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Photos: Thousands in Europe hold up pens in solidarity after terrorist attack

In Paris and beyond, people held rallies to mourn and commemorate the victims of the Wednesday terrorist attack on the office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Demonstrators held signs that read "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) and defended the freedom of the press.

Hebdo rally

A rally at the Place de la Republique in Paris. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty)

hebdo rally

Signs from the rally at the Place de la Republique in Paris. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty)

Paris journalism students stand in solidarity with the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists. (Geoffroy van der Hesselt/Anadolu Agency/Getty)

At least 12 people, eight of whom were journalists, were killed in the attack. Many protesters held up pens as a symbol of the murdered journalists.

The editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was among the victims, said in 2012: "I don't feel as though I'm killing someone with a pen. I'm not putting lives at risk. When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it." The pens served as a commemoration of that sentiment, and the belief that the pen is mightier than the sword.

journalists Hebdo rally

Journalists hold up press cards and others hold up pens at the Place de la Republique rally in Paris. (Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty)

Hebdo pens

Protesters holding up pens at a rally in Rennes, in western France, in solidarity with the murdered journalists of Charlie Hebdo. (Damien Meyer/AFP)

Rallies were held throughout France and beyond:

nantes rally

People rally in the Place Royale in Nantes, France, in solidarity with the murdered journalists of Charlie Hebdo. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty)

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Protesters in Nantes wearing "Je Suis Charlie" placards on their backs. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty)

marseilles protest

In a rally in Marseilles, a woman holds a sign with a quote from murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier: "I prefer to die on my feet than live on my knees." (Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty)

hebdo cartoon

This man, in Rennes (western France), is holding up a Charlie Hebdo cover in which the Prophet Muhammad is weeping: "It's hard to be loved by fools."

(Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty)