More than 40 world leaders joined the start of the march, linking arms in an act of solidarity.
“Paris is the capital of the world today,” French leader Francois Hollande said. “The whole country will rise up.”
The marchers hope to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and a kosher supermarket.
The rally, led by relatives of the victims of last week’s attacks, began at the Place de la Republique. It is thought that more than a million people are taking part.
More than a million people. That’s a huge march – I’ve never seen one that big.
World leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joined the beginning of the march.
No one representing Saudi Arabia? I suppose they’re all too busy cleaning the whip for Raif Badawi’s next flogging.
Marchers in Paris chanted “liberté” (“freedom”) and “Charlie” in reference to Charlie Hebdo magazine.
Some waved French flags, cheered, and sang the national anthem. A group of demonstrators carried a large model pencil with the words “not afraid” written on the side.
Outside Paris, several other French cities also held rallies with a combined turnout of at least one million, AFP news agency reported.
Samia Ghali, mayor of one of Marseille’s districts, told the BBC that people were marching for tolerance and co-existence. Marseille is the city with the largest Muslim population in France.
Solidarity marches were also held in world cities including London, Madrid, Cairo, Sydney and Tokyo.
Is that what the murderers wanted? Global solidarity in the face of their massacres? I doubt it.