Earlier today, gunmen attacked the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a left-wing satirical magazine. Among the 12 victims were the editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, and three other prominent cartoonists for the controversial publication, which had come under attack in 2011 for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. After a bombing of the offices following one such caricature, extra security staff were added to the office, and the Charlie Hebdo staff pressed on.
It is that unbridled freedom of expression that the Newseum emphasized tonight in a vigil that took place at 7 p.m., right in front of the celebrated museum of news and journalism. The museum projected “#JeSuisCharlie” on the screen of its atrium. The hashtag, which has been all over social media today, means “I Am Charlie” and was used as a show of solidarity for the staff of the magazine. While Charlie Hebdo courted controversy through its mocking of many facets of French political and social life, the Newseum emphasized the need for freedom of the press and free speech, condemning the attacks. Many of those who gathered at the vigil brought pens and pencils to further display their support.
Photos: wjla.com, newseum.org