On Monday morning, December 15th, an armed gunman entered a standoff with police while inside a café in Martin Place, located in Sydney, Australia. During the standoff, the gunman, Man Haron Monis, held 17 people hostage inside of the café and displayed an Islamic flag in the café’s window.
The hostage situation ended early Tuesday morning when police entered the site after hearing an explosion and yelling. Two hostages, Tori Johnson (34) and Katrina Dawson (38), along with the gunman died during the police rescue. Authorities have yet to comment on whether the hostages were killed in crossfire or by Monis singularly.
As a result of the situation, it was reported that many Australian Muslims were feeling anxious about their safety while out in public for fear of retribution.
Instead, Australians have formed an alliance and network with the hashtag #IllRideWithYou, formed by Tessa Kum, a writer based in Sydney. Kum was responding to a tweet that she saw by TV reporter Michael James.
In just 12 hours, the hashtag already had seen more than 150,000 re-tweets. Check out a few of them below:
It’s awesome to see Australia responding to hate with love for one another, and showing the world that they will not fall victim to Islamaphobia because of a single individual and his horrible actions.
Australia's race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said he was proud of the campaign commenting, "let's not allow fear, hatred and division to triumph."
Images via BBC, Care2, World.Mic