Is this the most recognisable wall in Australia, of recent times?
Sydney December 2014 (10 photos)
At 9:44am on Monday December 15 (Sydney time), ten days before Christmas, a man who had recently converted to a radical religious death cult walked into the Lindt Chocolate Café in the centre of Sydney. He disabled the automatic front doors and produced a shot gun from his bag. Almost immediately, a woman following behind the man saw this happening and called the police. 18 people inside, staff and customers, immediately became hostages. Some were made to stand at the windows you see above to act as human shields. This vision dominated the local and world news broadcasts for hours. The café is located on a large and busy pedestrian mall, directly opposite a television station newsroom, opposite the Reserve Bank, and close to law courts.
The gunman stated there were four “devices” located around Sydney. However, this was later proven to be a hoax. At the time, parts of the city were evacuated and placed into lockdown. Various demands were made by the gunman and many of the hostages were forced to use their social media accounts to echo the gunman’s demands. During the day, 5 hostages were able to escape. This action angered the gunman and further threatened the safety of the remaining hostages. After about 16 hours, shortly after 2am local time, gunfire was heard inside the building and police were forced to break in to the café. By the end of the drama, the gunman was killed and 2 of the hostages had died. At the inquest that followed, it was learnt that the store manager (Tori) had been assaulted and then executed by the gunman, whilst the other hostage (Katrina), a lawyer/barrister and young mother had died in the crossfire.
Later that morning and for days afterwards, people from far and wide, of all denominations and faiths, came and paid their respects to the victims. Gradually and steadily, a giant field of flowers evolved in the pedestrian mall outside the Lindt Chocolate Café…
My photos were taken 3 days after the ending of the siege.
The Lindt Chocolate Café will reopen tomorrow, 10am friday morning (local time). The bullet holes will have been plastered over, and the interior redecorated but the memories of the tragedy will linger. A memorial to the 2 victims has been placed inside.
Canada mourned in October. Australia suffered before Christmas. And then tragedy on January 7, 2015 in France, and today in Tunisia…
My next post will be after Easter.