A large crowd gathered for a vigil and rally Thursday evening in Paris to respond to the brutal murder of 19-year-old Clément Méric, a student and left-wing, anti-fascist activist.
Méric was beaten by a group of far right skinheads, and pronounced dead Thursday afternoon. French authorities have arrested four young men in connection with the killing.
Méric was a student at Sciences Po, a post-secondary institute in Paris. The killing comes amidst an alarming growth of far right and fascist groups across Europe. French President François Hollande condemned the killing "in the strongest possible terms," and promised a full investigation into the incident.
Jahanzeb Hussain, a student at SFU in Vancouver who attended Sciences Po during an exchange year, told rabble.ca: "It's not only a death of an 19-year-old boy but also that of a comrade, especially in a country where the far-right is menacingly on the rise and there seems to be no counter to it at state level."
"His death is particularly hard for me since I also went to the same school as he did. He was a leftist -- or a far-left as they say in France -- which is the same political trend I belong to and identify with. When I was at Sciences Po, I met with a few such people and it was always encouraging to see them around and to talk to them."
Canadian journalist Kaj Hasselriis live tweeted Thursday evening's vigil in Paris. Hasselriis spoke to many of those in attendance, including Alex Tesserau, a political science student who knew Méric, "He wanted to prevent the extreme right from doing what they did to him."
The banner headline of the Paris daily Le Monde reads simply, 'The death of Clément Méric: a model student killed for his ideas.'
Watch video here of students at Sciences Po singing and paying homage to Clément Méric.
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