Tribute to the lost shows Australia’s true colours

In the streets and churches, Sydneysiders are united in preserving their peaceful way of life despite the shock they experienced during the deadly Lindt café siege and the sorrow they feel after it. A steady procession of mourners laid tributes of flowers, cards and chocolates outside the café in Martin Place in the hours following the deadly climax of the 16-hour stand-off. Strangers hugged. Dignitaries came and went without fanfare. Children looked on in comprehending silence. The usually noisy lunchtime rush in the CBD was subdued. Many queued for hours to sign condolence books and lay their bouquets on a growing bed of flowers. It was eerily quiet despite the large crowd, a strange conti

Spectators make jokes, take selfies at siege site

In the late afternoon sunshine, a crowd of about 400 people gathered near the cordoned-off area in Martin Place. The mood in the crowd was relaxed, almost festive. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you could be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t an unfolding hostage crisis just metres away. Around the media scrum, office workers, sightseers and foreign tourists snapped photos and chatted on their phones. Most appeared undaunted by the fact an armed gunman was holding hostages in a nearby café. Many had just ‘popped in for a look’, some were cracking jokes, while others were even going so far as to take ‘selfies’ with the terrifying scene behind them as a backdrop. This correspondent’s

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