Archive for the ‘France: Charlie Hebdo’ Category

Nº 1224, 06-01-2016

Nº 1224, 06-01-2016

Today is the first anniversary of the massacre. I had not intended to mark the occasion but have just come across an excellent commentary by the fine British writer Kenan Malik, “Charlie Hebdo, one year on,” that he posted on his blog today and that I am reposting, as I share his view across the board. Among other things, Malik aims his fire at persons—mainly non-Francophones who had never picked up a copy of Charlie Hebdo in their lives and simply didn’t know what they were talking about—who asserted that CH was “racist” and “Islamophobic,” and, in its cartoons lampooning Islam and Islamism—though never Muslims qua Muslims—was, as the cartoonist Gary Trudeau put it, “attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority.” Malik rubbishes all this, as did I in several posts last year (which, if one is interested, may be consulted via the Charlie Hebdo category on the sidebar).

For the record, I do differ with Malik on one point, which does not specifically concern CH. He writes

Like many on the left in France, Charlie Hebdo has often expressed strong support for the policy of laïcité. ‘Laïcité’ is usually translated as ‘secularism’. It is as a secularist, however, that I oppose it. Secularism demands a separation of state and faith. Laïcité, on the other hand, refers to a form of state-enforced hostility to religion. It requires the state to intervene in matters of faith.

This view of laïcité is widespread—including in France—but is inaccurate. There is a culture and spirit of laïcité but it is, above all, a law: the law of 1905 on the separation of churches and the state—which contains 44 articles—and its follow-up decrees—and which, it must be emphasized, enjoys a 100% consensus in France. No public person in France or organization anyone has heard of opposes the 1905 law. Not one. The 1905 law mandates neutrality of the state vis-à-vis religion. That’s basically it. The 1905 law does not speak to the comportment or vestimentary practices of citizens—agents of the state in the execution of their duties excepted—in public space. So in order to proscribe the wearing of “ostentatious” religious symbols by students in public schools or of face veils on the street, new laws had to be enacted, as such was not prohibited by the 1905 law. The conception of what laïcité means has indeed evolved in France over the past three decades with the rising visibility of Islam, with laïcité now seen—by politicians left and right, intellectuals, and the public at large—as involving the behavior of individuals and not merely the state. But this is a perversion of laïcité as spelled out by the 1905 law. It is a distortion of this hallowed principle.

There has been a significant political evolution in France since last January’s attacks and, above all, since the ones of November 13th. France is going a bad and dangerous direction, and with François Hollande in the lead role. I’ll have more to say about this in the coming week or two.

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Riad Sattouf, 2014 (image credit: Laurence Houot/Culturebox)

Riad Sattouf, 2014 (image credit: Laurence Houot/Culturebox)

Adam Shatz—London Review of Books contributing editor and dear personal friend—has a “letter from Paris” in the October 19th issue of The New Yorker on the Franco-Syrian graphic novelist—and Charlie Hebdo contributor from 2004 to 2014—Riad Sattouf, whose two-volume graphic memoir, The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, has been a best seller in France (Vol. 1, which came out in 2014, sold over 200,000 copies, which was exceptional for a book of this type; it will be out in English translation next week). I have yet to read it myself—I plan to this weekend—but have heard from several persons who have that it’s absolutely worth it. Adam’s article definitely is.

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Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), 2010 (photo credit: Sipa)

Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), 2010 (photo credit: Sipa)

This is the title of a lengthy article by George Packer in the August 31st issue of The New Yorker, in which he inquires into the social climate and general mood in the Paris banlieues—the Seine-Saint-Denis (le neuf-trois) in particular—in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo-Hyper Cacher killings of last January, specifically asking if they are “incubators of terrorism.” It’s one of the better explorations of the subject I’ve seen by an Anglo-American journalist, nowadays as in past years. I naturally have a quibble here and there and Packer made an unfortunate choice in at least one of his informants, but no big deal, as most of them are very good, e.g. Fouad Ben Ahmed from Bondy and the academics Farhad Khosrokhavar and Jean-Pierre Filiu. It’s too bad Packer didn’t meet Bernard Godard, who can speak more authoritatively on the subject of Islam in France than anyone (e.g. see his La Question musulmane en France, which came out in February). I’ll come back to the general subject soon, as, comme toujours, there is much to say about it.

