Monday, January 12, 2015

Je suis Charlie

After a very long weekend of the terrorist news in France, which was very upsetting, and the rallies, which were very uplifting and optimistic, I'm exhausted, and I wasn't even in France. I actually don't think I'd ever heard of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical comic magazine, that was brutally attacked. With this attack, terrorists strategically changed their assault program from one of terror and individual or group kidnappings and/or killings to incite fear to attacking one of the main pillars of democracy and liberty, freedom of the press. If there is no freedom of the press, no questioning of what leaders say or national events, no opinions to discuss and argue, no freedom of thought, speech, debate or right of assembly, you have a nation controlled by a dictator, with no freedom to think, invent, write, compose, create, hope, believe, or act as you wish.

I salute the French and others who rallied in support of liberty and democracy, freedom of the press, free speech, and a free nation, who demonstrated that are not afraid and will not be cowed. I thought the reaction from the comics was amazing. Talk about art uplifting us and making a powerful statement!  Who knew that simple pencils could cause such a visceral reaction and unite a nation. Viva la France! 

Libraries, especially public libraries, to me, strongly support these freedoms, allowing free access to information, to various ideas, beliefs, thoughts, faiths, options regardless or who you are, the color of your gender, heritage, income, education, language, or age. Archives are similar in documenting history, the good and the bad, and making it available to the public for reflection, thought, and research. Without our freedoms the libraries and archives would only document some topics from a perspective, and only be open to a few, if they existed at all. I know the French archivists will document this terrible event well, the pivotal change it represents, and the response to it, which will undoubtedly continue into the future in attitude, government, politics, press, education, and security to name a few.

I also look forward to see what Anonymous will accomplish. Anonymous has promise war against all social media sites of terrorists in revenge for the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the attack on free press and free speech  (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/30755975). The Guardian states that Anonymous initially seems to be reporting terrorist Twitter accounts so they can be removed or blocked (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/12/anonymous-target-terrorist-twitter-accounts-charlie-hebdo-attack) I don't believe Anonymous is going to be content with just reporting. I hope they make a big impact on those terrorist sites.We shall see.

Je suis Charlie

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