Our thoughts are with Paris tonight
If you’ve been keeping up with the news this evening, then you’ve probably heard that Paris has been hit by multiple terrorist attacks. Though details are still flooding in, Parisian police have determined that the attacks broke out in five different locations (Bataclan concert venue, Le Carillon, Let Petit Combodge, La Belle Equipe, and near Stade de France).
French President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency, dispatched the French military to protect the city, and closed all borders.
“This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us,” Hollande said in a televised address. “We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.”
He continued, “What the terrorists want is to scare us and fill us with dread. There is indeed reason to be afraid. There is dread, but in the face of this dread, there is a nation that knows how to defend itself, that knows how to mobilise its forces and, once again, will defeat the terrorists.”
According to the New York Times live blog, the attacks were staged in heavily populated areas, including three restaurants near the Stade de France where an exhibition game between France and Germany was underway, and at live music venue The Bataclan, where attackers opened fire on the crowd, killing at least 100 people and taking several hostages. (The hostage situation has since ended.) There was also a shooting at a restaurant in the 10th Arrondissement. These attacks come 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 12 people, and at least two other attacks in and around the city.
World leaders including Secretary of State John Kerry, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have made statements of solidarity while President Obama opted for a live press conference at the White House.
“Paris itself represents the timeless values of human progress,” President Obama said. “Those that think they can terrorize the people of France or the values they stand for are wrong.”
There’s very little to be done while information continues to flood in, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to help. According to Bustle, you can donate to the Red Cross or Catholic relief organization Secours Catholique Caritas France. Funds are also being accepted at anti-poverty organization French Secours Populaire.
You can also use Facebook to see if your loved ones are in the affected area. The new tool, called “Safety Check,” allows users to indicate that they’re safe, and this sends all of their Facebook friends a notification.
Our thoughts are with all the people in Paris tonight, as well as anyone who has been affected.
(Image via iStock)