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Sydney shows its heart to the world with a #illridewithyou after Lindt cafe siege
Que le reste du monde suive l'exemple
- by: Staff reporters
- From: NewsLocal
- December 16, 2014 4:36PM
Twitter has been buzzing with #illridewithyou, with more than 350,000 tweets by Tuesday morning. Picture: Twitter Source: Supplied
It’s been labelled the most powerful hashtag of the year and revealed Sydney’s heart of gold.
Trending worldwide since Monday night, #illridewithyou continues to reverberate around the world in the wake of the Martin Place siege.
Started with a tweet by @sirtessa, the simple, spontaneous act of solidarity with Australian Muslims has become a global social media phenomenon, proving that those who stand united can find hope in adversity.
The campaign has gone beyond Sydney, as this sign at Gosford Anglican Church shows. Picture: Twitter Source: Supplied
Ahmad Malas catching a train with his sister Ezdihar from Lakemba to Sydney’s CBD as part of #illridewithyou. Picture: Mohamed Taha/Twitter Source: Supplied
@vanbadham posted this Tweet; ‘#illridewithyou because together the journey is more fun. That, friends, is our victory: one haters will never know’. Picture: Twitter/@vanbadham Source: Supplied
Eastern suburbs woman Tessa Kum started the hashtag about 4.30pm on Monday, offering support to fellow travellers on the 373 bus from Coogee:“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.”
Ms Kum told ABC radio it was an act of compassion: “I sort of saw another tweet online indicating another woman’s act of kindness and I simply felt that there needed to be more of that in the world.
“She’d done a very simple thing — she had seen a distressed Muslim woman on a train take off her hijab and had approached that woman at the train station and simply said, “Put it back on, I’ll walk with you”. That broke my heart a little bit.”
On Monday night, the hashtag was trending worldwide. Picture: Twitter Source: Supplied
After tweeting the hashtag #Illridewithyou, the concept quickly took off.From riding the bus or train, offering a seat in the car, cycling together and even walking to work, the offers came thick and fast as Australians reached out to Muslims fearful of reprisal attacks after the siege.
Strangers began publishing their travel timetables, attached stickers to their bags and posted images of themselves so they would be easy to identify to travellers in need.
By Monday night it was the number one Twitter topic trending worldwide. At 3.45pm on Tuesday, it was still in the top five and rising again.
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Kamal Saleh, a university student from Punchbowl, said it was phenomenal seeing Australians supporting each other.
“It is a reflection of the true Australian values of respect, tolerance and helping each other,” he said.
“I have a lot of friends who have been helped into taxis or trains and the like so it is good to see that people are acting on this hashtag.”
Kamal Saleh says Australians are more tolerant than people think. Source: News Corp Australia
Commuting on the 373 bus from Coogee, Fiona Newton was evacuated from her Martin Place office during the siege on Monday. Picture: John Appleyard Source: News Corp Australia
Graeme Innes posts a picture with his #illridewithyou sticker on a backpack, ready for his Tuesday commute. Picture: Twitter/@Graemeinnes Source: Supplied
Passengers on the 373 bus today said they were encouraged by the campaign.
Fiona Newton, who watched SWAT teams surround the Lindt cafe from her Martin Place office, said the ordeal had been traumatic.
“I think it really became horrifying when you see the actual windows and hostages with their hands up it struck me it was much more than we anticipated.”
She said she was saddened by the loss of life but encouraged by the inspiring acts of her community.
“One of the first things I did see was the #Illridewithyou campaign and I just think it is really amazing that Australian people have done,” she said.
“It is really about being educated and having perspective, I mean, ISIS is a very small percentage of people and people misconstrue that with all Muslims. That is what I think the campaign is generally about, creating that comfort and security and awareness for them.”
Il n’y a point de génie sans un grain de folie