- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of demonstrators held a vigil at the Newseum following the deadly attack against a satirical newspaper in Paris that killed 12, mostly journalists and cartoonists.

The somber demonstrators read the names of the victims in Wednesday night’s vigil and held signs that read “Je suis Charlie,” or, “I am Charlie.” The phrase, also projected on the Newseum’s atrium screen, is being used around the globe in support of the victims and the Parisian newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

“Like people around the world, we’re outraged by the barbarity of these killings of cartoonists and editors who were innocently practicing their craft, and killed because these people don’t like what they said,” Newseum Chairman Peter Prichard told WTOP-AM. “It’s murder, it’s an outrage, and it’s a blow against free expression.”

Many of the Newseum demonstrators were from France or of French descent.

Paul Gardener-Debeville told WTOP that he’s half French and half American, but his heart “is very, very French.”

“We want to be here in solidarity for obviously the families, but also to condemn the act, which is an offense to the liberty of expression,” he said.

Thomas Riumeau, 37, was born and raised in France and has lived in the United States for 12 years.

When he heard the news of the shooting rampage at the newspaper in Paris, he said he felt drawn to be with others who hearts were in France. So he took a train from his home in Odenton, Maryland to be at the Newseum, about 30 miles away.

“It hurt me,” he told The Washington Post.

Riumeau said his father was a big fan of Charlie Hebdo, and he recalled the newspaper’s sharp satire.

“It can be seen as offensive, but I think there’s a difference between being offended and deciding to kill people,” Riumeau said. “If they offend people, that’s what freedom is about. You can offend people.”


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