As many countries now find themselves in a heightened terror alert, France is still attempting to recover from the November 13th terror attacks in Paris, that killed at least 129 people. Terrorists, some with bombs strapped to them, some with AK-47s, attacked sites across the city. The international terror group ISIS claimed responsibility. But even as the full horror became clear, support has swelled around the city and beyond.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, social media pitched in. For those concerned about loved ones, or those in Paris wishing to assure friends and family of their whereabouts, Facebook launched a feature allowing users to let their network know they are safe.
Meanwhile #rechercheparis was being used on Twitter by those searching for missing loved ones.
Even as President François Hollande urged those in the city to shelter, the hashtag #porteouverte allowed users to find Parisiens willing to open their homes to provide refuge for those in need. The hashtag trended as far afield as the U.S., as flight cancellations and delays continued to leave people stranded.
Meanwhile across social media there were reports of taxis turning off their meters to help people get home for free.
The sentiments #prayforparis and #peaceforparis rippled across Twitter, many accompanied by a poignant image of the Eiffel Tower in a CND symbol.
Buildings around the world, including the Empire State Building in New York, Sydney Opera House, Wembley Stadium in London and Rio de Janeiro’s “Cristo Redentor” statue lit up Friday and Saturday night in France’s national colors of red, white and blue to show their solidarity with the victims and the city of Paris.
Facebook users everywhere changed their profile pics to reflect the hues of the French flag.
Taylor Swift tweeted “Look for the helpers,” a sentiment that echoed across social media.
Ways to donate
Several organizations responded across the city in the aftermath of the attacks:
And even while urged to remain inside, people across Paris lined up to give blood at donation centers and hospitals. Those in the area can access a map of blood donation centers using the Don du sang app here.
The Sweet Stuff Foundation, previously created by Eagles of Death Metal co-founder Josh Homme to help musicians during periods of disability and illness, announced all donations up to December 31 would go to the families of musicians and crew members killed in the Paris attacks.
Eagles of Death Metal were the band playing at The Bataclan at the time of the attacks. Their merchandise manager Nick Alexander was among those killed.
A memorial fund has also been created for U.S. student Nohemi Gonzalez, who was among those killed at La Belle Equipe restaurant. All donations go directly to her family, and you can find details here.
The French Interior Ministry launched a website to report those missing, as well as take evidence, here.
Americans in Paris were urged to call 001 202 501 4444 for information and assistance. Those in the U.S. concerned about loved ones in Paris should call 1 888 407 4747.