Je Suis Charlie: Londoners gather in Trafalgar Square to mourn Paris attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo

Hundreds gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square last night to mourn the 12 victims of the armed attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

At around 11.30am yesterday masked gunmen stormed the magazine’s offices in Paris and shot dead journalists and cartoonists gathered for an editorial meeting.

At the vigil gatherers held signs reading Je Suis Charlie (I am Charlie) above their heads to express their solidarity with the victims.

Charlie Hebdo vigil Jake Polden 1

SOLIDARITY: It should be ink that flows not blood

Among the crowd was Melody Patry, originally from Lille but now living in London. She said: “The atmosphere was quite heavy because it was a silent vigil.

“It was really silent and quite impressive to see that many people silent – even passers-by.

“People said they were there because they did not want to be afraid, that was a recurrent phrase: ‘I do not want to be afraid’ – people were quite defiant.”

In addition to holding signs people also held pens, notebooks and keyboards to signify their support for freedom of expression.

Charlie Hebdo Jake Polden

Ms Patry, senior advocacy officer at Index on Censorship, an international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom, said: “It was an attack on the life of people,

“But obviously they targeted Charlie Hebdo for publishing caricatures that were deemed offensive and controversial.

“They [Charlie Hebdo] were representing a branch of freedom of expression and that’s why they were targeted.”

Two of the gunmen are still at large and a massive manhunt is underway to find them.

Reports from France this morning were that the suspects had robbed a service station in the north of the country.

Pictures courtesy of Melody Patry, with thanks

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