A post from our friend and writer Jacqueline Gazzard in Paris…

 

 

 

 

I’m in Paris trying to write. It is such a simple statement, in fact what could be more so? Well, I suppose if I were in Paris to draw cartoons that might be even simpler? Right up until today that is.

 

Today, two highly trained assassins pushed their way into a plain looking office building up the road and systematically killed people who draw for a living. Then, almost casually, they moved outside and started killing the people who choose to protect the world for a living. It is as brutal and senseless as that.

 

All these people had families and lives; they actively contributed to our world society. They made us laugh. Now it may be that they didn’t contribute in a way the killers liked but they had a voice that has been extinguished. Of course just weeks ago we agreed as a group to expand the title to cover those who use a pen to show us stories and it seems somehow so reassuring that in our small way, our group can say it sees the power of that for all our benefit.

 

So…What next? Its quiet on the streets in Paris with the wail of sirens the only real puncture wounding the damp foggy evening outside. I feel I should have something profound to say, but am honestly baffled by this awful day – what harm can a simple sketch do? We know now that it can do a great deal of apparent harm for blinkered and rigid fundamentalists as it works to provoke a response. So do we shut up? The hell we don’t:

 

“I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.”

Salman Rushdie, Wednesday 7th January 2015


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