Against the horror, the mobilization: tens of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Paris and all over France in tribute to Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded Friday for showing his students caricatures of Muhammad, an Islamist attack which sparked a national emotion.
Theater of the historic demonstration which had followed the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher on January 11, 2015, the Place de la République in Paris was filled at the beginning of the afternoon with thousands of demonstrators, teachers, elected officials and anonymous people who came to defend freedom of expression, say no to “obscurantism” and sing the Marseillaise.
“I am there as a teacher, as a mother, as a Frenchwoman and as a Republican,” said Virginie, 52, a music teacher from the Paris region. “I hope there will be a lot of people, that all of France will dare to stand up because there is strength in unity”.
Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday around 5:00 p.m. near the college where he taught history and geography in a quiet area of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines). His assailant, an 18-year-old Chechen Russian, was then killed nine times by police.
“I’m a teacher”
Prime Minister Jean Castex appeared in the Paris procession. At his side, his Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer and his colleague delegate for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa “in support of teachers, secularism, freedom of expression and against Islamism.”
In Lyon, Place Bellecour, one of the largest in the country, was also black with 6,000 people according to the prefecture, gathered in front of the statue of the Man of Stone, symbol of the Resistance, a sticker “I am a teacher “on the lapel of their jacket or a rose in hand.
Some 300 people also gathered at midday in Nice. “Everyone is in danger today, there have been other attacks already targeting a newspaper or just citizens like here in Nice, and now that has to change”, said Valentine Mule, 18 years old. , first year law student in Nice.
A national tribute will be paid Wednesday in coordination with the family of the murdered teacher, announced the Elysee, without specifying the location.
The departmental council of Yvelines proposed to rename the college where he taught with his name.