Six copies of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's latest edition were sold within minutes at the Chicago-Main Newsstand in Evanston on Friday.
The edition, called the survivors’ edition, was published in response to the January 7 terrorist attacks in France that killed 12 people, including eight of the newspaper's journalists. Out of the 300 copies of the edition that were made available in the United States this week, six were sold at the Chicago Avenue newsstand. They sold for $7.50 each.
“Our policy here is to carry everything that is available as far as magazines and newspapers, so it really required no thought that we would try to get it again if it was going to be available,” said Eric Ismond, the manager of the stand.
People began gathering in a line outside of the newsstand at 4 a.m. in the hopes of getting a copy. Evanston resident Hans Riddersholm, 56, was the second person to join the queue, arriving at 4:45 a.m. He couldn't fall asleep the night before because he was thinking about it, and was up by 3 a.m.
“I think it’s a piece of history,” Riddersholm said. “I have three sons. They want to take a look at it.”
Francis Bedoya, 25, was the seventh person to get to the newsstand, arriving from Des Plaines at 5:30 a.m. He just missed his chance of getting one of the six copies.
“I really like the message that all this has taught us,” Bedoya said. “Freedom of speech is one of our main rights that represents us worldwide. If we don’t have that, we don’t have anything.”
Ismond said that he wasn't concerned with safety when making the decision to sell the controversial newspaper.
“I’m not too worried,” Ismond said. “We’ve never had a problem in this store. We haven’t received any kinds of threats. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the public as far as our decision to carry the paper here.”
Nevertheless, Evanston Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan said that police were instructed to pay special attention to the area.
“Just because of the news surrounding what occurred, [the increased police presence] is an extra precautionary measure to make people feel more at ease,” he said.
Though the six copies were sold out in minutes, the newsstand took prepaid orders of $9.99 for a shipment of 200 additional copies, which Ismond said will be available next Friday.
“Depending on how the demand keeps up, we’ll have to see if we have to do another limited release of the issue,” Ismond said.