Following the horrific events of the Sydney siege Brisbane people have offered to ride with members of the Muslim community on public transport to keep them safe.

Yesterday, Australia watched in horror as innocent people were held hostage by a gunman inside the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney.

The Martin Place siege ended in the early hours of this morning with the death of the lone gunman and, tragically, the loss of two hostages. Five other people, four hostages and a New South Wales police officer, were also injured.

However, during such a dark and terrifying time, many people across Australia and the world took comfort in a hashtag that started trending globally across social media. A hashtag where everyday Australians pledged to ride with, protect and stand with Muslim people who feared for their safety on public transport following the horrific event.

The social media movement appears to have begun when Rachael Jacobs, a Brisbane lecturer, teacher, writer, academic and community leader, shared a post on her private Facebook page describing the helpless feeling that came over her when she saw a Muslim women on a train unpin her headscarf, presumably because she felt unsafe wearing it while the siege was unfolding. Jacobs offered to walk with the woman to keep her safe and wrote about the incident on Facebook. Her post was soon shared publicly by a friend and then went viral.

These feelings of unease and fear were shared across the nation, with 702 ABC Sydney reportedly taking calls from Muslim listeners who said they are too scared to ride on public transport.ride-for-web

The #illridewithyou hashtag was then started by Twitter user Tessa Kum, who was inspired by Jacob’s post and invited anyone wearing religious attire who was afraid for their safety to ride alongside her on public transport.

Within a few hours of its conception the hashtag had been used in almost 120,000 tweets and the numbers have been growing since then.

Brisbane people were quick to jump into the movement, using the hashtag to let fellow commuters know where they would be today in case they needed a friendly face to travel with. Others used the hashtag as a show of support, as a way to let the world know they were standing beside the Muslim community.

#illridewithyou is still trending globally, with people across the world praising the way Australians have banded together following the Sydney siege. Some public transport users have even  fashioned ‘I’ll ride with you with’ signs to carry with them so they are easily identifiable.

What do you think of the ‘I’ll ride with you’ movement? Let us know in the comments.