They came in their thousands – an estimated 200,000 – students, workers, parents, the old and the young, the people of Lyon came to march in one of the city’s biggest ever rallies, side by side after the horror that unfolded last week in Paris.
It was difficult not to be affected by what was happening:
“When I see all these French people! I was with some Muslims who said they were French and not terrorists. It was very moving to see people applaud the police, “ said one man.
“I am a human being and am not to be classified by my religion or my origins,” said one woman. “I am against all that happened which is of concern to everyone.”
If France does have its divisions and its social tensions our reporter Lawrence Alexandrowicz said they were not on show on Sunday:
“In Lyon as in many other cities, the French came forward and formed this big democratic rally. It was a four-and-half-kilometre silent march with slogans written on placards which said: ‘We have no fear’, ‘I am a Jew’, ‘I am a Muslim’, ‘I am a Christian’, ‘I am French’, ‘I am Charlie’.”