In pictures: How 10 world cities reacted to last week's Paris attacks

London's national gallery lit up with the French Tricolore flag. Image: Getty.

In the wake of the attacks last week on Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket, a million Parisians took to the streets this weekend. They were joined by over 50 world leaders in a "Unity March": a show of unity in defiance of the attackers, a defence of free speech and an act of solidarity with the 17 victims and their families.  

Photos taken from above show the sheer volume of supporters in the Place de Republique and surrounding streets:

Demonstrations weren't limited to Paris, however. In cities around world, people showed their solidarity, through everything from marches to light shows – in some cases, despite difficult or threatening circumstances. Here's a selection.  

London

London landmarks, including the National Gallery and Tower Bridge, were lit up with the three colours of France's national flag on Sunday night (11 January). 

During the day on Sunday, thousands gathered in Trafalgar square to show their support.

Istanbul

Around 100 journalists took part in a rally down one of the Turkish capital's main roads on Sunday, chanting "We are all Charlie". 

However, the march attracted criticism, and even violence, from several passersby who stood in favour of the attacks. According to the Washington Postone man approached the group shouting "Muslim blood is being shed!"

The man in the picture below was arrested by a plain-clothes police officer as he tried to attack a journalist during the rally:  

New York 

The Empire State building's exterior light system was shut off for five minutes at 8pm on Sunday, and the tower's tip showed the three colours of the French Tricolore flag.

On Saturday, a gathering was also held in Washington Square Park for French expats and their friends and supporters. The assembled crowd included Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. 

Cairo

Egyptian journalists protested against the attacks outside Egypt's syndicate of journalists on Sunday. They raised their pens, and held a banner which read: " 'The Egyptian journalists syndicate condemn the attack on journalists and denounce all forms of terrorism."

In Egypt, the attackers' targeting of the free press holds extra potency: journalists were regularly imprisoned under the rule of President Morsi, and three Al-Jazeera journalists are currently imprisoned under the direction of president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Reporters Without Borders released a statement saying it was "appalled" that Al-Sisi attended the Unity march in Paris, considering his treatment of journalists in Egypt. 

Berlin

An 18,000-strong vigil was held in central Berlin to remember the victims. This resident holds a sign reading: "Against Hate and Intolerance and for Freedom and Humour".

Beijing

The French embassy held a memorial for the victims on Sunday, and its flag flew at half mast. 

However, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that a gathering of journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club on Thursday, the day of attacks, was monitored by around eight police officers, both plain-clothes and uniformed. Looks like demonstrations in defence of free speech aren't quite to the Chinese government's taste.

Abidjan

In Abidjan, economic capital of Ivory Coast, supporters gathered around the French Embassy and hung messages of support on its fences. The country was once a French colony (it became independent in 1960), but it still retains close ties with France. 

Mumbai 

Several artists created sand sculptures commemorating the victims on the city's Juhu beach. Here's one of them, surrounded by students:

Stockholm

Reporters Without Borders held a demonstration for "peace and respect" in the Swedish city on Sunday, despite freezing temperatures and snow.

Images: Getty.

 

 
 
 
 

Was the decline in Liverpool’s historic population really that unusual?

A view of Liverpool from Birkenhead. Image: Getty.

It is often reported that Liverpool’s population halved after the 1930s. But is this true? Or is it a myth?

Often, it’s simply assumed that it’s true. The end. Indeed, proud Londoner Lord Adonis – a leading proponent of the Liverpool-bypassing High Speed 2 railway, current chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, and generally a very influential person – stood on the stairs in Liverpool Town Hall in 2011 and said:

“The population of Liverpool has nearly halved in the last 50 years.”

This raises two questions. Firstly, did the population of the City of Liverpool really nearly halve in the 50 year period to 2011? That’s easy to check using this University of Portsmouth website – so I did just that (even though I knew he was wrong anyway). In 2011, the population of the City of Liverpool was 466,415. Fifty years earlier, in 1961, it was 737,637, which equates to a 37 per cent drop. Oops!

In fact, the City of Liverpool’s peak population was recorded in the 1931 Census as 846,302. Its lowest subsequent figure was recorded in the 2001 Census as 439,428 – which represents a 48 per cent decline from the peak population, over a 70 year period.

Compare this to the population figures for the similarly sized City of Manchester. Its peak population also recorded in the 1931 Census as 748,729, and its lowest subsequent figure was also recorded in the 2001 Census, as 392,830. This also represents a 48 per cent decline from the peak population, over the same 70 year period.

