Thousands of people pay tribute in France to the professor beheaded in an Islamist attack

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the main cities of France this Sunday to remember the History teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded on Friday on the outskirts of Paris by a student in an act considered by the authorities as an Islamist attack, in retaliation for showing his students cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published by the satirical weekly Charlie hebdo.

The rallies were first called by the satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and then the main political parties, SOS Racismo and the teaching unions joined.

Between the political leaders Those who have participated are the delegate of the official La República En Marcha, Stanislas Guerini; the leader of La Francia Insumisa, Jean-Luc Mélenchon; the General Secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, and that of Europe Ecology-The Greens, Julien Bayou. The mayor of Paris, the socialist Anne Hidalgo, the former president François Hollande and the former prime minister Manuel Valls were also present.

“We are not afraid. They will not divide us, ”Prime Minister Jean Castex posted on Twitter. We are France! Freedom, equality, fraternity. Tribute to Samuel Paty », proclaimed Castex in a message accompanied by images of the crowd chanting La Marseillaise.

“Whatever our political, union or other differences, we must demonstrate unity and show that we are not afraid of the enemies of the Republic. Unity is the condition for success ”, said the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Mélenchon has highlighted in a handkerchief with the tricolor flag that it is “our duty as Republicans to be present” in front of the murderers. “The purpose of these criminals is to divide us,” he stressed.

“The government should ask questions” about what may have led to the murder of Samuel Paty. «I ask for national unity (…). We forget about everything, about all the other battles, and we focus on the need to be together, “the leftist leader added.

Valls, but nevertheless, has lashed out at Mélenchon, who has “a very great responsibility in this cowardice of the left” against Islamism.

He highlighted the absence of Los Republicanos, the main right-wing party, and the far-right National Union of Marine Le Pen. “There have been too many attacks without real retaliation. Too many marches followed by too many setbacks. Too many tributes without courage “, has posted on Twitter the spokesman for the Republicans in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau.

On the part of the National Union they ask for “political action, working on something more concrete” because “they are a little fed up with the candle policy,” a party source has pointed out.

«Je suis enseingnant«

The first call was that of Paris, promoted by Charlie hebdo in the Place de la République, but there are also appointments in Lyon, Toulouse, Nantes, Lille and Marseille.

On January 11, 2015, the Place de la République de Paris was the scene of a rally of rejection for the Islamist attack on Charlie hebdo after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons shown in class by the professor murdered on Friday. Then 1.5 million people gathered after the murder of twelve people in the newsroom of the weekly.

Then the phrase ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) became popular in support of the magazine and its workers. Now the phrase has come up ‘Je suis enseignant’ (I am a teacher) in support of teaching and freedom of expression.

According to ‘Le Journal du Dimanche’, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on Saturday with the teacher’s parents, 47, as well as his widow and sister. He was the father of a child. In addition, the Government has announced a national tribute will be paid on Wednesday in a place yet to be specified.

The Association of Mayors of France (AMF) has asked all municipalities to pay tribute to the victim, proposing to “display in their buildings the hashtag #JeSuisEnseignant (I am a teacher), to respect a minute of silence at the next meeting of the town halls and choose a day for the City Council’s flag to drop at half mast ».

“Like any teacher, he sought to prepare young people for the exercise of critical thinking, an essential condition for full citizenship,” has published ‘Charlie Hebdo’ on his Facebook page.

The professor had shown the images during a lesson on freedom of expression in early October. Images of Muhammad are forbidden in Islam and may offend Muslims.

Its publication sparked a deadly attack on the offices of Charlie hebdo in January 2015. Suspects charged with links to those attacks in January 2015 are currently in court in a trial that is expected to last until mid-November.

A subsequent series of attacks in France, many claimed by the Islamic State terrorist organization, cost more than 230 lives in 2015 and 2016.