More than 40 world leaders, arms hooked at the elbows, marched through a wounded Paris on Sunday to support freedom of speech and to honor the 17 people killed by radical al Qaeda terrorists.
Hundreds of thousands of people also turned out for the peaceful demonstration, converging on the capital. Loud applause rang out over the Place de la Republique as the leaders walked past.
President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey and Britain attended. Neither President Obama nor Vice President Joe Biden attended, nor did the administration send a U.S. representative.
Families of the victims, many weeping, were also at the front of the march. Overnight, an illuminated sign on the Arc de Triomphe read: “Paris est Charlie” (“Paris is Charlie”).
“Today, Paris is the capital of the world,” said French President Francois Hollande. “Our entire country will rise up toward something better.”
Rallies were also planned in London, Madrid and New York — all attacked by al-Qaida-linked extremists — as well as Cairo, Sydney, Stockholm, Tokyo and elsewhere.
“We are all Charlie, we are all police, we are all Jews of France,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared on Saturday.
“The terrorists want two things: they want to scare us and they want to divide us. We must do the opposite. We must stand up and we must stay united,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told French TV channel iTele on Sunday.
Meanwhile, police in Germany on Sunday detained two men suspected of an arson attack against a newspaper that republished the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. No one was injured in that attack.