Thousands of people gathered, Sunday, across France in honor of the teacher, Samuel Patty, who was killed Friday for showing the Caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in front of his students in the class, in a crime that caused great grief in the country, and put ten people in pretrial detention.
In Paris, protesters gathered in Place de la Republique, where the mass rally began on January 11, 2015, following attacks by jihadists on the headquarters of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo. He chanted, “I am Samuel,” and “freedom of expression and freedom to teach,” too long applause from time to time.
Other gatherings were also held in large French cities, particularly in Lyon (east), Lille (north), and Nice (southeast).
Many political figures from all directions participated in the gathering, including Prime Minister Jean Castex, Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the right-wing president of the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, Valerie Pecres and the leader of the radical left, Jean-Luc Melanchon. And the former Socialist President Francois Hollande joined the gathering.
“You are not intimidating us. We are not afraid. You will not separate us. We are France,” the Prime Minister wrote in a tweet on Twitter, accompanied by a picture of the gathering.
Vous ne nous faites pas peur.
Nous n’avons pas peur.
Vous ne nous diviserez pas.
Nous sommes la France ! pic.twitter.com/GjUQo9AePa
— Jean Castex (@JeanCASTEX) October 18, 2020