On Sunday, rallies held in California’s major cities coincided with the massive rally in France to protest against the terrorist killings in Paris last past week.
In Los Angeles, hundreds of people stood in the rain outside City Hall as Axel Cruau, France’s consul general in Los Angeles, exhorted, “This is a moment to mourn and show our determination to stand together and not be divided by terrorism.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that the attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery prompted local officials, religious leaders, and French expatriates to march together and urge peace and unity. Some demonstrators lined up together with umbrellas painted spelling out the mantra associated with the attacks: “We are Charlie!” Some demonstrators brought flowers and candles; others brought French flags, while others brought signs and caricatures from Charlie Hebdo.
Channel 10 in San Diego reported that roughly 130 people marched through Balboa Park despite the rain, carrying French flags and signs emblazoned with “Je suis Charlie.” Following the march, the demonstrators met at the France International House and sang the French national anthem.
In San Francisco, hundreds of demonstrators stood in front of San Francisco City Hall on Sunday afternoon, many adorned with the “Je Suis Charlie” mantra. They also sang the French national anthem, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The San Francisco event advertised itself as a chance to “remember the journalists, the artists, the cops and the people who lost their lives on Wednesday and Thursday in Paris,” and to “share our love for the freedom of speech and the press.” The consul general of France estimates there are 65,000 French citizens in the Bay Area.