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Charlie Hebdo nº 1189, 6-05-2015

Charlie Hebdo nº 1189, 6-05-2015

The American Freedom Defense Initiative, co-founded by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, that is. The Russian-American libertarian writer Cathy Young has a great piece in TDB (May 10th) on these two whack jobs and their publicity stunt in Garland TX last Sunday, “In Pam Geller’s world, everybody jihads.” The lede: “Pam Geller and Robert Spencer are being viewed as free speech champions for their ‘Draw Muhammad’ contest, which turned tragic in Dallas last week. But once a moderate Muslim begins speaking, they quickly turn into what they hate.” Despite Pamela Geller’s trying to wrap herself in the mantle of Charlie Hebdo, she and her bigoted crackpot associates have nothing whatever to do with the irreverent Paris weekly.

Charlie Hebdo, for its part, has rejected any affinity between it and the Garland event, or the respective shootings at the two. On page 3 of its latest issue, dated May 6th, is a column signed by Sol, “‘Charlie’ n’est pas Texan” (not online, except the cartoon above that heads it). The lede: “Le hashtag #WeAreGarland, qui a surgi après l’attaque du centre culturel de Garland, dans le Texas, est une escroquerie à l’esprit Charlie.”

See the fine comment (May 5th) in Huff Post by Stephen Schwartz, a convert to sufi Islam and executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, “Malice in Dallas.” Also the salutary tribune in TDB (May 4th) by comedian Dean Obeidallah, “Muslims Defend Pam Geller’s Right to Hate.” The First Amendment. Of course.

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Charlie Hebdo Editor-in Chief Gérard Biard & film critic Jean-Baptiste Thoret

Charlie Hebdo Editor-in Chief Gérard Biard & film critic Jean-Baptiste Thoret

[update below] [2nd update below] [3rd update below] [4th update below] [5th update below]

One may have heard about the brouhaha over the PEN American Center’s honoring Charlie Hebdo with its annual Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award—the gala ceremony happening last night—and the open letter protesting this that was signed by six—then 204—PEN members: nitwits, dupes, and/or ignoramuses all of them (on this particular question, at least). On the stupidity of the 204, Charlie Hebdo’s Philippe Lançon—who was seriously wounded in the January 7th attack—got it exactly right in a commentary, in the latest issue (just out today), on the PEN controversy and the protesting writers

Ce n’est donc pas leur abstention qui me choque; c’est la nature de leurs arguments. Que des romanciers d’une tell qualité—Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, Taiye Selasi—en viennent à dire autant de stupidités mal informées en aussi peu de mots, avec toute la vanité des belles âmes, voilà qui attriste le lecteur que je suis. Même si ce lecteur sait, par expérience, qu’un bon écrivain n’est jamais rien de plus, ni de moins, qu’un bon écrivain: un type qui sait bâtir quelque chose de beau, de surprenant et d’intelligent, mais qui, en dehors de son art, peut hélas penser et écrire à peu près n’importe quoi.


I’m so bored arguing about Charlie Hebdo. I’ve said everything I have to say on the matter—in numerous posts on this blog and debates on social media—and don’t feel like repeating myself. So in lieu of doing that, I will link here to a few commentaries on the brouhaha that I found particularly good (and which do not include anything by Glenn Greenwald):

Todd Gitlin, “PC Thought-Bots Embarrass Themselves With PEN Boycott,” in Tablet (May 4th).

Nick Cohen, “Charlie Hebdo: The literary indulgence of murder,” in The Spectator (April 29th).

