Charlie Hebdo rally: Hundreds gather in Cambridge in defiant response to Paris terror attacks

Charlie Hebdo rally: Hundreds gather in Cambridge in defiant response to Paris terror attacks

Source: Cambridge News

Hundreds of people came together in Cambridge today in a defiant response to three days of terrorist atrocities in Paris that left 17 people dead.

People of all backgrounds and ages attended a unity rally outside Great St Mary’s Church in Cambridge as a tribute to those killed.

The large crowd carried ‘Je Suis Charlie’ signs in the vigil to show solidarity with the 12 journalists from Charlie Hebdo shot dead on Wednesday.

Following the massacre at the satirical weekly newspaper, a further five innocent people lost their lives in a series of deadly attacks – including the siege of a kosher grocery store.

The French flag and solidarity signs were on show during the Cambridge rally where French residents, workers, students – alongside other nationalities – showed their support.

Claudile Cohen, who lives in Paris, attended the vigil in Cambridge with her daughter who has family in the city.

Ms Cohen, who returns back to the French capital in a week, told the News: “I am very disappointed in what has happened in Paris. It’s very very awful. I am so sad for all the families who have lost people.”

Her daughter Karen, who lives in both Paris and Cambridge, said: “It’s a big trauma and nightmare. We are only just coming to realise what has happened. These people should have been checked by security. It’s a major mistake by our government.”

Georges Gonthier, who used to work in Paris, said: “I am still shocked, still in trauma with the nastiness of it all.”

The Cambridge Microsoft worker added: “France have got to get their security service working better like in this country.”

Alliance Francaise organised the rally in Cambridge after the series of deadly attacks took place.

A spokesman of the group said: “It’s fantastic that so many people, from lots of different countries, have shown their support. This isn’t about politics – it’s to say freedom for everybody. We are here to show that we stand united against terrorists.”

Alliance Francaise received a high number of messages ahead of the rally enquiring how they could show their unity.

Thomas Kim, who is half French, attended the rally to “stand for free speech” and show his respect to families affected.

The 18-year-old Cambridge resident added: “It’s touching to see so many people show their support from all over the world.”

French President Francois Hollande led hundreds of thousands of people through the streets of Paris in a massive demonstration to show solidarity with the victims of the terror spree last week.

World leaders, including the Prime Minister, David Cameron, joined together for the event.

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