So, as can be seen here, Liverpool is not a special case at all. Which makes me wonder why it is often singled out or portrayed as exceptional in this regard, in the media and, indeed, by some badly briefed politicians. Even London has a similar story to tell, and it is told rather well in this recent article by a Londoner, for the Museum of London. (Editor’s note: It’s one of mine.)

This leads me onto the second question: where have all those people gone: London? The Moon? Mars?

Well, it turns out that the answer is bit boring and obvious actually: after World War 2, lots of people moved to the suburbs. You know: cars, commuter trains, slum clearance, the Blitz, all that stuff. In other words, Liverpool is just like many other places: after the war, this country experienced a depopulation bonanza.


So what form did this movement to the suburbs take, as far as Liverpool was concerned? Well, people moved and were moved to the suburbs of Greater Liverpool, in what are now the outer boroughs of the city region: Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral. Others moved further, to Cheshire West & Chester, West Lancashire, Warrington, even nearby North Wales, as previously discussed here.

In common with many cities, indeed, Liverpool City Council actually built and owned large several ‘New Town’ council estates, to which they moved tens of thousands of people to from Liverpool’s inner districts: Winsford in Cheshire West (where comedian John Bishop grew up), Runcorn in Halton (where comedian John Bishop also grew up), Skelmersdale in West Lancashire, Kirkby in Knowsley. There is nothing unique or sinister here about Liverpool (apart from comedian John Bishop). This was common practice across the country – Indeed, it was central government policy – and resulted in about 160,000 people being ‘removed’ from the Liverpool local authority area.

Many other people also moved to the nearby suburbs of Greater Liverpool to private housing – another trend reflected across the country. It’s worth acknowledging, however, that cities across the world are subject to a level of ‘churn’ in population, whereby many people move out and many people move in, over time, too.

So how did those prominent images of derelict streets in the inner-city part of the City of Liverpool local authority area come about? For that, you have to blame the last Labour government’s over-zealous ‘Housing Market Renewal Initiative’ (HMRI) disaster – and the over enthusiastic participation of the then-Lib Dem controlled city council. On the promise of ‘free’ money from central government, the latter removed hundreds of people from their homes with a view to demolishing the Victorian terraces, and building new replacements. Many of these houses, in truth, were already fully modernised, owner-occupied houses within viable and longstanding communities, as can be seen here in Voelas Street, one of the famous Welsh Streets of Liverpool:

Voelas Street before HMRI implementation. Image: WelshStreets.co.uk.

The same picture after HMRI implementation Image: WelshStreets.co.uk. 

Nonetheless: the council bought the houses and ‘tinned them up’ ready for demolition. Then the coalition Conservative/Lib Dem government, elected in 2010, pulled the plug on the scheme. 

Fast forward to 2017 and many of the condemned houses have been renovated, in a process which is still ongoing. These are over-subscribed when they come to market, suggesting that the idea was never appropriate for Liverpool on that scale. 

At any rate, it turns out that the Liverpool metropolitan population is pretty much the same as it was at its peak in 1931 (depending where the local borough boundaries are arbitrarily drawn). It just begs the question: why are well educated and supposedly clever people misrepresenting the Liverpool metropolis, in particular, in this way so often? Surely they aren’t stupid are they?


And why are some people so determined to always isolate the City of Liverpool from its hinterland, while London is always described in terms of its whole urban area? It just confuses and undermines what would otherwise often be worthwhile comparisons and discussions. Or, to put it another way: “never, ever, compare apples with larger urban zones”.

In a recent Channel 4 documentary, for example, the well-known and respected journalist Michael Burke directly compared the forecast population growths, by 2039, of the City of Liverpool single local authority area against that of the combined 33 local authority areas of Greater London: 42,722 versus 2.187,708. I mean, what bizarre point is such an inappropriate comparison even trying to make? It is like comparing the projected growth of a normal sized-person’s head with the projected growth of the whole of an obese person, over a protracted period.

Having said all that, there is an important sensible conversation to be had as to why the populations of the Greater Liverpool metropolis and others haven’t grown as fast as maybe should have been the case, whilst, in recent times, the Greater London population has been burgeoning. But constantly pitching it as some sort of rare local apocalypse helps no one.

Dave Mail has declared himself CityMetric’s Liverpool City Region correspondent. He will be updating us on the brave new world of Liverpool City Region, mostly monthly, in ‘E-mail from Liverpool City Region’ and he is on twitter @davemail2017.