Paris: Hundreds Gather At Glasgow Vigil

14 November 2015, 17:42 | Updated: 14 November 2015, 17:47

Hundreds of people have gathered in Glasgow to light candles, laid flowers and send messages of support to Paris

A large French flag was draped over the steps of the city's Royal Concert Hall with the message: "Pray for Paris - not afraid.''

Around 500 people filled the steps and sat in poignant silence as many lit candles and laid flowers around the flag.

Some carried cards with messages including "we are all Parisien'', "Je suis Paris'' and "Peace for Paris''.

The silence was broken at one point with a quiet rendition of La Marseillaise.

The event on Buchanan Street was organised on social media by student Liam Bruce, who was "overwhelmed'' by the large turnout.

The 19-year-old said: "When I found out about it last night I was really worried about some of my friends who live in Paris, and it took me a while to contact them.

"They are all fine, but while I waited to find out I was thinking what I could do to show people that we care.

"I'm staggered by how many people have turned out and by the silence - it's really dignified and respectful and that's the message that we want to get across.

"There is no difference between us and France and I really wanted to make sure that Glasgow had a voice and showed that we care.''

John Campbell, honorary French consul in Glasgow, thanked people for their support.

He said: "I thought there was going to be a small gathering and I was moved by this expression of solidarity and to share this moment of grief.

"I'm overwhelmed by the numbers here and my heart goes out to all these people. I would like to say thank you to all these people.

"Last night was dreadful and a total horror and the only way to cope with it is to be together and stay together and this is exactly that.''

The silent vigil came as Scottish politicians and religious leaders spoke of their sadness at the attacks on Friday night.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier met the French consul general at the French consulate in Edinburgh and signed the book of condolence after taking part in a UK Government's resilience meeting chaired by the Prime Minister.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and International Development Minister Humza Yousef were present at the vigil in Glasgow.

Ms Dugdale said: "I've walked the length of Buchanan Street and when you reach the Concert Hall, everything stops. There are lots of young people here with posters and messages expressing their heartache.

"I felt it was important to express the solidarity of the Scottish Labour Party with people affected by what has happened overnight.''

Mr Yousef said: "Glasgow's my home city and the thing I love about it is that when anyone across the world needs comfort, we wrap our arms around them.

"This event has come about through social media - no political parties or politicians, just people who want to show their solidarity with Paris.

"It's a beautiful thing, there's a real poignancy with the respectful silence and I salute the people of Glasgow for showing their solidarity.''

A similar candle-lit vigil was held in Glasgow in January after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

Student Nicola Rowe laid flowers on Buchanan Street today and said: "If you're a Glasgow person you're going to show that you care.

"The candles and messages are amazing and it shows this is a city like no other, just like Paris.''