Māori Party co-leader, Marama Fox has commended the initiative of Australian woman, Rachael Jacobs, who inspired the #illridewithyou campaign following this week’s hostage crisis that took place in downtown Sydney.
“As New Zealanders have reflected on the horrific ordeal that took place in a Sydney café, many of us have struggled to make sense of the brutal standoff that left three people dead,” she says.
“The hashtag campaign encourages us all to look past the actions of the gunman and stand up for unity, rather than to become agents of anger and prejudice.”
The social media initiative occurred spontaneously in response to some reported racist accusations levelled towards members of the Muslim community, especially on public transport.
“I’ll ride with you is a statement of cultural competency; an affirmation of kotahitanga – the drive to come together as one. It has been so powerful to see the hashtag campaign trending globally on Twitter, mobilising the might of many to believe in the power of good rather than collapsing in the shadow of fear. Māori Party is proud to join the world in declaring, #illridewithyou any day.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have now joined the spontaneous campaign. There were 40,000 tweets using the hashtag #Illridewithyou in just two hours, according to Twitter Australia; 150,000 in four hours. The campaign has been reported on vairous news sites and social media platforms around the world.