Leeds holds vigil for victims of the Paris attacks

A candlelit meeting took place outside the Town Hall

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Last night, the people of Leeds gathered outside the Town Hall in solidarity with the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

The vigil was organised by local people from France, but gathered support from the whole of the Leeds community.

People came from far and wide to show their solidarity with those who lost their lives in Friday’s attacks in Paris.

Attendees lit candles in memory of those who died and are still recovering from injuries.

Ssome people had connections to Paris – others did not but still came as a mark of respect.

A member of the public reads her poem, ‘Pourquoi’

People at the vigil were also invited to speak to the crowd and share their thoughts and emotions on the atrocities.

One local French speaker wrote a poem titled “Pourquoi?”, or “Why?”, which questioned the motives behind the attack.

Other speakers came to express their sympathy, such as Local Councillor David Nagle who said: “These attacks belittle all of us. We stand in solidarity with those in Paris.”

Another member of the public said: “Nous sommes tous francais” – “We are all French”.

A member of the Stop the War coalition held a sign which said “Peace and unity in our communities” and spoke about his anger about how governments use war for their own gain.

His sentiment seemed to hold true to many people in attendance at the event who have now seen how the war and conflict in the Middle East can have an impact closer to home.

“Peace and unity in our communities”

The vigil ended in a recital of the French national anthem La Marseillaise, which added to the sombre atmosphere of the event.

Second Year Genetics student Caitlyn Fleming said: “The event was very emotional and the fact that FrenchSoc were in Paris at the time brought home the reality of how we could have lost loved ones”.

French Soc returned to England yesterday, after being forced to take shelter on a restaurant floor during the attacks.

This morning, students gathered on campus to observe a minute’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives.