For the second time in less than a year, terror has struck the heart of Paris. A vigil is planned Saturday evening at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s West Georgia plaza as an expression of solidarity from the people of Metro Vancouver.
At the time of publication, at least 153 people have been confirmed to be killed from the highly coordinated attacks that occurred at Stade de France, restaurants, bars, a shopping centre, and a theatre. For the first time since the Second World War, Paris is under a city-wide curfew as the perpetrators are still at large.
Pierre Touzel, Elected Consular councillor towards the French General Consulate in Vancouver, told Vancity Buzz that today’s attacks were unfathomable following the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attacks killing 17 people.
“They say we should just keep going on after the January attacks,” said Touzel. “The year couldn’t start worst. We thought that after the tragic event in January, everything good can happen since we went through the worst time – but that’s where we were wrong.”
“What is really tragic with the event tonight in Paris is that there was no target. Last time, there was a target because of the newspaper’s cartoon, and some people found some explanation behind it. But this time it was a theatre, a stadium where there was a soccer game, and other places in Paris.”
Touzel says it has already been a tense year for France following the Charlie Hebdo attacks and the nation’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War. Security measures have been high for much of the past year, with armed police forces and soldiers stationed at train and metro stations, schools, and airports.
As for why tomorrow’s Vancouver vigil is important, Touzel believes it’s important for the French community to see that there a lot of Canadians who are supporting them.
“Whenever we are under shock or we hear bad news, we have to come together. It’s in our nature to do so as humans.”
Vancouver Vigil for Paris terror attack victims
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery’s West Georgia Plaza
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 14, 2015
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/841136245983846/