The Man Behind #JeSuisCharlie

I am Charlie, we are all Charlie. Since the attack on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which left at least 12 dead on Wednesday, "Je Suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") is on everyone's lips. The slogan is appearing in profile pictures on social networks, on signs at solidarity rallies, in newspapers, and in some cities, on billboards.

The slogan and the logo appeared online immediately after news broke of the attack at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. They were created spontaneously on Twitter on Jan. 7 by an artistic director.

An image when there are no words

Le Progres identified the author of the banner as Joachim Roncin, the artistic director and music journalist for Stylist magazine. He was the first to publish this logo on Twitter, at 11:52 a.m. on Wednesday, less than an hour after the shooting.

He has also claimed authorship of the image in an exchange on Twitter with journalist Valerie Nataf. "I made this image because I am at a loss for words," Roncin said.

"What's happening is so strange, it's completely beyond me," Roncin later said in Le Progres. "I couldn't find the words to express my sorrow and I just had this idea of 'I am Charlie.'"

Roncin told the newspaper the concept came to him because he often read the "Where's Charlie" books [the French version of "Where's Waldo"] with his son.

"I wanted to communicate that this affected me. I feel personally targeted. It kills me, you know," he said.

Roncin also came up with the idea to use the Charlie Hebdo typography for the image.

A global slogan

While Roncin responded to the first media requests asking to use his logo, he became quickly overwhelmed. The image has since gone viral.

It immediately led to the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, which had been used more than 619,000 times by Wednesday night.

Several "I Am Charlie" Facebook pages were created in the process. France's main solidarity page on Facebook brought together over 250,000 people.

je suis charlie page facebook

"I Am Charlie" has become a phrase of solidarity and emotion for people of all nationalities, including celebrities, journalists, cartoonists, and politicians.

The slogan is sometimes used as "I am Charlie" in English, "Yo soy Charlie" in Spanish, or "Ich bin Charlie" in German.

"Je suis Charlie" has replaced the drawings on the Charlie Hebdo website. The magazine's homepage hosts a file with print-friendly translations of the slogan in many languages, ready for worldwide gatherings.

This article was originally published on HuffPost France and was translated into English.



01/09/2015 11:02 PM EST

Pro-Israel Rally In Amsterdam Scrapped

A pro-Israel rally set for January 11 in Amsterdam was "postponed because of the current situation in Paris," the organizers Holland4Israel announced. A new date for the event was not given.

01/09/2015 9:24 PM EST

Prosecutor Reveals Details From Sieges

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins revealed more details of the siege that killed the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly, the Telegraph reports.

- The brothers had a loaded M82 rocket launcher, two Kalashnikov machine guns and two automatic pistols.

- Coulibaly had a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a Skorpion military pistol.

"On the body of one of the terrorists, the demining teams also found a grenade that had been positioned as a trap," Molins said.

01/09/2015 9:16 PM EST

Police Continue Search For Possible Accomplice

French police continued to search for Hayat Boumeddiene, a 26-year-old woman who is suspected of being an accomplice in the Paris attacks, ITV reports.

As of early Saturday morning, Boumeddiene is believed to still be on the run. She is a suspect in the killing of female police officer in Paris on Thursday, and is thought to have been the girlfriend of Amedy Coulibaly, who was killed by police on Friday.

01/09/2015 9:09 PM EST

'Paris is Charlie' Projected On Paris' Arc De Triomphe

01/09/2015 8:23 PM EST

Hacktivist Group Anonymous Vows Revenge For Charlie Hebdo Attack

Hacktivist group Anonymous released a video in which it states that it will shut down jihadist websites to avenge the Charlie Hebdo attack.

01/09/2015 8:20 PM EST

Prosecutor: Brothers Extensively Coordinated With Other Suspects

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that the Kouachi brothers had spoken on the phone more than 500 times with Amedy Coulibaly and his girlfriend Hayat Boumedienne, prior to the Paris attacks, the Guardian reports.

Both the Kouach brothers and Coulibaly were killed in dual sieges on Friday.

01/09/2015 8:15 PM EST

Memorial Outside Charlie Hebdo Offices In Paris

01/09/2015 6:14 PM EST

Footage Of French Raid On Terror Suspects In Dammartin

France's National Gendarmerie released footage of its special forces raiding the printing house in Dammartin-en-Goele where the two Charlie Hebdo attack suspects were holding a person hostage.

The National Gendarmerie also released a picture of the hostage, with their face blurred, being led to safety after the raid. Both of the suspects were killed.

01/09/2015 5:44 PM EST

Yemen Launches Investigation Into Al Qaeda Link To France Attacks

‏‏Yemen's Spokesperson in Washington Mohammed Albasha writes on Twitter that Yemen has launched an investigation into possible connections between Al Qaeda's branch in the country, and the attacks in France.

01/09/2015 5:37 PM EST

Al Qaeda In Yemen's Statement On The Attacks

Al Qaeda's Yemen branch released an audio statement on the attacks in France, after a member of the group told the Associated Press they had "directed" the assault on Charlie Hebdo.

More from the Associated Press:

Soon after, the branch's senior cleric Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari issued a recording on the group's Twitter feed commenting on the "blessed raid on Paris." He denounced the "filthy" French and called them "the heads of infidelity who insult the prophets." He praised the "hero mujahedeen" who he said "taught them a lesson and the limits of freedom of speech."

Al-Nadhari stopped short of directly claiming responsibility for the attack, but added, "How can we not fight those who hurt our prophet, slandered our religion and fought the faithful."

Addressing the French, he said, "It better for you to stop striking Muslims so you can live in peace. But if you only wish for war, then rejoice, you will not enjoy peace as long as you wage war on God and his prophets and fight Muslims."

It was not immediately clear why al-Nadhari did not outright said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was behind the attack. The member told the AP that the group as delaying its official declaration of responsibility for "security reasons."