This article was published by Middle East Eye on December 17, 2014.
As Sydney’s cafe siege unfolded on Monday, passengers on a train in a city further north were following events on their phones. One woman, Rachael Jacobs, looked up to see another woman taking off her hijab. “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with [you.]’ She started to cry and hugged me for a minute – then walked off alone,” Jacobs wrote on her Facebook page. A friend shared her status, Sydney twitter user @sirtessa saw it and invited those on her bus route who wore religious attire and felt unsafe alone to contact her. “Maybe start a hashtag? What’s in #illridewithyou?” she tweeted, followed by “Nothing, probably because it looks like ‘ill’.”