Crowds march through city after Paris terror attacks

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A SHOW of solidarity was made as more than 100 people gathered at Portsmouth’s Guildhall in tribute to the 17 people killed in the Paris terror attacks.

People of all ages and nationalities chanted ‘Je suis Charlie’ on the steps of the Guildhall.

Frankie Kettle (76)   People gather in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth for a march to  remember the people killed in Paris.  Je Suis Charlie march to remember those killed in the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris  Picture: Allan Hutchings

Frankie Kettle (76) People gather in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth for a march to remember the people killed in Paris. Je Suis Charlie march to remember those killed in the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris Picture: Allan Hutchings

The three words have come to symbolise freedom of speech and expression over the last week.

The demonstrators then marched to the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common, where a one-minute silence was held.

Portsmouth’s rally was mirrored across the country, with crowds gathering in Trafalgar Square, Leeds and Liverpool.

London landmarks are to be lit in the colours of the French national flag later.

Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery will be among the locations lit in red, white and blue.

Among the crowds were mother and daughter Sharon and Adrianne Deakins, from Hilsea.

Her husband was in the Royal Navy and helped in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Sharon, 45, said: ‘People like my husband fought for our country so we can live in freedom.

‘What happened in France really hit me and we need to show some solidarity.

‘We are all involved. First it was Sydney, then Paris.

‘We are all affected by these mindless people who want to destroy the freedom we live in.’

Adrianne, 23, said: ‘What happened in France really shocked me.

‘I think what happened is wrong.’

Some demonstrators each held a letter to make up the word ‘Amour’.

Frankie Kettle, 76, from Southsea, who was born in Paris but has lived here for 43 years, said: ‘It was an attack on my country.

‘If we don’t stand up and be counted, we will be returning to the dark ages.

‘I was so upset I cried – it was monstrous.’

The rally was organised by French students living in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth’s Lib Dem leader, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, commended them for organising it.

He said: ‘It’s important that Portsmouth shows that sort of extremism is terrible and completely unacceptable.’