Je Suis Toujours Charlie | The Charlie Hebdo Attacks One Year On
There are no crowds outside French kiosks waiting to buy Charlie Hebdo today. There is no hashtag, no extra print runs and no one is changing their Facebook profile in solidarity.
A man was shot dead.
French officials say the man shouted "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great) outside a police station in Goutte d'Or, near Montmartre, where police shot and killed him.
Moments before President Francois Hollande said 5,000 extra police and gendarmes would be added to existing forces by 2017 in an "unprecedented" strengthening of French security.
International media outlets are commenting that solidarity is dwindling.
Over the past year, Paris has experienced earth-shattering attacks. The attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices which killed 12 satirical journalists in January 2015 saw a surge in international support with people everywhere adopting #JeSuisCharlie on social media in alliance.
The following print run of the magazine was one million copies.
When 130 civilians were killed in November, Facebook became a sea of French flags and France entered into an official period of mourning.
Now Charlie Hebdo is struggling to sell even 100,000 copies of the magazine and this anniversary issue has failed to register on people’s radars.
"Events such as the January or November attacks trigger moments of unity, in reaction. But that is not enough to offset deep divisions," said Brice Teinturier, head of the Ipsos polling organization in France.
"The divisions are huge. There are several Frances and they are clashing," he said.
France is divided.
The biggest division comes as a reaction to the Socialist government's plan to strip dual citizens of their French nationality in terrorism cases, a proposal supported by the National Front and until now opposed by left-wing politicians.
Opinion polls show the plan is overwhelmingly backed by voters, but it caused outcry within the ruling Socialist party and its allies. Hollande's justice minister and his former prime minister have criticised it.
France is debating internally and criticizing the government and its decisions.
It’s fucking wonderful.
It doesn’t matter that people aren’t queuing for Charlie Hebdo, in fact, it’s a great thing that they’re not. Before January 2015, the magazine struggled to sell more than 30,000 copies per week and at last, things are resuming to their normal levels.
It’s remarkable that France is divided. It’s pretty much a miracle that Parisians are irritated by police and policies.
The lack of social media solidarity is not to suggest that people haven’t been moved. They have been, of course, they have been.
What made the world declare their alliance with Charlie was the traits they shared with the Parisians affected: fearlessness, patriotism and righteousness. For as long as we uphold those values, we will be Charlie. And Parisians are doing that, like they always have.
It’s great that no one is that bothered about buying Charlie Hebdo. It’s exceptional.
France is France again.