Thousands march against 'barbarity' in French city Toulouse

People take part in a silent walk to support freedom and peace and against barbarism and misconceptions in Toulouse on Nov 21, 2015, following Paris' Nov 13 terror attacks.
People take part in a silent walk to support freedom and peace and against barbarism and misconceptions in Toulouse on Nov 21, 2015, following Paris' Nov 13 terror attacks. PHOTO: AFP

TOULOUSE, France (AFP) - More than 10,000 people marched on Saturday (Nov 21) in the French city of Toulouse for peace and against "barbarity" a week after the devastating attacks in the capital left 130 people dead.

The march is the second this week in the southwestern city while thousands have taken to the streets in other parts of France to express their solidarity with grieving Paris.

In the capital, where more than 1.5 million marched after the January attacks by Islamist gunmen against Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket, public gatherings have been banned.

Police surrounded the march in Toulouse as residents braved an icy wind to march under a banner reading: "For freedom and peace, against barbarity and conflation." The march took place largely in silence.

"It is a silence of contemplation, but also determination," said Bernard Dedeban, secretary-general for the FSU union, one of the organisers of the march.

Lisa, 8, held up a banner reading "freedom".

"At school we held a minute of silence. To be free is to be able to dance, do theatre, go to the movies, without being attacked," she said as she walked alongside her mother.

Others warned against conflating Muslims and Islamist extremists.

Toulouse was itself targeted in a 2012 attack by jihadist gunman Mohamed Merah, who shot dead three Jewish schoolchildren, a teacher and three soldiers in the city and nearby Montauban.