Adam Gopnik, “PEN Has Every Right to Honor Charlie Hebdo,” in The New Yorker (April 30th).

James Kirchick, “Weaker than the Sword: Charlie Hebdo, PEN, and writerly cowardice in the face of armed aggression against free speech,” in The Walrus (May 4th).

Michael Moynihan, “America’s Literary Elite Takes a Bold Stand Against Dead Journalists,” in The Daily Beast (May 5th).

Robert McLiam Wilson, “If you don’t speak French, how can you judge if Charlie Hebdo is racist?,” in the New Statesman (April 29th).

Arthur Goldhammer—seeking middle ground, overly so IMO—, “PEN America, Charlie Hebdo and the virtue of self-restraint,” in Al Jazeera America (May 4th).

N.B. The PEN debate has been a purely Anglo-American one. It has been noted in France but nothing more. The latest (brewing) Charlie Hebdo debate here, which caught everyone unawares over the past week, is around the incendiary pamphlet—due out tomorrow—by the polymath dilettante, intellectual bomb thrower, and illuminé extraordinaire Emmanuel Todd, Qui est Charlie? Todd’s pamphlet is less about Charlie Hebdo than the January 11th marches and the four-odd million people across France who participated in them. After reading the interview with Todd in last week’s Nouvel Obs, in which he laid out his argument, I was so beside myself with ire that I declared right there and then that I would never read another word by the S.O.B. and, moreover, be sorely tempted to commit an act of aggression against his bodily person if our paths were to cross in public (and, pour mémoire, I have had not bad things to say about Todd’s writings in the past). Listening to (the insufferably arrogant, imperious) Todd on France Inter on Monday morning was the clincher. Perhaps I’ll come back to this subject.

UPDATE: Paris-based Russian-American writer Vladislav Davidzon has an excellent, bull’s-eye commentary in Tablet (May 5th) “In Paris, PEN Boycott Makes Americans Look Like Crude Provincials.” The lede: “Why the political and cultural battles being fought here [in the US] have nothing to do with what happened over there.”

In his commentary Davidzon links to two pieces on Charlie Hebdo by the Paris-based philosopher Justin E. H. Smith: “Charlie Hebdo and literature,” published on Smith’s blog (May 1st); and an essay from the April issue of Harper’s, in which he discussed the CH killings and the response of the Anglo-American left, “The Joke.”

2nd UPDATE: Charlie Rose interviewed Charlie Hebdo’s Gérard Biard and Jean-Baptiste Thoret, in New York for the PEN gala, on his show (on May 4th), which may be watched here. Their English is good!

3rd UPDATE: TNR senior editor Jeet Heer has an interesting critique of Charlie Hebdo (May 8th), “The Aesthetic Failure of ‘Charlie Hebdo’.” The lede: “The French satirical magazine refuses to evolve, using a stale artistic strategy from the 1960s.”

4th UPDATE: Following an exchange (July 22nd) with a friend about Emmanuel Todd’s book, I am linking here to all the critiques I’ve seen of it—critiques that, taken together, reduce Todd’s crackpot arguments to smithereens (the one by Mayer & Tiberj is, from a social scientific standpoint, the most important); for the record, I have seen not a single review or op-ed that outright defends Todd; on social media, “Je ne suis pas Charlie” people have linked to Todd but without commentary and refrained from engaging in a full-throttle defense of his theses when confronted with contradictory arguments (e.g. from the likes of me); no one, or so it seems, wants to go out on a limb and take Todd’s side:

Hubert Heurtas, “NON, le 11 janvier ne fut pas une imposture,” in Mediapart (May 1st).

François Héran, “Un esprit de système caricatural,” in Libération (May 3rd).

Daniel Schneidermann, “Charlie: débarrassons le livre de Todd de sa gangue de «portnawak»,” in Rue89 (May 4th).

André Burguière, “Le professeur Todd nous prend pour des charlots,” in L’Obs (May 6th).

