The Paris Attacks: A Comment from the Cambridge Tab

We stand in solidarity


Across Cambridge today, students will have woken up to a warm autumnal sunrise in sleepy cloisters. With heavy eyelids, morning tears and scruffy hair, they might gradually unravel their duvet and escape their bedsheets.

We bask in the delights of living in freedom, academic sanctuary and safety. We enjoy the benefits of our privilege, both materially and in our freedom of expression. We deeply hold values of freedom, justice and fairness. Of personal growth, peace and making a better world.

So do Parisians. We together understand the fundamental importance of liberty. This morning, as the morning light fell upon the Île-de-France, scores of beds were left empty. Lives have been lost, ruptured and people torn apart in opposition to the values we hold.

Almost 130 people have been murdered in bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a football stadium. A death toll so significant has not been seen in Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Amidst a state of emergency, schools and universities across Paris have shut today.

We also cannot forget Beirut and Baghdad, where devastating loss of life has also been suffered at the hands of the Islamic State.

It would be vulgar for us to turn a blind eye to this tragedy.

We must sometimes look beyond our immediate surroundings, our deeply ingrained provincialism. We must do this to understand what it is we so often take for granted.

Today is not a day for the usual triviality of Cambridge student life – it is not a day to talk about the Union, CUSU or the next drama that unfolds. This is a time for mourning, reflection and consideration. It is a time for us to have some perspective, and consider what it is we think is important.

It is a time for sharing compassion.

The Cambridge Tab expresses its solidarity with Paris, and will not be publishing any more articles this weekend.