Hours after an armed gunman took control of a chocolate shop in Sydney, Twitter users did their best to show compassion in the face of the standoff.
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The exact motive of the gunman, or his affiliation with any specific group, remained a mystery -- but after hostages were seen putting up a black flag with Arabic writing, some saw it as a message that the situation was related to religious extremism.
Islamic leaders in Australia condemned the attack, but it was the action of other Australians that really stood out to others online.
The Twitter hashtag "#illridewithyou" appears to have started after user @SirTessa offered to ride public transportation alongside anyone wearing religious garments who feared that they would be harassed or singled out as a result of the hostage situation.
Here are some of the best tweets showing the origins of the trend, how quickly it spread and some of the best responses:
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
To the ladies who I shared a cab with this afternoon - Mica and Dixie, thank you from the bottom of my heart. x #illridewithyou— Mariam Veiszadeh (@MariamVeiszadeh) December 15, 2014
I'll be driving to Sydney airport at 5:30am tomorrow to do drop off. Happy to drop any incoming afraid passengers home. #illridewithyou— .... (@laurenaustin_) December 15, 2014
Sadly this day exposed the worst in this country, w/ ignorance and xenophobia more prominent than ever. #illridewithyou showed us the best.— Sarona (@SSagele) December 15, 2014
As luck would have it, taking the bus to work tomorrow. Adelaide Hills to CBD - let me know if you need company #illridewithyou— Jim C500 (@jim_c500) December 15, 2014
I'm not in Sydney, but I am in Australia, and if anyone in Adelaide feels unsafe wearing religious attire, #illridewithyou— Emma (@CheerfulPhoenix) December 15, 2014
I eat with you, laugh with you, cry with you, talk with you and make amazing future goals and plans with you.... #illridewithyou— Jude Steward (@Judestar65) December 15, 2014
I'm moving to Sydney in a month, and when I get there #illridewithyou.— Adam Whiting (@AdamWhitingYoga) December 15, 2014