- Speaker: Jérémie Astori
- Date: Wednesday 7 January 2015
- Duration: 5min
- Location: LibrePlanet Boston Desktop GNU/Linux Users Group (hosted at Akamai Technologies Inc - Cambridge, MA, USA)
On the night of the Charlie Hebdo shooting that happened in Paris, I was attending a meetup about free culture among other things. I had asked the organizer if I could tell a few words before the main talk, which he accepted.
This morning at 11.30am, 3 gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles attacked the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that frequently posts controversial drawings. They killed 12 people including 5 cartoonists, 1 cop assigned as a bodyguard of one of them, another police officer that they executed when he was weaponless and surrending, and a janitor. When they left, they shout "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, we killed Charlie Hebdo".
I am French, I have close family and friends there. Hundreds of thousands of people are gathering in France, and I wish I could be with them. To show that we are united and that we are not afraid. Terrorism must not win.
However, this attempt to assault freedom of speech, to injure democracy, deeply hurts me, and I am afraid of the consequences of these acts. I hope that this awful event will not become a new pretext to stigmatize Islam and the Muslims, challenge the Schengen area or condemn immigration as I could see on social networks from politicians, allow or support self-justice and revenge, or pass laws that hurt freedom such as global surveillance.
An isolated event must not end up in the radicalization of a nation that would have terrible consequences for millions of people. Think of all your foreigner friends that would be in constant fear of being confused for someone else, forbidden to see their relatives or being ejecting of their living country.
Of all of what I have read today, I found this post that I believe has a strong sense:
They don't kill freedom. They kill people.
Then, we kill freedom.
And they win.
Thanks all for listening, and somewhat participating by defending freedom in all its forms.
Long live freedom, long live democracy
- Hunt for gunmen after 12 killed in Paris attack on satirical magazine on Al Jazeera America (7 January 2015)
- Charlie Hebdo shooting on Wikipedia