Joseph Macé-Scaron, “Emmanuel Todd, intellectuel zombie,” in Marianne (May 7th).

Jean Matouk, “Emmanuel Todd: mieux vaut croire qu’il est malade,” in Rue89 (May 9th).

Henri Tincq, “Non, Emmanuel Todd, je ne vous suis pas dans votre portrait de la France religieuse,” in Slate.fr (May 12th).

Nonna Mayer & Vincent Tiberj, “Le simplisme d’Emmanuel Todd démonté par la sociologie des «Je suis Charlie»,” in Le Monde (May 19th).

5th UPDATE: Hudson Institute research follow Benjamin Haddad has a scathing review in The Daily Beast (October 18th) of the English translation of Emmanuel Todd’s screed, “New Charlie Hebdo book blames victims: An inane essay by a left-wing French writer claims supporters of Charlie Hebdo are essentially Islamophobic fascists.”

Nº 1179, 25-02-2015

Nº 1179, 25-02-2015

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charlie hebdo tout est pardonné

I got up early Wednesday morning, along with countless others, to buy the new issue of Charlie Hebdo but all the newsstands in my quartier were sold out, though I was able to get my hands on a copy that evening (via a vital personal connection). And I learn via social media that today, Saturday, the newsstands—which are being resupplied every morning—are still quickly selling out. Everyone will eventually get their copy. One, of course, should buy it out of solidarity but this issue reminds me of why I have not been a CH regular, mainly seeing it though selected articles photocopied at the library (quite unlike that other satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchaîné, which is an indispensable source of information on French politics and that I have bought every week without fail for the past twenty-plus years). The cartoons are typically CH: a few are clever and/or witty, others sophomoric or just not funny. As for the columns, they’re uneven. I’ve long followed Jean-Yves Camus—one of France’s best specialists of far right and antisemitic movements, who has a commentary here on conspiracy theories—and “uncle” Bernard Maris (an older piece of his is in the issue). Charb could be quite good—see, e.g. my post on a commentary of his a year ago on Zionism and anti-Zionism—but he’s not in the issue, of course. I can’t speak to most of the other writers and columnists, who haven’t seemed too interesting (admittedly subjective on my part). This is no doubt the first time most of those who are queuing at the newsstands have ever bought CH (or tried to). I’d be surprised if most will continue to do so, including those for whom it was regular reading during their leftist/anarchist high school and college years—an important past CH demographic—before moving on (pour mémoire, CH’s readers have always been exclusively on the left; right-wingers never look at it). Without Charb, Wolinski, or Cabu, the overall quality of the cartoons—already dubious—will be affected (who knows, maybe they’ll try to hire back the 86-year-old Siné, whose 2009 firing caused a sharp drop in CH’s readership). And CH will need both new writers and new issues to riff on about, as trashing religion is just so boring and has-been. Absolutely everyone in France—including all Muslims—support laïcité (as spelled out in the 1905 law). Going on about it in 2015 is so much flogging the dead horse. It will also be helpful if CH drops its price, which, at €3, is high for what it is (Le Canard Enchaîné—which, like CH, carries no ads—has held steady at €1.20 for years).

The current issue of CH is supposed to be translated into 16 languages, or something like that. What a mistake. Much of CH’s content is untranslatable. Most of those who lack familiarity with French culture, politics, and satire will be scratching their heads, as they often do when reading or hearing about something going on in France. À propos, a week ago, while still in the US, I had an email exchange with an American journalist friend in Paris, who wrote the following

It is becoming harder, not easier, for me to write about CH, because—predictably and as always—I realize that I’m up against an audience that just doesn’t get it. Even France, a country better known to Americans than any other non-Anglophone country, is still an absolute mystery to them. The entire literary tradition they represented means nothing to them; the difference between this and other terrorist attacks is not immediately obvious to them; and once certain rumors start flying around the American media, they are just impossible to dispel…

