Australians Use #illridewithyou to Support Muslims Following Sydney Siege
The Sydney hostage crisis spurred a public display of support for Muslim Australians
Local authorities and news outlets are piecing together the details of the Sydney siege, where a man took multiple people hostages at a Lindt cafe in Sydney for 16 hours. The hostage-taker was reportedly a self-proclaimed Muslim cleric with a violent criminal record named Man Haron Monis. In the midst of the turmoil came a show of solidarity from Australians looking to preemptively fight "Islamophobic" backlash to the hostage crisis.
As the siege was still happening, one woman named Rachael Jacobs posted an experience she had with a woman removing her hijab while sitting next to her on the train.
Another woman saw Jacobs' message reposted on Twitter and was inspired to start a hashtag campaign.
If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
The hashtag quickly went viral as Australians in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and other cities began tweeting their support.
I was going to drive to work tomorrow but seeing the outpouring of support changed my mind. #illridewithyou Thank you. See you on the train!— Ozge Sevindik (@OzgeSevindik) December 15, 2014
Here's a look at the growth of the hashtag, which at publishing time is trending worldwide, in real time: