Calgary

Paris attacks elicit strong response from Calgarians

Social media is the new town centre, and Calgarians joined a global chorus on Friday to share their feelings and their thoughts after the gruesome attacks in Paris.

Social media flooded with emotion on Friday, as people grappled with the French terror spree

The Calgary Tower was lit up with the colors of the French flag to show support and sympathy for the Paris attacks. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

Social media is the new town centre, and Calgarians joined a global chorus on Friday to share their feelings and their thoughts after the gruesome attacks in Paris. 

Amanda Lindhout, a woman who knows terror in a very real sense after being kidnapped and held hostage in Somalia, summed up the feelings of a majority on Twitter on Friday when she called for understanding and urged people not to blame refugees, who are often victims of extremism themselves.

It was indicative of a common call to decency, a call to not descend into anger.

Instead, many chose to focus on grief and solidarity in the face of the horror, and social media was flooded with thoughts for Paris. 

The sorrow and the sympathy also included pleas to not unleash hatred against entire populations based on the actions of a few. 

 

Of course there was anger. 

And there was also anger that Paris has produced such an outpouring, including official safety warnings on Facebook, while attacks in Beirut elicited comparative silence. 

There were also vain efforts to stem the tide of false information and false imagery that flooded Twitter on Friday, with images from last year's Charlie Hebdo attack shared continuously, and images of attacks elsewhere clouding the conversation. 

Despite some of the anger and frustration, Calgarians celebrated the show of solidarity in the city, with McMahon Stadium, the Langevin Bridge and the Calgary Tower all lit up in the colours of France. 

In the end, however, there was simply sadness. Sadness that so many lives were lost and that the city of lights was made so dark. 

There was a candlelight vigil in front of city hall on Saturday for the victims of the attack.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now