Despite frigid temperatures, hundreds of people gathered in Union Square on Wednesday night to stand in solidarity with French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The demonstration, just one of many that took place in major cities across the world, began at 7 PM.

Twelve died in the Paris attack, perpetrated by three gunmen thought to be Islamic radicals. The paper has a history of running controversial images critical of Islamic extremism, and in 2011, its offices were firebombed after it ran an unflattering cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Wednesday’s attack was seen as a literal attack on free speech.

MSNBC estimates between 200 to 400 people stood in the square holding signs that read “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), chanted “We are not afraid!” and “We are free and proud of it!” They even sang the French national anthem. Throughout the night, MSNBC notes, “police presence was minimal.”

(Photo: adallos)