Last night in Los Angles, a crowd of about 300 gathered outside of Los Feliz’s Figaro Bistro to mourn the lives lost in the terrorist attack at the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Those who assembled held up phones displaying the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I Am Charlie), the hashtag being used on social media and elsewhere to voice solidarity for the magazine and support freedom of speech. “It was peaceful. People were in a good mood, not in a bad mood,” said Yoann Mgaieth, the owner of Figaro, this morning. “We lived with these journalists,” he said of the victims, “so we wanted to show our support.”
— Juan Fernandez (@NewsJuan) January 8, 2015
Yesterday, brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34—both dressed in black, wearing bullet proof vests, and armed with Kalashnikov guns—burst into the lunchtime editorial meeting at Charlie Hebdo, separated the men from the women, and called out the names of those they intended to kill in an act meant to avenge the prophet Mohammed, CNN reports.
The magazine had been targeted in the past due to its controversial political cartoons, many of which depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed (among other religious figures). Twelve people were murdered in the attack and 11 more were wounded. “I can’t remember such a day since 9/11,” said Paris Deputy Mayor Patrick Klugman. The Kouachis were recently spotted at a gas station near Villers-Cotterets in Picardy, where they stole gas and food before moving on. A manhunt is underway.
French President Francois Hollande has declared today, Thursday January 8, a day of mourning, and about 30 Je Suis Charlie marches are planned at various locations around France for this evening. As for the Figaro, plans for a second vigil are not yet set, but Mgaieth says details will be posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page as they become available.