A ceremony was held outside Waltham Forest Town Hall to show “solidarity” with the families of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack in Paris.
The commemorative event on Monday, 16th November, was attended by hundreds of people all wishing to pay respect to the 132 victims of the massacre in France.
The French flag was lowered to half-mast and the colours of the French tricolore projected on to the town hall building.
Waltham Forest councillors, community leaders and Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy were among those giving short speeches before a minute’s silence was dutifully observed.
A series of poems were recited and the French national anthem, Le Marseillaise, was played.
The mayor of Waltham Forest, councillor Saima Mahmud, laid a floral tribute to the victims underneath the flag and mourners who gathered to pay their respects were also invited to place a commemorative flower outside the town hall.
Cllr Mahmud said: “It is heartening to see so many local residents here this evening.
“Heartening but not surprising because the people of Waltham Forest have always shown great sympathy and compassion for others.
“These innocent victims were brutally murdered by those who work to spread hatred and fear, and wish to divide communities.
“Tonight we remember, reflect and show our support and love for the families of victims of tragedy around the world.”
Councillor Chris Robbins, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “We come together to share our sorrow at last week’s tragic events and also our solidarity with those families across the world who have suffered such dreadful losses.
“On Friday 13th France witnessed one of its most awful and mindless massacres.
“Young, old, Christian, atheist, Muslim, and those of other faiths were all affected; the horror of these attacks did not discriminate.
“Their objective is to cause chaos and divide us against each other. Tonight gives us an opportunity to restate our commitment to living together with freedom and equality as our watchword.”
by Jack Dixon