Students React to French Attacks


PARIS — While an Islamic extremist group takes responsibility for the mass killings in Paris, French officials describe three teams of killers coordinating suicide missions across the city on Friday that killed 129 people and wounded at least 352 more.

French troops policed the streets in the aftermath of the attacks as investigators scoured six crime scenes across Paris.

French President Francois Hollande vowed a “merciless” response. A group known to the world as ISIS which is an alleged Islamic extremist organization is said to have claimed responsibility.

The assailants attacked concert-goers, cafe diners and soccer fans in at least six locations in the French capital. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that seven attackers were killed, including six who blew themselves up with suicide belts. Authorities earlier had said eight attackers were involved.

Belgium’s justice minister said that several arrests connected to the attacks were made in Brussels, the Associated Press reported.

Pascale Cohen, a philosophy student who lives in Paris one block away from the concert hall where roughly 100 people were taken hostage told The Siskiyou, “I was lucky enough to have come back home early from work, had I been an hour later I might have been caught in the shooting.

After initial panic Parisians banded together in support of their fellow citizens, “There’s a trend at the moment on twitter where everybody is opening their doors to let people take refuge for the night,” Cohen said. The trend #PorteOuverte, which roughly translates to open door day, allowed stranded citizens and tourists to take shelter in local homes.  

“It was a tragedy but I’m incredibly glad and optimistic in seeing so many people offering up their houses like that,” said Amy Anne Layton President of SOU’s French club. Layton further explains that it is also important for people to recognize the diverse groups of people affected by this tragedy, outside of Paris. Believing that we can not forget the suffering of minority groups in France who may be disregarded or even blamed such as “Syrian refugees, and people who identify as Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim,” Layton said.  

Layton is referring to the many anti-refugee groups in France who are already blaming Syrian refugees for the attacks, and the French government’s decision to completely close off its national borders will block refugees who need asylum in the country.   

Students attending SOU’s international student movie night on Friday, were shocked by the news of the attacks. International SOU student Jafer he didn’t really know all of the details but was upset by the news. Jafer watched a (trigger warning) chilling video of a France vs Germany soccer match in Paris, where you could hear the sounds of the first bombs going off.

“For me soccer is like the most peaceful sport,” Jafer said, “It’s all about skill not violence, so to hear something like that was just awful.” Students had just received word of the attacks and were unsure of the facts.

Meantime, Layton said that while SOU’s French club does not currently have set plans for commemorating the event, she has been in contact with French professors at SOU. They potentially plan to present a discussion in order to help students understand what happened and if there is any way they can help.