Seeking to help French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the families of the victims in the shooting on Wednesday, MIT Ph.D and principal at a consulting firm in the U.S., David Opolon, has launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform, Leetchi.
According to BBC, gunmen walked into the newspaper’s headquarters and shot dead 12 people during its daily editorial meeting. The masked attackers open fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car. They later abandoned the vehicle in Rue de Meaux and hijacked another car.
Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those who were killed, as well as two police officers. President Francois Hollande reported that there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack of “exceptional barbarity.”
The media outlet also revealed that Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier had received death threats in the past and was living under police protection. The weekly publication has courted controversy in the past with its irreverent take on news and current affairs.
It was previously reported that there was only two attackers involved, but then French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed that security services were hunting three “criminals” and that Paris has been placed on the highest alert. President Hollande announced, “[People had been] murdered in a cowardly manner. We are threatened because we are a country of liberty.”
Since its debut, the crowdfunding campaign has already raised €94 244. 100% of the proceeds will go towards Charlie Hebdo and will help the victims’ families. During a recent interview with TechCrunch, Opolon shared, “It’s great that a lot of people all over the world are donating. What’s more important than just the amount is that we maximize the number of people that contribute.”
Explaining how the funds will be distributed, Opolon added, “That’s something we need to define as we get in touch with Charlie Hebdo, who are rightly mourning and working on the next issue. The intent is for [the money] to go both to families of the victims and to ensure the continuity of the paper.”
In an effort to help the campaign, Leetchi has decided to waive all fees.
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