Thousands of people marched through the streets of French cities this Sunday, October 18, to defend the freedom of expression of teachers after the assassination of Samuel Paty. Last Friday, the history and geography teacher was beheaded by a young Muslim man for showing caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in his classes.
“I’m a teacher”, “I am Charlie”And“ Teaching yes, bleeding no ”were the most repeated phrases among the posters of the crowds that gathered in the streets of Paris, Lille, Lyon and Marseille. Most of the protesters wore a mask to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The murder, which took place in a suburb of Paris, generated outrage across France, echoing the 2015 massacre in the newsroom of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The cartoons that Paty had shown the students were the same ones that had been used as a justification for the attack on the French newspaper.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer were among the protesters who met in Paris. “You don’t scare us. We are not afraid. You are not going to divide us. We are France! ”, wrote the prime minister, hours later, on Twitter.
A national tribute in honor of Samuel Patty is scheduled for Wednesday, October 21st.