With the participation of thousands, holding black banners with the phrase “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), Athenians expressed their solidarity with the people of France and condemned the deadly attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris yesterday, which cost the life of 12, including four of France’s most exceptional cartoon artists (Charbonnier, Wolinski, “Tignous” and Cabut). Similar acts of solidarity have been organized in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, as well as other cities across Europe.
“No authoritarianism, no ideology, no reliance on religion, no violence will frighten us to speak, to write and to paint what we want. Nobody will deprive us of the right to peacefully coexist with immigrants, no one will separate the people who want to live in societies of reciprocity and common rules. We are not afraid!” said the call to the citizens of Athens bearing the title “Je suis Charlie – Athènes” that was organized through Facebook. The solidarity gathering took place outside the French Institute of Athens, in the central district of Kolonaki.
More than 3,000 people, including representatives of Greek political parties, peacefully sent the message that freedom of speech is a principle that cannot be subjected to terror of any kind.
The Athens gathering, which was an initiative of the Athenians “for the heinous murder of our European friends and fellow artists that were killed by the bullets of fanatics,” began at 5:00 p.m. outside the French Institute, located at 31 Sina Street, and surrounding streets remained closed for several hours due to mass participation.