In this vein, another American friend—who grew up in Paris and lives in Washington—wrote the following on social media the other day, in response to my posting of a New York Observer interview on the Charlie Hebdo massacre with the cartoonist Robert Crumb, who has lived in France for the past 25 years

[Robert Crumb] spent enough time offending “les bien pensants” with his sexually graphic graphics to last him a life time. And yet… He nails it on the head. Yes, there is a fundamental cultural divide (in my humble opinion) between the US and France about what constitutes speech. I was at a dinner several nights ago surrounded by local DC pundits… They were all appalled at Charlie Hebdo and its insistence/raison d’être to satirize to the outer limits anything that smacks of idolatry, statist ideology, dogma, doctrine, establishmentarianism of any sort regardless of political or religious belief. That’s who they are. Get over it! I tried to tell these pundits that no one makes you read Charlie Hebdo. It’s healthy to have a rag like that in the public sphere that pushes the boundaries. It’s there for you to explore. Just like the Marquis de Sade’s writings are available for you to explore the most arcane usages of sexual whatever. Oh no!!! We can’t have that in the US.

How sadly true!

In this trans-Atlantic failure to communicate, the main difference IMO—in culture and sensibility—is the satirizing of religion. America values free speech as much as France does—even more so, I’d argue—but there is a respect for religion in America and a taboo on ridiculing the religious beliefs of others that simply doesn’t exist in France, or at least in a large part of French society (and particularly those on the left side of the political spectrum). As one of my social media interlocutors commented the other day

[Charlie Hebdo is] a hard one to explain to North Americans because it is so culturally specific and subjective. People are not used to seeing this kind of imagery used in the way CH does. Also North American liberals and leftists usually don’t understand enough French and they have an approach that is more direct and preachy. I also think leftists in the States are fundamentally more respectful of religion from the get go. I think this is because religion in the States has been progressive at times: Black church, Quakers, Liberation Theologists, and because religion and the idea of freedom of religion are so central to the culture that progressives in NA have tended to leave it alone and organize coalitions across religious lines around issues that matter.

To which a friend added

I think the greater respect for religion is due to never having had to suffer a state religion. We take that separation (except when the Christian Right tries to throw its weight around) for granted.

I will add to this that liberals and leftists in America cannot conceive of a mass political movement that doesn’t involve the active participation of churches (and synagogues). Every last antiwar demonstration in America of any consequence—in my lifetime, at least—has seen important contingents of church groups (Quakers, Unitarians, Catholics, etc) and other religious organizations. When I lived in New York City in the late ’70s-early ’80s, one of the main sites for leftist political events was the Riverside Church (interdenominational). In Washington DC it was All Souls Church (Unitarian). When I was active in immigration issues in Chicago in the 1980s, associations linked to the Catholic church were important actors in the local activist coalition. And then there was the civil rights movement, almost every last leader of which was a religious figure (Martin Luther King Jr, you name it; and Malcolm X too).  In France, religiously based associations, personalities, and publications have participated in progressive causes over the years—e.g. Cimade, Témoignage Chrétien, Abbé Pierre—but generally speaking and given the history of conflict between organized religion (i.e. the Catholic church) and the Republic, the benevolence toward religion and close association with religious organizations that one finds on the American left is incomprehensible and alien to its counterparts in France.

Back to Charlie Hebdo, on understanding its cartoons, reader Conor Meleady alerted me to the invaluable website with precisely this name, Understanding Charlie Hebdo cartoons (also here). If you’re a mystified Anglo-American who doesn’t know French—or even if you do—this is where to go to make sense of CH.

Here are a few of the good essays I’ve read (in English) over the past several days:

British-Canadian journalist Leigh Phillips has a terrific piece on the Montreal-based website Ricochet, “Lost in translation: Charlie Hebdo, free speech and the unilingual left,” aimed at leftist Anglo-Americans who have absurdly labelled CH “racist,” “bigoted,” and “Islamophobic” (among these my friend Anne Norton, who had a piece a week ago in the Huffington Post, “Charlie Hebdo and Europe’s rising right,” with which I am, needless to say, in strong disagreement).

