Tens of thousands march across Europe in solidarity with France

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MADRID (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people joined rallies in cities across Europe on Sunday, singing the Marseillaise and holding up pens in solidarity with France after terror attacks left 17 people dead.

Some 20,000 people marched through the Belgian capital Brussels, holding banners saying “United against hate” and “Freedom of speech”.

In Berlin, 9,000 joined the march while in Madrid s Plaza de Sol, hundreds descended on the streets with red, white and blue French flags, and singing the French national anthem.

At the Madrid protest, French student Louis Eimery, 21, said: “We are here to say that we are not afraid.”

The crowd stood silent, as the names of victims — including four of France s most revered cartoonists — who were executed by Islamist extremists were read out.

“It was a terribly barbarous attack, they attacked universal values,” said Angel Freire, a 65-year-old retired teacher who worked in both Spain and France.

2015-01-12

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