A bit of a heavy one today – to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would blog for a while. But I always said I would come back to Darling Lovely Life as and when I had something to say, and today I have something to say. It’s something that has already probably been said thousands of times in the last 24 hours, by far more eloquent writers than me, but as we try to make sense of the senseless, I think the most important thing we can do at this time is to keep talking. No, fuck that – we need to shout, and shout loudly enough that our collective voices can never be quelled by the sound of gunfire and terror.
I spent much of yesterday weeping. Weeping for lost lives, for the terror the staff at Charlie Hebdo must have felt in their final moments, for the families left behind without their loved ones. But also weeping for my society and my profession – because the idea that saying what you think and feel in a public forum can cost you your life goes so fundamentally against everything that we stand for as journalists.
What was inspiring, in the aftermath of these brutal, senseless and unjustifiable murders, was the response worldwide. Artists, writers, humans everywhere stood united in the message: we will not be silenced. Not about anything – not ever. The topic is moot – nothing justifies an act of atrocious violence to silence ideas, feelings and expression.
Now is not the time for political point scoring. It’s not the time to channel understandable anger into targeting the wrong people. It’s not the time to ask questions about what we should and shouldn’t write. Now is the time to send our love and prayers to those affected by this appalling event and to shout from the rooftops – we won’t be silenced: nous sommes Charlie.