#jesuisCharlie NUJ to lead marches, vigils and events this weekend
Journalists in Paris - © Bernard Rondeau, Photo Sociale
Vigil in Nottingham - © NUJ
9 January 2015
Michelle Stanistreet, National Union of Journalists’ general secretary, and a delegation from the union will be among the leading contingent of unions taking part in silent march in Paris this Sunday.
The NUJ, together with the International Federation of Unions (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will lead members from the unions CGT, CFDT, CFTC, CFE-CGC, FSU, UNSA* in a united act of solidarity against all acts of violence and intolerance and to show respect to the 10 Charlie Hebdo journalists and two police officers murdered this week.
Michelle Stanistreet said: "We need to stand shoulder to shoulder against those who believe they can suppress the freedom of the press and free speech by violence and intimidation. The world has been deeply shocked by these killings and this march is one of many around the globe sending out a message of defiance to those who perpetrate violence against journalists.
"Last year 118 journalists and media staff were killed while carrying out their duties. Already this year a Filipino journalist, Nerlita Ledesma, is dead – gunned down on his way to work – and Khalid Mohammed al Washali, a TV correspondent, was killed by a roadside bomb south of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
"By joining this march the NUJ will be celebrating the work of the journalists at Charlie Hebdo, who paid with their lives, and ensuring that satire and independent journalism cannot be suppressed in this way."
Tomorrow, Saturday, the NUJ will hold a gathering at 11am at Dublin Castle. His Excellency, Jean-Pierre Thébault, French Ambassador to Ireland, and representatives from industry, politics, civil society and trade unions will be present as well as representatives of the French community in Ireland. Gathering in Dublin
In Wales, NUJ members will be joining a vigil on Sunday at 18.00 outisde the front of the Senedd, Welsh Assembly Building.
In Paris on Thursday, near the scene of the killings on Rue Nicolas Appert and close to the busy Place de la Bastille, a dignified ceremony took place involving representatives of international journalist organisations. Journalists held up their press cards.
Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, president of the EFJ, said: “I came to Paris to express my sympathy with the French colleagues at Charlie Hebdo. This is a tragedy. Attacking the liberty of the press amounts to attacking democracy itself.”
Anthony Bellanger, deputy head of the IFJ, said: “We came to express our emotion after our colleagues at Charlie Hebdo were killed on Wednesday. We need to stand with our head held high for the sake of the whole profession – not just here in France but all over the world. We have received messages of support from Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas. Everywhere people are getting ready to defend freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Today we are all Charlie Hebdo.”
© Bernard Rondeau, Photo Sociale
Members of the NUJ in the UK and Europe took part in a minute's silence on Thursday, together with people around the world. Picture gallery on Flickr Journalists in Nottingham led a vigil in the town centre.
The surviving editors of Charlie Hebdo have announced plans for a massive one-million print run of the weekly when it next appears next Wednesday.
Ask your MP to sign early day motion 670 – DEFENCE OF JOURNALISTS AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
That this House expresses its heartfelt sympathy to the families of those journalists, police and others who were assassinated or injured at the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, on 7 January 2015; notes that this attack took place on press day, thereby increasing the casualty list and the potential damage to press freedom; considers that the perpetrators of this heinous crime must swiftly be brought to justice; further notes the bravery of individuals who work in this field despite many of them coming under attack previously, and that, in carrying out their jobs, they uphold the invaluable and historical right to free speech and freedom of expression which are both integral elements of democracies; acknowledges the solidarity that is being shown around the world on behalf of the victims and their colleagues in standing together in defence of civil liberties at this time; and offers its support to the NUJ in the UK and the International Federation of Journalists for their work in defending the rights of all journalists to do their job without fear of threats, intimidation and brutal murder.
You can contact your MP via the They Work For You website.
* CGT: the General Confederation of Labour (French: Confédération générale du travail), CFDT: the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (French: Confédération française démocratique du travail), CFTC: the French Confederation of Christian Workers (French: Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens), CFE-CGC: the French Confederation of Management – General Confederation of Executives (French: Confédération française de l'encadrement - Confédération générale des cadres), FSU: the Fédération syndicale unitaire, UNSA: the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (French: Union nationale des syndicats autonomes.