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I am no political pundit, but I cannot help notice, amidst the aftermath, some positives:

  • Three million copies of Charlie Hebdo were printed for today, and they are sold out everywhere. This could help the magazine, which is in bankruptcy (a team of cartoonists went to see President Holland in October to see if he could help them out financially. It is reported he loves the magazine, despite that it often pokes fun at him).
  •  The Jewish community feels that France may be awakening from its anti-Semitic torpor. Jewish schools and places of worship are under heavy security. “France without Jews is not France,” Manuel Vals, Prime Minister.
  • President Francois Holland is showing his mettle.
  • The government is talking about education and how to reform it, and linking ills (and terrorism) with poor education and economy.
  • The French government has officially remarked that it doesn’t mind the U.S. absence at the march on Sunday.
  • The French government has rejected a Homeland Security program.
  • Europe might actually become a country over this
  • French religious leaders are on the same page
  • Je suis Charlie signs everywhere (see photos below, one square block in Louviers).
  • There is much talk on air waves and in communities about democracy, free speech, the Republic in positive ways
  • The police are being cheered and honored; a police spokesperson said this feels good since they are usually denigrated.
  • Next week there will be a ceremony at Les Invalides, the first ever held there for victims of a terrorist attack

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16 Responses to Day Seven

  1. Phyllis Bosomwortn says:

    Thank you for the insider opinion
    Keep us posted

  2. Mary Louise Sevetson says:

    It’s good to see non”political” people are listening.

  3. James Navé says:

    I tweeted this post and it was retweeted. Nice work.

  4. Glad to see your list of positives. Wonderful and touching.

  5. Lorrie Sabourin says:

    Thanks Susan. Met a woman in my beauty shop and she also says “Je suis Charlie”! I am ashamed of my President but proud of yours. Vive La France!!! Lorrie Sabourin

    • Susan says:

      The French government has forgiven the lack of American presence. John Kerry is coming today. We’ve always cooperated and that is probably the heart of the matter! Thanks for your comment.

  6. I thought it was so strange how the US news was making such a big deal the US president wasn’t at the march. So silly, they will find any reason to bad mouth him. If it had gone I’m 100% positive they would have found some other thing to complain about. No one I know or talked with here in France cares at all about that. People were wanting me to pass around a Facebook post asking forgiveness to the French people. Without hesitation it was deleted.

    I live in the Ile-de-France and work 2 miles from where the shooting happened at Charlie. I’ve lived in France for almost 8 years now. Things are different right now, a little bit. But I don’t see it being a lasting change sadly.

    • Susan says:

      Christina, I agree with you. It was a no big deal, in the end. And you’re right, Mr. Obama is skewered no matter what he does now. As for the changes, there will be some, don’t worry. And they’ll be good ones,I’m convinced. This has been a huge wake-up call. Bon courage!

  7. Mark says:

    You hit that spot-on. Je Suis Charlie is ubiquitous (hundreds turned out for the march on Sunday in my tiny Burgundy town of Arnay le Duc). The politics are come back into play with each day that passes, that’s for sure. The US outrage at not sending a senior official never crossed the lips of a single French person I have spoken to. In fact, the opposite! “It was so great Obama went to the Embassy” was more what I have heard.

    • Susan says:

      Mark, I agree. That we weren’t represented is too bad on some level, but it’s a nothing really. The march wasn’t about politics and perhaps the U.S. White House realized that. Kerry’s elegant speech is what people needed to hear. I think people get that this moment is bigger than who marched and who didn’t. Just saying…

  8. carrenjstika says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to post these pictures. How incredibly moving. The regular evening news we see on TV here in the US can’t come close to capturing the depth and spirit of France’s response to this horrific event like pictures do. How very, very moving. Thank you. Maybe I am more optimistic than Christina (as noted in her post). But I do believe that this is a “wake-up call” and that these small — but significant! — expressions of support (and outrage) reflect an undercurrent of change happening.

    • Susan says:

      Change has to happen. There isn’t any option. Everyone just has to be careful to remember this whole thing is about freedom of speech, liberty (as everyone chanted at the march), and equal opportunity.

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