Tribute held for Paris terror victims at LA City Hall

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- They came with flowers and flags. They brandished pens in the air -- a symbolic gesture to protect freedom of expression. They carried signs with the words, "Je suis Charlie," or "I am Charlie," a slogan adopted after the massacre at French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Despite the lingering rain, hundreds stood united outside Los Angeles City Hall Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to the 17 journalists, artists, police and hostages who lost their lives in the three-day terror spree in France.

"We want to mourn the victims. We want to show solidarity with French people. We want to be a part of a worldwide movement of mass demonstration," Consul General of France Axel Cruau said.

The rally in Los Angeles was among several around the world renouncing the attacks on Sunday. In Paris, more than 40 world leaders led a march with millions of people -- a showing that officials have called the largest in French history.

About 20,000 French nationals are registered with the consulate in Los Angeles. Many of them showed up at the city's rally. Some even brought old copies of Charlie Hebdo.

"I have my pencil, and it's a golden one, because words are golden sometimes and powerful," French national Danielle Haskell said.

"We cannot be threatened by terrorists and lose our freedom," French national Yvette Guevreyan said.

Most people Eyewitness News spoke to said they came to be with their French community during a dark, yet important moment in their country's history. Some believe life in France won't be the same.

"We need to change things in France now. We need to understand that we don't want this to happen again," French national Geraldine Guillevic said.

PHOTOS: France Unity Rally honors terror victims

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