In the wake of a mass shooting at their headquarters that left 12 people dead, French weekly Charlie Hebdo's remaining staff have promised to publish a new issue next week. And, they are hoping to print 1 million copies — quite a bit more than their normal weekly run.
"We will continue," doctor and Charlie Hebdo contributor Patrick Pelloux told the French newspaper Les Echos. "We decided to [publish] next week." Pelloux was one of the first people who arrived at the scene of the massacre, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.
"It’s very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,” Pelloux said during a raw interview with French television station I Tele.
Speaking to the Agence France-Presse, Pelloux said the remaining staff would compile the issue "from home," adding: "We'll make it work."
An attorney for Charlie Hebdo told the AFP that 1 million copies would be printed for next Wednesday's edition. Normally, the paper prints 60,000 copies.
Right now, the publication's Web site displays just one phrase: "Je Suis Charlie," or "I am Charlie," a slogan adopted worldwide in support of the publication. A link displays the same phrase in several other languages. Eight of the 12 who died in the shooting were journalists at the newspaper.
The dead included some of the publication's — and France's — best-known cartoonists: editor in chief Stéphane Charbonnier, a.k.a. “Charb,” and the cartoonists known as Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski.
It's hard to overstate the difficulty of Charlie Hebdo fulfilling its vow to keep publishing. The controversial, cartoon-heavy weekly, known for satirizing just about every creed on Earth, was already struggling financially before the attack.
Although French officials have previously been at odds with the content of the publication — in 2012, law enforcement asked Charlie Hebdo's editors to reconsider publishing a particularly offensive depiction of the prophet Muhammad — authorities rallied behind the symbolic significance of supporting Hebdo's next issue.
“We have to organize ourselves so the next edition of Charlie Hebdo comes out,” French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin told reporters. France’s justice minister, Christiane Taubira, told a French radio program that “we cannot envision Charlie Hebdo disappearing" and implied that public assistance to keep the paper publishing would be "justified."
As the Guardian notes, several international cartoonists have asked their colleagues to donate art to the next issue, to help the paper fill its pages after the deaths of most of its senior staff.