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Reuters/Christian Hartmann
An act of resistance.
#JESUISENTERRASSE

With sarcastic hashtags, Parisians are defiantly asserting their joie de vivre

By Aamna Mohdin

It’s been almost a year since the world proudly declared itself #JeSuisCharlie.

Millions of people used the hashtag to show solidarity to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting and proclaim their unwavering commitment to free speech. This time around, following the Paris attacks last week, the hashtags are a little more defiant, more ironic—more tongue-in-cheek.

One of Parisians’ favored new hashtags is a take-off of Charlie Hebdo’s in style—#JeSuisEnTerrasse, which translates to “I’m sitting outside.” It’s quickly becoming an important platform to celebrate what Paris is famously known for: liberté, egalité, and winning and dining al fresco.

Since the deadly attacks on Friday, Parisians have used the hashtag to post pictures of themselves out in the city’s cafés, restaurants, and bars to send a defiant message to ISIL: Même pas peur (Not afraid).

While terrorist attacks usually take place in a city’s most populated area—often tourist hotspots—so the most damage is inflicted, the Paris attackers had a different strategy. Ignoring Paris’ touristy areas, such as the Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower, the attackers instead targeted the city’s young and progressive core. They turned Paris’ trendy, multicultural neighborhoods, which are popular areas for young Parisians to hang out, into a battleground.

These hashtags are one way Parisians are fighting back. Other mocking hashtags (link in French) include #OccupyTerrasse (after the Occupy movement) and #FuckDaesh, a more direct insult towards ISIL, the group behind the attacks. A French woman tells City Lab:

I never thought having a drink on a café terrace would be an act of resistance. But I think I could get used to it.

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