On Monday morning we arrived at Circul8 HQ, business as usual. Not long after though, we were all transfixed by the terrible actions unfolding in the middle of our city as the #SydneySiege began, continued throughout the day and well into the night. It ended in unbelievable tragedy, and we offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and our support to the survivors who endured something no one should have to experience.
In the midst of it all came a single moment of kindess from which a movement has sprung. Sydney-sider Rachael Jacobs posted an interaction on Facebook with a Muslim woman on public transport:
It was a single act of solidarity that went viral after Twitter user Tessa Kum (@sirtessa) became inspired by the interaction between Rachael and the unnamed Muslim woman, and put out an offer online to do the same for anyone that shared her bus route.
Soon, others were using Tessa’s hash tag #illridewithyou. The idea was to offer support to anyone wearing religious garments or of diverse ethnicities that felt nervous about travelling on public transport (sadly, often the scene of racial persecution). Not just social media support: actual, physical help by offering to sit with and travel alongside anyone that felt they may be targeted for their appearance or beliefs.
Within hours, #illridewithyou was the number one trend in Australia and around the world.
Usually here on the Circul8 blog we often share social media phenomenon, however we like to think #illridewithyou as more of a human phenomenon. An example of when people champion good in the face of illogical tragedy that could spark further violence. Social media is no cure for the world’s ills, but people certainly are. From our phones and laptops it can sometimes feel like we’re helpless, but #illridewithyou proves there’s potential in us all to make the world more than the awful actions that occurred at Martin Place this week.
Written by Nic Dorward