Across France, thousands pay tribute to murdered teacher

Prime Minister Jean Castex and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo were among those taking part in demonstrations of solidarity

19 October 2020
Bouquets of flowers line the floor as a tribute to the murdered French school teacher Samuel Paty
By Connexion journalist

Tens of thousands of people gathered in cities across France to honour Samuel Paty, the history teacher who was murdered near the school at which he taught.

Images from vigils - which took place in towns and cities including Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille and Strasbourg - have been posted on social media.

Prime Minister Jean Castex and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo were among thousands present at Place de la République in Paris, where a minute's silence was observed, and several teachers' representatives spoke.

Teacher Mr Paty was murdered on Friday, after showing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech at the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Yvelines.

All over France, the front pages of controversial weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo was held aloft. Many of those present held placards with slogans such as "I am a teacher" or "I am Samuel", echoing those written after the 2015 attack, were also chanted.

"I'm here as a teacher, as a mother, as a Frenchwoman and as a Republican," one woman told AFP.

Read more: French teacher killing: 11 in custody as solidarity grows

In Lyon, 12,000 people gathered on the Place Bellecour, according to the prefecture.

There were more than 3,000 in Strasbourg, 1,500 in Lille, 2,500 in Marseille and 2,000 in Montpellier.

A national tribute at a venue to be confirmed will take place on Wednesday in coordination with the family of the murdered teacher, the Elysée announced.

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