Three different events outside French consulate in Downtown Montreal
Thousands of people flooded McGill College Avenue over the weekend in response to the attacks that killed 129 people in Paris on Friday.
Over three days, vigils and marches were based around the French consulate in Downtown Montreal. Candles were lit in memory of the victims and attendees carried signs, French flags and sang the French national anthem. The attack in Paris was the second terrorist attack in two days, following Thursday’s attack in Beirut, Lebanon that killed 44 people.
The first gathering took place Friday night. The first of seven attacks in Paris happened at around 4 p.m. EST—9 p.m. local time in France—and by 10 p.m., around 200 people were outside the consulate in Montreal for the first of three events.
An even larger vigil with more than 1,000 people took place Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre led a march of more than 1,000 people from Place des festivals to McGill College Avenue. He walked arm-in-arm with French Consul General to Montreal Catherine Feuillet, Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie Christine St-Pierre, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault and other political representatives.
After a minute of silence for the victims, Coderre spoke in French to the crowd. He spoke briefly, highlighting the importance of everyone standing together against acts of violence—including the Daesh attack which killed 40 people in Beirut on Thursday.
“At this rally today, Montrealers of all origins and religions are expressing their deepest sympathy and solidarity to those closest to the victims and everyone affected by violent acts,” he said.
“I spoke with my good friend and colleague [Mayor of Paris] Anne Hidalgo yesterday,” Coderre added. “I also spoke to my friend Bilal [Hamad], who is mayor of Beirut. I told them that Montreal stands in solidarity with them … and that together we will work to ensure a high quality of life.”
Feuillet spoke after the mayor.
“Since Friday, French people all over the world are standing united,” she said. “Here, Montrealers have been with us since the first second. We are deeply touched by the solidarity given.”