Paris Unity Rally: As it happened

Paris Unity Rally: As it happened
  • TV footage shows​ Hollande, Netenyahu honouring terror victims at Grand Synagogue.
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu can be seen sitting next to Hollande at the Main Synagogue.
  • Netanyahu likely to address the dignitaries gathered to pay tribute to the terror attack victims, France 24 reports.
  • French President Francois Hollande and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the Grand Synagogue in Paris for the memorial ceremony.
  • The tribute ceremony begins in memory of all the terror attack victims, France 24 adds.  
  • French Jewish community leaders gather at Grand Synagogue in Paris to commemorate the terror attack victims in Paris.
  • Meanwhile, as per France 24, Holande visits main Synagogue to honour all terror attack victims.
  • "A large group of Kurdish demonstrators are at the Place de la Republique chanting "I'm Kurdish, I am Charlie. We are all Kurdish, we are all Charlie", say French media reports.
  • AFP new agency quotes rally organisers as saying: “25,000 march in Montreal in solidarity with France.”
  • Demonstrators nearby holds up placards reading "Freedom to think, freedom to believe, freedom to live, freedom to laugh", and "The Republic against fanaticism".
  • French Prime Minister Manuel Valls addressing the crowd. France 24 quotes him as saying: "Calling once again for the unity of France I would like to congratulate people for showing their spirit of solidarity."
  • Even as the rally was scheduled for three hours, thousands still place République don't want to leave the historic march, authorities given up counting people as the massive crowd walks down in silence towards Nation square in eastern Paris, occasionally breaking into applause, France 24 reports.
  • France's Interior Ministry adds that the Paris rally for unity against terrorism is the largest demonstration in France's history.
  • French media reports quote Interior Ministry as saying that the size of the Paris march is 'unprecedented'.
  • Even as more than a million people attends the Unity rally, search for Hayat Boumeddiene linked to Paris hostage-taker goes global, says media reports.
  • Charlie Hebdo newspaper staff, with editorialist Patrick Peloux were caught on camera during the Unity March.
  • France 24 is quoting AFP news agency as saying that over one million people are estimated in the rally.
  • Meanwhile, reports are coming in that rallies and vigils are planned in cities across Canada today in support of the victims of Paris terror attack.
  • Lebanese and foreign journalists, activists and intellectuals hold placards as they gather to show their solidarity with the victims, say French media reports.
  • "I came here today because 17 persons are dead in the terror attacks and many are still in hospital. Basically I am here for the 'freedom'. It is important that we 'think and live free'. Today is the 'real' freedom day," says a protester, France 24 reports.
  • The rally, features family members of those who died in the terror attacks, well-known French singers and celebrities from the arts and sports world along with Christian, Jewish and Muslim community leaders are present today. Also attending are politicians from all sides of the political spectrum.
  • People demonstrate with a banner reading in Spanish "Down with death" and a man holds a poster at centre reading "bubbles must remain stronger than bullets" while a large puppet depicting French symbol Marianne wounded and overlooking the crowd.
  • More than 1,000 people have gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to honour the victims of the Islamist attacks in Paris, raising pencils to the sky in memory of those killed at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as per France 24.
  • AFP quotes a police source as saying: "10,000 in Brussels - More than 10,000 people are marching through the Belgian capital Brussels in one of the biggest rallies outside France in solidarity with the Paris terror attacks."
  • Those attending the event created a giant circle made up of pencils and baguettes which also features a giant paper heart carrying messages including "I Am A British Muslim" and "Vive La France".
  • The silent march - which may prove the largest seen in modern times through Paris - reflects shock over the worst militant Islamist assault on a European city in nine years. For France, it raised questions of free speech, religion and security, and beyond French frontiers it exposed the vulnerability of states to urban attacks, as per France 24.
  • France 24 quotes AFP as saying: "Half a million people protest in Paris Unity March, more than 50 world leaders present."
  • Giant letters attached to a statue in the square spelt out the word Pourquoi?" (Why?) and small groups sang the "La Marseillaise" national anthem.
  • France 24 reports that the historic Paris 'unity march' against extremism has begun. 
  • Dozens of world leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen link arms at the start of a historic march against terrorism, walking in silence to huge applause as they lead a mammoth procession through the French capital, France 24 reports.
  • Meanwhile according to AFP reports, four Jews killed in Paris to be buried in Israel on Tuesday.
  • Leaders from dozens of countries arrives at the French presidential palace in an extraordinary display of global unity.
  • Hundreds and thousands of people can be heard chanting 'We are Charlie'. 
  • Place de la Republique swells as people gather in Paris for solidarity march.
  • Dignitaries leave the Place de la Republique palace, waiting for a bus, says France 24.
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni coming together inside the palace to mark their solidarity, France 24 reports.
  • ​​Hollande greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaches Place de la Republique, Hollande welcomes him.
  • Thousands gather at Place de la Republique hours before start of the march.
  • Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas enters Place de la Republique along with Hollande.  
  • "Today, Paris is the capital of the world. The entire world will rise up" Hollande says, a few minutes before welcoming the leaders, as per France 24.
  • President Francois Hollande welcomes foreign leaders at Place de la Republique hours before start of the march.
  • AFP quotes Prime Minister Manuel Valls as saying: "We are all Charlie, we are all police, we are all Jews of France," referring to the victims of the attacks that included employees at Charlie Hebdo, shoppers at a Kosher grocery and three police officers.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, EU parliament president Martin Schulz, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, are few of the names that will attend the giant rally.
  • Besides French President Francois Hollande, dignitaries from Britain, Germany, NATO, Arab League, Israel and Palestine too, are expected at the grand march that will depart from Paris's Place de la Republique at 3 pm local time.
  • French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has assured of all essential security measures in place for the crucial event involving so many dignitaries and almost a million people
  • According to reports, more than 5000 police forces along with snipers on roof tops have been deployed to ensure the security at key areas like schools, places of worships, etc across France.
  • France has been turned into a fortress with increased security throughout the nation as almost a million people are supposed to attend the mammoth rally to honour the terror victims. The rally will also see dozens of leaders from across the world in attendance.
  • The French police managed to kill all three gunmen - the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly – on Friday, however a female accomplice of Coulibaly, Hayat Boumeddiene, managed to escape in the chaotic aftermath of the supermarket siege.
  • France was shaken during three days of violence spree that gripped the nation as Kouachi Brothers killed 12 people at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, a policewoman was shot in Paris by Amedy Coulibaly on Thursday, followed by Friday's hostage situation at Kosher grocery store where Coulibaly killed four before being neutralised by police.
  • More than 2,00,000 people took to streets in France on Saturday to demonstrate against terrorism after three days of Islamist attacks, according to a tally of various demonstrations.


