• Several attacks have led to scores of dead in Paris and hundreds injured.
  • Today, more than ever, it’s necessary to position oneself clearly against violence, where ever it comes from.

The facts, still very confused

More than 140 deaths and numerous injured are the consequences of six attacks that have taken place tonight in two districts of Paris. The attacks took place outside the Stade de France (where President Hollande was watching a football match and from where he was immediately evacuated); at street cafes; and in the bloodiest case inside the Bataclan concert hall where most deaths have occurred. Many young people of different nationalities were at the concert.

Five terrorists have died in suicide attacks or have been shot by the police but the police haven’t ruled out the possibility that other perpetrators were involved. As of now, no group has claimed responsibility.

Hollande said that the French authorities knew that an attack was being prepared but they were unable to stop it.

The French president has declared a state of emergency across the country and has closed the borders. The army is on the streets while the population in the affected Paris districts have been asked to go home and not leave their houses.

Parisians are offering their houses as temporary refuge for those people who cannot reach their homes and need a place to stay to be safe from other possible attacks. The twitter hashtag #PorteOuverte (open door) is trending worldwide. The responses of solidarity from the population speak of how human beings can bring out the best of themselves in the most difficult moments.

International reaction from western countries has been immediate, condemning the attacks and expressing solidarity with the French government and people.

No to violence, where ever it comes from

There are neither political nor military measures that stop violence through the use of more violence. Violence cannot be stopped just as no one could stop it on this occasion, nor throughout history.

There is no cause that justifies the death of any human being at the hands of another. Violence always generates more violence and fanaticism, from which ever faction, and feeds resentment and revenge in a never-ending spiral.

The time has come for both governments and all sides involved in any conflict to go to the root of the problems in order to give responses that little by little disarm violence.

This time it is Paris, where hundreds of people have been victims of fanatical terrorism. Before that it was Paris, London, Madrid, New York… But let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have died under the bombs of all the sides in conflict; let’s not forget Yemen, where there is a silenced war; let’s also not forget the eternal conflict between Palestinians and Israelis that has resurfaced in recent weeks… And let’s not forget the millions of displaced people who are suffering so much pain and suffering and living through the consequences of all these wars.

The time has come to look for the root of every conflict and give nonviolent solutions. Tonight, may the people of France and other places, as well as their leaders, move away from hatred and connect with the peace in their hearts and the light in understanding, and take a chance on opening paths of dialogue and points of encounter between cultures and people, while putting the accent on their populations having dignified living conditions; a fundamental element in order to deactivate fanatical attitudes.