Benoît Hopquin & Vanessa Schneider, Le Monde (12.01.15)

After watching videos, reading articles and listening to the radio, I start to understand how France was after the terrorist attacks last week. It is somehow difficult to relate entirely to what people experienced since I was so far away. Looking at the pictures of people gathering on Place de la République, unable to move because of the compact crowd, I feel all the anger, the fear and the determination. People are getting together, for one day, supporting freedom of liberty and peace in France. Left and right gather in the streets, holding the same sign (Je suis Charlie). But as the article says, tomorrow is another day and we’ll forget quickly this bounding moment, going back to our divisions. It is still nice to see that people are able to put aside political differences in order to stand for common values.

However, this event can also be shocking in another sense. It happened in France, so international media talk about it. Even Japanese television channels (and not only the national channel NHK) broadcast about it. And if you live here, you would know how little Japanese people care about the rest of the world, as long as it doesn’t touch them. People around the world are shocked at those attacks, watching bloody pictures uploaded online. I am thankful to all those people who showed sympathy and took part in demonstration outside of France.
Now, let’s think about it. 17 people died in one of the most horrible terrorist attack we had in 50 years. 17 people. Of course, they represent freedom of speech and national order (let’s keep in mind that policemen were shot too). But this is still a small number of people compared to what happens everyday in the world. I would be curious to know how many journalists disappear in China or in Singapore, without people really knowing about it. Again, I am not saying that what happened to France is not serious. It is an outrageous, inexcusable act. But freedom of speech is scorned all around the world and that we sometimes simply ignore this fact. Let’s not forget; this is one barbarian act among many.


Listening to: Mad Clown – Love Sickness Pt.2


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