Parisians stand in solidarity with defiant Charlie Hebdo

Eiffel Tower goes dark as France mourns 02:30

PARIS - On the stroke of eight, the lights blinked out. While in central Paris, thousands gathered in solemn tribute. This national day of mourning had begun much earlier, with the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral pealing in the rain, and a minute's solemn silence.

Many hands held symbols of defiance. The pen, they're saying, is mightier than any gun.

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Parisians used pencils to show solidarity to the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo. CBS News

All of France is in shock, but it's worst for those who saw the carnage at Charlie Hebdo firsthand.

Patrick Pelloux, a columnist and doctor, told French television he got a call begging for urgent help. But he thought it was a joke until he arrived and saw his colleagues shot dead, execution style.

Charlie Hebdo's surviving staff have moved to offices at a major Paris newspaper. Not intimidated, they say they'll to go ahead and publish next week.

And with support like they have seen since the shooting, have decided to up the normal print run from 60,000 to 1 million.

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, and its relationship with the French mainstream hasn't always been smooth. There have been sporadic riots and bitter controversy over a decision to ban the full veil in public. But yesterday's shooting was widely condemned by Muslim leaders.

Several braved a media scrum to lay flowers where the policeman was executed yesterday.

And at the grand mosque of Paris, the head of the Muslim Council Abdallak Zekri said: "Of course we disagreed with Charlie Hebdo, we even sued them. But violence? It can't be allowed to snuff out freedom of expression."

The policeman whose grisly execution was caught on video yesterday was himself a Muslim. A tweet that's gone viral says "I am Ahmed the cop Charlie Hebdo mocked my faith and my culture and I died defending their right to do it."

  • Elizabeth Palmer
    Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."