#IllRideWithYou: Australians show solidarity for Muslims amid Sydney siege
Australians are showing solidarity for Muslims concerned about a backlash amid the Sydney hostage crisis, by offering to ride with them on public transit. ( WANG-HSIN PEI / Flickr)
Marlene Leung, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, December 15, 2014 7:54AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 15, 2014 4:25PM EST
Australians are showing solidarity for Muslims concerned about a backlash amid the Sydney hostage crisis, by offering to ride with them on public transit.
The hashtag #IllRideWithYou began to trend after a gunman took 17 people hostage in the Lindt Chocolat Café in downtown Sydney Monday morning. Two people inside the cafe held up a banner with an Islamic declaration of faith that has been used by extremists in the past, prompting speculation that the standoff was the result of a possible terrorist plot.
The standoff eventually ended in a shootout with police, and officers later confirmed that three people, including the gunman, were killed.
The hashtag started with a tweet from an Australian woman who offered to ride a local bus route with anyone wearing Islamic religious attire who didn't feel safe.
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
Soon, she suggested the hashtag #IllRideWithYou and invited others to show their support to Muslims in the country.
Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?— Sir Tessa (@sirtessa) December 15, 2014
It didn't take long before the hashtag began to trend, with Australians answering the call by offering to be commuting partners with anyone concerned about their personal safety.
I will be catching from Redfern to the city tomorrow morning at 8.45ish. I will do that most days this summer and #illridewithyou. Always.— Georgia Kriz (@georgiakriz) December 15, 2014
Those living in the City of Casey who feel unsafe, #illridewithyou. Message me and we'll work something out.— Erin (@penorthesword) December 15, 2014
#illridewithyou We can even share my headphones if you're into that kind of thing. Let LOVE prevail. Hoping the morning brings some light. X— PETER HELLIAR (@pjhelliar) December 15, 2014
As the campaign picked up steam, many across Australia began to praise the sentiment behind the hashtag.
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
#illridewithyou doesn't mean people's thoughts aren't with the hostages. It's about trying to make sure there aren't more innocent victims.— Dom Knight (@domknight) December 15, 2014
This is my Australia. Being a Muslim this hashtag is the best thing happened today. I Love You Australia. #illridewithyou— Arif (@Atozai) December 15, 2014
And others noted that rather than creating divisions, the hostage-taking was bringing everyday Australians together.
#illridewithyou is such a great trend. Showing tolerance and understanding rather than ignorance, we need to see more acts like this— Abi (@x_abbztwitts_x) December 15, 2014
Australians tonight doing what we do best - uniting to overcome intolerance and hate #illridewithyou— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) December 15, 2014
By Monday evening, local time, Twitter Australia reported that there had been more than 90,000 mentions of #IllRideWithYou.