showed up in Paris for a unity rally following the recent terrorist attacks. The AFP reported that more than 2.5 million people were marching in France, with perhaps 1.3-1.5 million in the capital. Official numbers were impossible to ascertain.

Since I live right next to the meeting place, like literally a few steps from the square, I was excited to take part in the event, as a hopefully-future-Frenchman myself. I made it out the front door, but not much further than that. The streets all around Place de la République were completely full by 3PM, when the march towards Nation was set to start. Police and news vans were all I could see in the distance over the heads of hundreds of people. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#JeSuisCharlie

After attacks at the weekly satire publication Charlie Hebdo in Paris, 12 are dead, and with them, the dream that a free press can exist securely and peacefully has also been taken from us. 

While the nation is shaken, citizens have rallied with no delay. Hundreds gathered at the Place de la République tonight to show their support for the lives lost and to rally against this terrorist act. 

Chanting "Charlie" and "Liberté de l'expression," the crowd raised pens in solidarity and lit candles on the statue in the middle of the square, with lights spelling out "NOT AFRAID."