Also critiquing a certain knee-jerk, ill-informed reaction to CH on the American left is Seth Ackerman of Jacobin, who asserts that “The Right is trying to essentialize Muslims. The Left should not fall into the same trap.” Money quote

Allergic as I am to intemperate rants, I am equally allergic to insult humor, and that is why I don’t particularly enjoy or approve of cartoons of this genre. But many of the first reactions on the US left — seeing Charlie as a kind of French Der Stürmer — were based on a serious misreading of a paper whose now-dead editor was a passionate supporter of the Palestinian cause and a longtime illustrator for the anti-racist group MRAP. (Its slogan: “Everyone is not alike, Everyone is equal.”)

To drive home the point, Ackerman posted on his own “Too Hot for Jacobin” blog his translation of CH religion editor Zineb el-Rhazoui’s December 2013 essay, “If Charlie is racist, then I am.”

To those Anglo-American leftists who think that CH was “racist”: Did you see the TV reports of Charb’s funeral yesterday, where Jean-Luc Mélenchon and PCF Secretary-General Pierre Laurent, entre autres, gave eulogies and the Internationale was sung? As one distinguished Washington-based political scientist wrote on social media today

Charb, cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo, was interred to the music of the Internationale and of a New Orleans jazz band. For me that pretty much sums up Charlie Hebdo.

Addressing the other side of the US political spectrum, Paris-based journalist and friend Claire Berlinski had a salutary post last Monday on a website also called Ricochet—this one a “conservative conversation and community”—that she entitled “Paris update or, “Who should I believe? You or my lying eyes?” Nice job, Claire (though you exaggerate the facility with which people in France can obtain firearms; hunting rifles are sold over-the-counter—to those who have a hunting license (obtained after passing a state-administered exam)—but handguns require a prior police permit—which one needs a good reason to obtain—and the private possession of assault weapons is, of course, illegal).

Steven A. Cook, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations, has a post on his CFR blog on the “disturbingly equivocal” reaction in Turkey to the CH massacre. Money quote

According to the always-excellent Arun Kapil…

شكرا يا ستيفين

Hussein Ibish, the well-known Lebanese-American publicist, has a sharp commentary on the Lebanese website NOW on how “Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover isn’t objectionable; it’s brave and touching.”

Cambridge University prof Olivier Tonneau—and member of J-L Mélenchon’s Parti de Gauche—has a “letter to my British friends” in The Guardian, in which he explains that “it’s important to understand the role the magazine played for the French left, rather than judge its content out of context.”

Writing in the HuffPost, UC-Davis law prof Karima Bennoune says that “One week after the Charlie Hebdo attack [we must] refuse to sign up for the clash of civilizations.”

Also writing in the HuffPost is Delphine O, who is French and a consultant at the Stimson Center in Washington, who explains “Why four million people are right to say ‘I am Charlie’.”

If one didn’t see it, Andrew Sullivan, posted on Wednesday his first commentary on the CH killings, “Charlie, blasphemer,” in which he got it just right.

Justin E. H. Smith, who teaches philosophy at the University of Paris 7, has a reflection in The Utopian, “Paris, 2015,” of events of the past ten days.

À suivre, évidemment.

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I arrived in Paris from the US on Sunday morning, got home toward 1:30, dropped off my stuff, and took the train back to the city to participate in the march (my wife, who was part of her union delegation—in the high-security section of the procession—was already there). I’ve never seen so many people on a Sunday afternoon on the RER line A. And I’ve quite simply never seen so many people on the streets: in my life and anywhere. Everyone has read that, at some 1.3 to 1.5 million (or however many there were; who knows?), it was the biggest march in French history. And in a country where street demonstrations happen rather more often than just about anywhere else. In addition to being the largest march I’ve ever witnessed, it was the most exhilarating, with the countless citizens—of all backgrounds, ages, and political convictions (a few excepted)—turning out on their own volition, in a spirit of fraternity, and to defend and express the values of liberty, democracy, tolerance, and the republic. I was genuinely moved by what I saw during the 2½ hours I weaved my way through the (very dense) crowd, mostly going in their opposite direction. What I continually thought to myself throughout was: Vive la France! I’m a French citizen (for ten years now) and feel it fully.

