One creepy coincidence is that I was at that exact spot yesterday, because after leaving the dentist at the Hôpital Rothschild, I rode a Vélib to Porte de Vincennes to take the tramway there to go home. (Cue in the music 'what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours...')
There appear to be 5 hostages in the grocery store.
Casi - I wrote 'Je suis Charlie' on a large piece of paper and stuck it up above my desk. My co-worker tried to pronounce it and then asked me what it meant. I explained and gave her the way to say it. I also had to tell her it was a protest against the murders in Paris. Nobody talks or mentions it here. It's like a non-happening. I thought putting up my little sign might, just might, jog someones brain as to how people should be reacting.
Educating people about these things I find, is the best way to go. Regardless of language, race, creed, religion or color, the overall message is universal. Who should give a hoot about what tongue it is being expressed in. The last thing we need is devisiveness over what tongue the same sentiment is being expressed.
That is so sad about the people killed shopping or working at a supermarket. There might be a lot of customers on a Friday, before the Sabbath.
As for "what a difference a day makes", while I was writing a graduate history exam during the Polytechnique Massacre here in Montréal, I was actually in that engineering building one day earlier, doing research at the library. Nothing to do with my graduate studies: I was translating a document about dams, and back in 1989 one couldn't be sure to do all one's research over the net; I did have an Internet account but its usefulness was limited to some academic exchanges. As in the Social Sciences building, all the Engineering students and faculty were utterly absorbed in exam week.
Maybe the robber thought he would take advantage of the police being busy elsewhere.
This afternoon around 2:30, after being glued to my computer screen watching what was going on, I went out to meet a friend who was supposed to pick me up in her car at the corner of the street. Imagine my surprise when I saw the street packed with police. There were 3 gendarmerie trucks parked there, cops with yellow fluorescent vests with big guns spaced along the sidewalk!
I went to ask what was going on -- the cop told me that it was an "anti-delinquency operation"! Nothing to do with Vincennes. Quite a surprise in this place. And my husband was near Toulouse train station this afternoon -- he said it was deserted because of a bomb scare. I can only imagine that the usual suspects are out there, along with the terrorists.
Yes, I was a bit amused by that tidbit as well. Sarkozy was always quick to mention whenever a political opponent shook the wrong person's hand, no matter what the circumstances, so this should haunt him for some time.
Casi - Nobody talks or mentions it here. It's like a non-happening.
Same thing here, Tod. The situation here is that most people in Australia do not understand the French language. Any television coverage of the demonstrations loses its meaning when the viewers can't understand what the signs say. As a news story it is seen as something happening "over there" and of no relevance to Australia after the action of the initial shootings. The call for free speech went mostly unnoticed among the images of fire and floods besetting this country.
I do not want to be seen as divisive, rather inclusive of all languages, which in turn reaches more people with the message.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
I know of a few local high school teachers who have been educating their students about events in Paris, and explaining the meaning behind the words "Je suis Charlie." I would like to think there is dialogue of this type in classrooms all over the U.S.
I've had conversations with a few colleagues who wanted to understand what has been happening in France. They may not have followed the stories, but when given the opportunity for an explanation, I found them to be most interested. I can understand their lack of initial knowledge, as I know I'm guilty of trying to filter out many of the tragedies we hear about each and every day.
Tuning out much of the news on a daily basis is a coping mechanism that keeps me from becoming completely overwhelmed, but I have felt absolutely compelled to follow, and try to understand, what has been happening in a city where I have felt most welcome and a place that has been extremely important to me.
I went on a good walk through nearby neigbhourhoods (health and all that, after a horrific cold snap) and was very upset than an anglo shop specialising in "graphic novels"and all the more rarified type of comics did NOT display "Je suis Charlie". I think this had something to do with what lizzyfaire wrote. It makes me sad. I am also very critical of some of the vulgar jokes by Charlie, but hey, people died, and I don't think denouncing that makes one a party to macho or sometimes borderling racial jokes, which of course I oppose.
I was dismayed by the coverage in today's International NY Times, to which I have a subscription. Their commentary kept emphasizing the anti-Islamic aspect of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons. They never mention that the cartoonists of CH made fun of and criticized all religions as well as politics -- the Pope, Christianity, Judaism, policitians, etc. They mentioned too that CH's humour was a generational thing (basically "old white men making racist jokes") and that it would never be acceptable in the States because Americans are much more aware of identity politics.
I do think they are missing an important point. No-one I have talked to in the past few days actually buys Charlie Hebdo, and many people find it tasteless and vulgar (as I often do), but everybody defends their right to say what they did. Also forgotten is the fact that it was not a comic book, but a newspaper that did investigative reporting.
For some odd reason, Toulouse is holding its march this afternoon rather than Sunday, and I'm going.
I think that some of the cities are holding their march on Saturday because some people from the provinces are going to want to come to Paris tomorrow.
As for the NYT and other journalists (BBC, CNN...), I have been appalled for the last decade about they are the ones who pin every little bit of trouble on the Muslim, generally from the banlieues (since for some reason they are allergic to using the word "suburbs." In the riots 10 years ago, they kept harping about the "Arab" youth who were burning cars, because I guess they didn't have access to the information that the largest 'foreign' group detained by police were of Portuguese origin -- which is perfectly normal since the so-called rioters came from every single group living in the suburbs, and the Portuguese are the biggest immigrant group in France.
I am not very knowledgeable about contemporary controversial cartoonists in North America, so I can only think of one who does the same sort of things that were often seen in Charlie Hebdo -- Robert Crumb. And of course the reason that I know him is because he was already famous when I was in university, with his work being banned all the time in various states. Oddly enough, he moved to France in 1991 and still lives here with his wife and children. This week he published two cartoons about the tragic events this week.
I heard an interview with the cousin of the only woman killed in the Charlie Hebdo offices, Elsa Cayat. She said her cousin had recently received many harassing phone calls. Each time the caller chastised her for working for the newspaper, told her to quit or she would be harmed, and made many anti-Semitic remarks. The cousin theorizes Cayat was executed, and not spared like the other women, because she was a Jew.