On the 7th January, 2015, two extremists attacked the Paris office of the much-loved French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The gunmen, who were brothers, killed 12, including a Police officer as they escaped, and left a further 11 injured. On the evening of the attack, thousands of Parisians gathered spontaneously at Place de la République as a show of solidarity and support. The term, ‘Je Suis Charlie’, meaning ‘We are Charlie’ was adopted as a catch cry. Over the following week, there was a further attack on a Jewish supermarket, resulting in another shootout, leading to the death of four people.
A national manhunt pursued the suspected gunmen from the original attack, culminating with hostages being held at gunpoint and yet another firefight with police. The pair attempted to flee but were shot dead.
On the following Sunday, 11th January, more than 2 million people marched through the streets of Paris, from Place de la République to the Bastille and Place de la Nation. Hundreds of thousands marched in other cities across France and other parts of the world.
On the 14th of January, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo, who had moved temporarily to the offices of the French newspaper, Libération, published the next issue, with the front page cartoon stating, “Tout Est Pardonné”, meaning all is forgiven. People flocked to Presse outlets daily to buy a copy. As quickly as it could be printed, the edition sold out. Eventually, 7.95 million copies were sold, a significant increase from the normal weekly run of 60,000.