France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
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12-01-2015, 05:02 AM
France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
On January 11, 2015, 4 million people flooded the streets, all across France, in the world's largest anti-terrorist demonstration in history. We marched for freedom of the press, free thought, anti-religious tyranny, and in memorial for the victims of the recent shootings in Paris at (and connected to) the Charlie Hebdo magazine (who so bravely printed comics of Muhammed.)

2 of the vicitims, one an illustrator and another an editor, were from my city (Clermont-Ferrand,) who were working on assignment at the magazine in Paris... there is no corner of France that has not been deeply wounded by this horror, indeed, it touches the rights of the whole world, when artists are masacred simply because some religious psychopaths didn't like what they drew.

The march in Paris had over a million people. Here, in Clermont-Ferrand, the capitol of the Auvergne region, 70,000 people (about 1/4 of the city's population) poured into the streets, carrying signs and holding pens high in the air, and we marched across the town in what seemed like an endless sea of courageous humanity.

   

In the mass of marchers, I saw someone carrying a sign that said, "I am atheist", where the dot above the i looked like a bleeding bullet wound... and several other anti-religion and pro-free thought signs amoungst the masses. There were also several signs that had Muhammed cartoons, proudly displayed, and occational copies of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, carried in hands and pockets.

   

I was so proud to take part in this event, and so deeply touched by the bravery and the pro-humanist presence that flooded the city, as every step we took seemed to say "we are not afraid, we will not bow to your religious tyranny, we are free!"

My sign:
   
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12-01-2015, 05:56 AM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
Welcome and thanks for the report.

I'm curious... were the local muslim community well represented amongst the marchers?

That would be a good omen for the future.

Cheers

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12-01-2015, 06:02 AM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
(12-01-2015 05:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome and thanks for the report.

I'm curious... were the local muslim community well represented amongst the marchers?

That would be a good omen for the future.

Cheers

They were. They were handing out white roses and taking pictures, per a report on NPR or PBS or some such. Also many of the attendees and recipients at the Golden Globe Awards in the US were wearing silver pens and other pins as symbols of solidarity. Didn't watch the Globes, but saw Clooney's wife had one on.

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12-01-2015, 07:06 AM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
About 2000 people marched here in Dublin. The march was led by a group of French school children. It was a silent march until the end when the crowd started singing the French national anthem. The Irish media did not print the Mohammad cartoons, as we still have a silly blasphemy law in Ireland.The head of the Muslim community threatened legal action if the images were reproduced. Luckily next May we will have a referendum to remove the blasphemy law from the constitution.

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12-01-2015, 09:52 AM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
In Paris, they seemed to have quite a lot of Muslims who attended the march, but here, in Clermont-Ferrand, I saw very few. I did see a pair of women who carred a sign saying "Not in my name!", occationally I noticed someone who was obviously north African, and I saw only one sign that had Arabic writing on it.

Honestly, I didn't expect a large turn-out of Muslims at the Clermont-Ferrand march; we have a really large population of Muslim fundamentalists here, and religious tentions have been running high over the past couple of years (predominantly problems with street gangs of young north African men, who even went so far as to bomb the tram, in 2013.)

I live right next to one of the most dangerous parts of town, where there is a really high density population of Muslim fundamentalists, and I had to walk through one of the slums on my way to and from the march... honestly, walking through there alone, at sunset, carrying my "je suis Charlie" sign under my arm, I have to admit that I was nervous, and I got a lot of dirty looks from dudes hanging about on the street.
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12-01-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
Þe FN was excluded from þe marches by Hollande, despite protest from the UMP. Marine Le Pen has held her own march to defend liberty and national unity and reject sectarianism. Source And of course Jean-Marie has to do something incredibly stupid that will not doubt reflect poorly on the whole party.Facepalm

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12-01-2015, 01:20 PM
RE: France: Unity March (Marche Republicaine)
(12-01-2015 09:52 AM)SparklyAthiest Wrote:  I live right next to one of the most dangerous parts of town, where there is a really high density population of Muslim fundamentalists, and I had to walk through one of the slums on my way to and from the march... honestly, walking through there alone, at sunset, carrying my "je suis Charlie" sign under my arm, I have to admit that I was nervous, and I got a lot of dirty looks from dudes hanging about on the street.

Speaking of bravery, count yourself among those that have it. Yes

And welcome to the forum.

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