Everyone has seen the reportages and images of the march. I took some photos—with my Galaxy 4—which may not be as good as these ones, but here they are:

First, the route:


Corner of Avenue de la République & Boulevard de Ménilmontant (Père Lachaise metro station). I got off at the Philippe Auguste station and walked up. It’s 3:15pm. Weather: around 6°C/low 40s F. No rain or wind. Good day for a demo.


I am Charlie, Jewish, policeman.


Marine [Le Pen]: Beat it!


[OMG] He’s coming back.


I am Charlie (there are a couple of errors in the Arabic rendering of this but the effort is appreciated nonetheless).


Solidarity against all fascisms, be they nationalist or religious.


Lycée Voltaire. Appropriate.


Atheists are right.





The banlieue is here too.


Together united for democracy.


The hiers of the Enlightenment.



We’re all French today (en anglais).


We are Charlie.
Love is stronger than hate.



We are all Jews, and moreover “I am Charlie.”


Blood flows but ink remains: CharLiberty.


The cartoon that made Charlie Hebdo (in)famous outside France (in 2006). Personally, I loved it.


I am not politicians
I am all the victims
I am freedom of expression
I am Charlie


I am Charlie Hebdo
Eternal hero in the face of medieval barbarism.


I am…here to defend non-violence and freedom of speech, with respect for others.


Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies!


I am Charlie
I am a cop
I am French
I am Jewish
I am sad



All the metro stations along the parade route were closed.



Muriam (private message): In France these are your people.


Eduardo, this one’s for you:
I am Charlie
France and Brazil
I love France




Love is the path to peace.


Not afraid.




I am Charlie
Don’t touch my France


Let this day remain a popular citizen movement of fraternity in the face of hate, stigmatization, and discrimination.


There was no chanting of slogans. Just periodic clapping and cheering.


I think, therefore I am Charlie.


We are Charlie
Long live France
Long live the Republic


Where is Charlie? I’m here!






Intersection of Avenue de la République & Boulevard Richard Lenoir.


I am Muslim
I am Christian
I am Jewish
I am peace
and Long live the Republic


Police vans heading up Boulevard Richard Lenoir.


Cheering the police vans as they passed. As a majority of marchers were no doubt voters of the left—I am quite sure of this—this had to be a first in French history.


Republic of the Congo. I also saw a DRC flag.




It’s now 5:00pm. I’ve been on my feet for two hours.


I’m now on Boulevard Voltaire, looking toward Place de la République.


Now walking with the marchers down Bd Voltaire, toward Place de la Nation. There’s some singing of La Marseillaise.


It’s moving slowly.


France, LGBT, European Union.


I decided to hang a right on Boulevard Richard Lenoir and head toward Bastille. This is a spontaneous commemoration spot on Richard Lenoir, near Charlie Hebdo’s office. At this point my phone battery stupidly ran out, so I returned to the spot yesterday (Monday) afternoon to finish taking the pics.


The spot on Bd Richard Lenoir (50 meters down from the one above) where policeman Ahmed Mrabet was murdered in cold blood by the terrorists during their getaway.




Looking down toward Place de la Bastille.

20150112_160156Entrance to Rue Nicolas Appert. Charlie Hebdo was at nº 10.



There are some three dozen people milling about, 24 hours after the march.



Uncle Bernard.


Jim Sciutto, CNN chief national security correspondent, reporting live from Paris.







You wanted to kill Charlie
You have just made him immortal

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