Charlie Hebdo: the presses roll again this week

Bereft staff complete a 'survivors' issue' to go on sale this week
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The Independent Online

As they emerged from the magazine offices where they had shot dead 11 people, one of the Kouachi brothers shouted: "We have killed Charlie Hebdo". In reality, the killings have had the opposite effect.

It was announced yesterday that the first edition since the attack on the satirical magazine, which defined itself by breaking taboos, will be distributed abroad as well as in France. On Wednesday, one million copies of a "survivors' issue" will be printed, instead of the usual 60,000, the proceeds going to the families of the 12 people killed by Chérif and Said Kouachi – 11 in the magazine's Paris office, and a policeman on the street.

In November, the magazine appealed for ¤1m (£800,000) in public donations to keep it afloat, of which it received only ¤26,000. It had been selling barely half of its weekly print run of late, and closure seemed a distinct possibility.

But now it is the subject of pledges – including from the French government – that it will not be allowed to close as its remaining staff produce perhaps the most important edition in its 45-year history.

Patrick Pelloux, a Charlie Hebdo columnist, said: "It's very hard. We are all suffering with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win."

The slogan Je Suis Charlie, an expression of solidarity with the magazine which revelled in cocking a snook at established authority and extremism from Islamism to France's far-right Front National, has become one of the most frequently tweeted hashtags in Twitter's history after being posted more than five million times on the network.

Gérard Biard, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, who was in London on holiday when the killers struck, said the aspiration of the surviving staff was to produce an edition as usual on Wednesday. Colleagues intend to produce drawings in the manner of their departed colleagues or use existing work to ensure their presence remains in the magazine.

"This will be a normal edition, and everyone will be there," said Mr Biard.

Richard Malka, the title's lawyer, added: "All the strength we have left will be put into the eight pages of Wednesday's edition. What we have to say, we will say it in this edition."

The magazine is being produced from the headquarters of the leftwing newspaper Libération, which has provided office space and offered the help of any of its staff.

Other media organisations, including Agence France Presse, Le Monde and the Canal+ television group have also offered help.

French government agencies have taken out subscriptions to the magazine, and a donation has been made from media fund set up by Google.

Talking on Friday at the first editorial meeting of Charlie Hebdo staff after the massacre, Pierre Fraidenraich, the operations director of Libération, said: "In defending your liberty, you have defended ours."

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