In the wake of the recent slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper in Paris, we feel the sickening turbulence of yet another terrifying and crazed extremist attack on civil liberties. This confirms the murderers' jaded belief in PROHIBITING freedom of speech. The last few days the news has been horrible.
Today however, my spirit soared to hear of the mass demonstration, the unity rally, 3 million strong, in Paris and its surrounding suburbs.
The “Marche Republicaine” aptly demonstrated the rise of the human spirit, the sheer power of unity, and the heart of humanity at its finest. Courageous, united, arm and arm; with love and even joy reportedly in the air, the demonstrators honoured those innocent civilians who were horrifically murdered. I never intended to blog about politics, religion or world events and yet, how can one not join the solidarity against these random acts of cruelty and insanity?
It is rare that the news brings light. Yet, today I am so very proud for a change, and literally lifted up, by the show of love, hope and strength in France. As incredibly diverse a population as that unity rally comprised, makes it all the more impressive for its cohesion.
My heart breaks for the victims and families of the murdered, stomachs twist and churn listening about the last few days of terror; and this is why all the more I have to thank them, we all have to thank them, for their rise to the cause in their darkest hours. And thank them for; their collective belief in the work at Charlie Hebdo; defending civil liberties and diversity of thought; and their unity at supporting what their fellow citizens were devoted to do. The pencil is not a weapon. It is an essential tool of humanity, often the swiftest way to access our humanity. No one should be murdered for expressing an opinion. Ever.
Satirical comics often serve as brilliant enlightenment against an otherwise dark rising energy or the face of sheer stupidity. Those civilians who innocently and bravely made their livelihood shedding light on the dark and the ignorant were honoured today, celebrated. The heart ache remains, but the fear, the fear will not!
The message today was crystal clear. We will not be intimidated by a few megalomaniacs with a twisted distorted agenda of alleged religious fervour, who use their misguided zeal to glorify murder for their own ends. NO! We will not, cannot, allow terror to reign. The French have led us back to hope, to the meaning of true power; truth itself. Actions speak louder than words. Three million took action today. Let that send shivers of hope throughout the world.
“Je suis Charlie”.