Attack in Paris: Free taxis and open doors - how France responded to an act of barbarity with acts of humanity

'Paris: opening doors to strangers, offering free lifts; small acts of heroism, every one of them'

Alexandra Sims
Saturday 14 November 2015 12:51
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 A woman places Flowers outside Le Petit Cambodge restaurant the day after the deadly attacks
A woman places Flowers outside Le Petit Cambodge restaurant the day after the deadly attacks

Taxi drivers across Paris switched off their meters last night as they helped transport people to safe locations during terror attacks which have killed at least 128 people in the city.

France 24 correspondent, Sophie Pilgrim, tweeted: “Taxis taking people for free in Paris as many others stuck in shuttered bars, restaurants, some even locked in kitchens.”

Reduced taxi fares are just one of many kind acts taking place, following what the French President, Francois Hollande, has called an "act of war".

A ray of hope appeared over social media amid the atrocity as Parisians offered their homes to those stranded during last night's attacks.

Using the hashtag #PorteOuverte or “Open door”, Parisians invited those unable to reach secure areas to shelter in their houses over Twitterm, as well as advertising safe havens in the city.

French-Algerian journalist Nabila Ramdani told the BBC's Today programme: “People are being told to evacuate places like restaurants and indeed concert halls where they have been going to on a Friday night, relaxing, going to for dinner with friends or family outside or attending a concert.

“They are now being told to go back home and stay at home. Of course, the obvious problem they are facing at the moment is how to go back home.”

Several Paris Metro lines have been closed and Mr Hollande has declared a state of emergency in the country.

Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson told News 24: “You can feel the chill in the environment… Most people as a consequence have gone to safety and wherever they can find it.”

Donations of shelter have appeared all over the world, with people offering places to stay to Parisians who are unable to fly back home.

In an act of defiance, video footage has emerged of football fans singing the French national anthem as they evacuated the Stade de France where two explosions were heard during a friendly France v Germany match.

In the video, a large crowd can be seen walking from the stadium cheering and singing ‘La Marseillaise’.

Queues of people were also seen at French hospitals looking to donate blood in the wake of the attacks.

French journalist Grégory Dominé said medical officials have asked for people to space out donations over the weekend and throughout next week.

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