Above are the LIVE UPDATES:

France is set for a giant rally on Sunday, that will be held in honour of the 17 victims killed in three days across the country.

According to media reports, European leaders will make an extraordinary show of support for France by joining a mass rally in Paris today, amid a wave of solidarity following after the bloody end to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Global outrage and offers of assistance poured in after French police killed Islamist gunmen in two sieges in the Paris region.

The horror was so universal that even foes of the west North Korea and Cuba sent condolences, while bitter enemies Israel and Iran were at least united in their condemnation of the slaughter.

The latest attacks prompted vigils in several cities around the world to declare "Je suis Charlie" in a show of support for free speech.

Prime ministers David Cameron and Mariano Rajoy of Britain and Spain, whose countries have suffered major terror attacks in the past decade, were among the first to say they would attend.

Cameron said Sunday's rally would be celebrate "the values behind Charlie Hebdo".

The leaders of Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Ukraine also said they would attend.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said they would attend the Paris rally as well, accompanied by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

The global reaction in some ways mirrors the outpouring of support after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, when French newspaper "Le Monde" announced on its front page "Today, we are all Americans."

World leaders condemned the 9/11 attacks and offered aid, while mourners piled flowers at US embassies and Buckingham Palace played the US national anthem at the changing of the guard.

(With Agency inputs)


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