In a show of solidarity following the shocking attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, peaceful candlelight vigils have been staged throughout France.
The largest gathering is currently being held in Paris, on Place de la Republique, where tens of thousands have gathered to pay homage to the victims, calling for the protection of freedom of speech and holding placards reading “Je suis Charlie” (“I Am Charlie”).
— Matthieu Mondoloni (@M_Mondoloni) January 7, 2015
After a moment of silence held at 7 p.m. local time, demonstrators broke out into applause and chants of “Charlie! Charlie!” One group held signs spelling out “Not Afraid,” with many more holding posters of the magazine’s editorial comics and raised pens to show support.
French President Francois Hollande has declared Thursday, Jan. 8, as a national day of mourning.
Supporters have also gathered in other French cities. In Bordeaux, images of the front page of Charlie Hebdo were projected onto the side of the Chateau du Ha fortress.
— France3 Aquitaine (@F3Aquitaine) January 7, 2015
Twelve people were killed in the attack at the Paris headquarters of the magazine on Wednesday. The gunmen are currently on the run from authorities.
Elsa Keslassy contributed to this story.