Austin French Nationals Take a Stand
As protests continue, local French community gathers in solidarity
By Blake McCoy,
8:30AM, Fri. Jan. 16, 2015
After a moving vigil held at Café Crème on E. Oltorf last Friday to honor those slain in the Al Qaeda attack on France's satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, French nationals living in Austin are asking where they should go from here.
Organizer of the vigil and French correspondent of Frenchmorning.com Cécile Fandos was impressed with the turnout at the East Austin cafe. She knows most of the French population living in Austin, she says, and was surprised to see many new faces.
Fandos and compatriots will meet again this Saturday, 5pm at the Jean-Jacques Rousseau School to discuss strategies for future support of secularism and freedom. “People should be able to print whatever they want, as long as it’s not hateful," she exclaimed at the vigil. "We are united, and we are not afraid.” Fandos’ statement resonated throughout the evening as the assemblage came together to express their condolences, and, furthermore, to show others that their right to free speech will not be shaken by terrorism.