Leeds to hold candlelit vigil on Sunday afternoon for victims of Paris attacks

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People in Leeds are set to gather in solidarity in memory of more than 127 people who were killed and over 300 wounded in a series of attacks in Paris.

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A person wears a French flag at a memorial outside the French Embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, following deadly attacks in Paris on Friday.

A person wears a French flag at a memorial outside the French Embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, following deadly attacks in Paris on Friday.

The group Meet The Frenchies are holding a candlelight vigil outside Leeds Town Hall today (Sunday) from 4pm.

Informal gatherings were also being planned at other centres around the region, with locals arranging details on social media.

In Otley, families gathered in pouring rain under the wooden market place shelter to light candles and stand in silent remembrance.

Leeds City Council said it was contacting organisations, including the city’s Arena, to agree the most appropriate ways for people show their support for those in Paris.

Charlie Hebdo vigil organised by French journalist Mireille Mason-Beguin, held in Millennium Square, Leeds, earlier this year.

Charlie Hebdo vigil organised by French journalist Mireille Mason-Beguin, held in Millennium Square, Leeds, earlier this year.

Council leader Coun Judith Blake said: “We know there are both many people from Leeds who live in and visit Paris, as well as many French people who are based in Leeds. As a consequence we intend to hold a ceremony in the heart of the city to allow people to express both their sorrow and solidarity.

“We will also work with others to make sure that appropriate support is available to those who may need it and make clear our commitment to standing up to terrorism and violence.”

Former French journalist and mum-of-two Mireille Mason-Beguin, who now lives in Leeds, will be among those at the Town Hall vigil.

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Earlier this year she urged people from across the city to stand united and take part in a vigil against the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

She said: “What has happened is absolutely revolting.

“It’s a deep sadness.

“Even here in Leeds we feel the impact - it is not just the French community.”

She said the group will be meeting at the front of the Town Hall from 4pm.

Mireille said: “The main thing is to have somewhere to meet each other and other people are welcome to stand in solidarity with us.

“We believe in freedom, respect and tolerance.

“We need to show solidarity, courage and stay strong.”

Earlier this year around 150 people gathered on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall holding banners displaying the phrase ‘Je Suis Charlie’ - I am Charlie - which has because synonymous in support of those killed in the attack on the French satirical magazine.

The Leeds vigil was timed to take place at the same time as the march, which saw chants of “Charlie, Charlie” and choruses of the French national anthem.

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