News World Parisians sing national anthem in the face of violence
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Parisians sing national anthem in the face of violence

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Parisians mobilised in a show of unity and kindness in the face of the immeasurable tragedy of coordinated terror attacks across Paris on Saturday morning (AEDT).

The attacks, which took place over two hours, have claimed the lives of 129 people, prompting French President Francois Hollande to declare a state of emergency in Paris.

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The spirit of the French people was undeterred, as citizens across the capital volunteered to assist authorities and survivors.

Parisians took to social media to offer shelter to strangers and took part in moving displays of patriotism, with taxi drivers offering free rides.

An act of defiance

Video emerged of soccer fans singing the French national anthem as they evacuated the Stade de France, where two explosions occurred during a France-Germany match.

In the video, a large crowd can be seen walking slowly from the stadium, defiantly singing ‘La Marseillaise’ and cheering.

#PorteOuverte

As Parisians were encouraged to stay off the streets, restaurants, concert halls and other large areas were evacuated, leaving many on the streets.

Using the hashtag ‘Porte Ouverte’, which translates to ‘open door’, Parisians offered their homes as shelter to strangers.

The hashtag was trending on Twitter worldwide, with people encouraging those on the streets to message them if they require a safe place to stay.

Free taxis

Several Metro lines were closed in the city, leaving many unable to find transport.

“People are being told to evacuate the places like restaurants and indeed concert halls where they have been going to on a Friday night, relaxing, going to for dinner with friends or family outside or attending a concert,” journalist Nabila Ramdani told the BBC.

“They are now being told to go back home and stay at home. Of course the obvious problem they are facing at the moment is how to go back home.”

To get those in the affected areas home safely, Parisian taxi drivers provided free rides out of the city.

Facebook safety checks

As the attacks unfolded, social media site Facebook rolled out a new feature allowing users to mark themselves as safe for the benefit of concerned family and friends.

Users in Paris received a notification on the site mobile application encouraging them to let their friends know if they were in the affected area and were safe or requiring assistance.

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#PrayForParis

For those watching from around the world, social media provided an outlet for their grief.

The hashtag #PrayForParis received thousands of entries on photo-sharing app Instagram, with several famous faces paying tribute to the City of Lights.

The prevailing image was one of a peace symbol with the Eiffel Tower in its centre.

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Paris goes dark

The city’s most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower, turned off its lights in honour of those lost.

In New York City, the One World Trade Centre was lit with the colours of the French flag.

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But as the lights went off in Paris, around the world prominent buildings and landmarks were bathed in red, white and blue as a mark of respect and solidarity.

Among those to do so were Empire State building and One World Trade Centre spire in New York, the Sydney Opera House, Wembley Stadium in England and Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.GettyImages-497087798

 

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