The hostage situation in Sydney’s busy city district has crossed over into day two, with the identity of the hostage taker revealed as Man Haron Monis.
The perpetrator, 49, is a self-proclaimed sheikh already pending trial and out on bail for being an accessory to murder. He still has an unconfirmed number of hostages captured inside a Lindt Cafe in Sydney. Some hostages escaped or were otherwise freed, and police have now stormed the cafe, according to the NYT.
TechCrunch isn’t the place for breaking news on the situation, which can be found here and here. But as the world watches Sydney, we noticed a specific, and now-viral, status update from Jason Maggs. It has now been shared more than 16,000 times on Facebook, noted by FBNewswire, and we’re simply hoping to pass the powerful message along.
I just caught a train home through the central Sydney line. The mood was very different to my usual monday afternoon trip home.
Less people were looking down at their phones. As you walked past complete strangers they gave you a little nod and a smile.
As I got off at central station I saw two grown men in suits run into each other, they obviously knew one and other. They gave each other a manly hug and asked “how ya goin?”… they both responded with “Yeah… shit day but good, I’m going good mate.”
I realised on my trip home that terrorism WILL NEVER work in Australia. We are not scared. We are not terrorised. We are gravely concerned about our brothers and sisters in that coffee shop. But you will not win. You will never be able to tear apart this nation.
Because we have a weapon stronger than yours.
Stronger than your religious beliefs, stronger than your hatred, stronger than your pathetic fear mongering, stronger than your misguided violence, stronger than you.
We are Australians and we have a secret weapon you will never have or understand…mateship.
We are a nation of mates who will never be broken by the actions of a cowardice few.
What I realised on the way home was that in your attempt to scare our nation you have galvanised our mateship.
Jason’s status update is just a small part of Australia’s social media reaction. The hashtag #IWillRideWithYou is growing in Australia, with more than 100k shares across Facebook and Twitter.
The hashtag is meant to express solidarity among Australians as they use public transport, encouraging those religiously dressed to feel safe and those who are not, to feel safe around them. It was reportedly started by a girl named Rachael, who recounted an experience on a public train the morning that the hostage crisis began.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the hostages, their families, and anyone victimized or involved in the situation. And also, we agree with Jason.