700,000 march in cities across France; Holder to represent U.S. at rally in Paris on Sunday

700,000 march in cities across France; Holder to represent U.S. at rally in Paris on Sunday

More than 700,000 people on Saturday took to streets across France in tribute to the 17 people killed in three days of violence by Islamist extremists, the interior minister said. …

In the southern city of Toulouse, police said around 80,000 people took part in a march, with the “enormous” procession stretching up to two kilometres (1.2 miles), according to an AFP journalist.

“Live together, free, equal and in solidarity,” read the banner behind which at least 30,000 people also marched in the western city of Nantes.

In Marseille, 45,000 people expressed similar sentiments with a rally banner that said “For democracy, equality, freedom, let’s fight fascism”.

Individual marchers held up placards with the words “Not Afraid!” …

In Nice, at least 23,000 demonstrators were counted, police sources said, in a demonstration which snaked for around a kilometre along the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais, ending at the war memorial where a wreath was laid in the presence of representatives of different faiths. …

Outside France, several thousand people, including many Muslims, rallied in Milan with many carrying signs that said “I am Charlie” or “Not In My Name”.

The rallies come ahead of a march expected to draw up to a million people on Sunday in which French President Francois Hollande will be joined by a host of world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Others due to participate include Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US Attorney General Eric Holder.

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