Largest demonstration in the history of Paris
Despite the recent devastating assault on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a few days earlier, daily life in Paris seemed to go on as usual.
However, on the 11. January, we did take part in one of the largest demonstration in the history of Paris where over 2 million people gathered on the streets in Paris along with 40 world leaders to endorse freedom of speech and press using the slogan “I am Charlie”.
We have never seen so many people gathered in one place. All the major streets close to Republique Square were filled with people. The crowd was clapping, singing and girls were wearing pencils in their hair to represent the newspaper.
Many waved the flag of France, cheered, and sang the national anthem. Standing on the streets of Paris today was really special. The whole city was filled with a strange atmosphere. People were caring, smiling to each other and being polite but also morning for those who lost their life.
“Paris is the capital of the world today”
-French leader Francois Hollande
Throughout the day the streets of the city where filled with police cars, soldiers and loud sirens. For a moment we started to wonder if there had been another attack because rushing police cars where driving everywhere, blasting loud sirens and blinking lights. But later realised it was due to the high security of so many world leaders and all the civilians on the street that day.
We were really thankful for experiencing this special day in the history of France.
Soldiers on the streets of Paris (They are saying “No, no pictures!”)
Then we say farewell to Paris for now…
Next destination: Istanbul – Turkey