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Hundreds of people write and draw condolences in Helsinki for victims of Charlie Hebdo attack

Hundreds of people write and draw condolences in Helsinki for victims of Charlie Hebdo attack



Mirva Rissanen (left) and Matti Hyhkö are standing still and listening to the song ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries, the Irish rock band, and reminiscing about the victims of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack at a support demonstration to honour the victims in Helsinki on Sunday January 11 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Zombie. It’s the perfect song by The Cranberries. It’s the perfect song to make you think about the massacre in Paris and how, like today, it has united people around the world to join rallies against terrorism, freedom of speech and the individual right to express oneself.

‘In your head, in your head they are fighting, with their tanks and their bombs, and their bombs and their guns …,’ the song plays.

Matti Hyhkö, 47, puts his arm around Mirva Rissanen, 29. They stand still, listening to the song from a big speaker in minus 11 degrees of Celsius, waiting for their turn to write down their condolences for the 12 victims of the attack against Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper on last Wednesday.

They are standing at the Music Centre on Sunday afternoon, in a support demonstration by individuals for a rally of hundreds of thousands in Paris, arranged at the same time. Mirva is holding a big red pencil, a symbol for Charlie Hebdo.

‘Another mother’s breakin’, heart is taking over, when the violence causes silence …’

Matti and Mirva are part of a stream of constant visitors, which culminates in about 250 people. They want to honour the victims, who, Matti says, shared a personal connection with him.

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The victims were friends of Matti’s ex-girlfriend.

“It’s simply shocking,” Matti and Mirva say.

There are children, parents and elderly who want to write or draw – the expression is free, just like it should be everywhere else, too.

The condolences will be delivered to the French Embassy.

‘In your head, in your head, they are crying…In your head, in your head, zombie, zombie, zombie …’

The song fades away.

Matti and Mirva walk towards the lights of the city centre.

Mirva squeezes her pencil tightly.


About 250 people wrote condolences for the victims of Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today



Candles are lit to honour the victims of the attack. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today


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About The Author

Tony Öhberg

The founder. Reporter and photojournalist. Salesman. Fluent in three languages. Pushing a career in journalism spanning two decades. Always looking for opportunities to tell another story.

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