Today is the first anniversary of the siege at the Lindt Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.
Man Haron Monis, an erratic zealot facing criminal charges, and a self-proclaimed leader with no following, apparently had planned to take hostages inside the Channel 7 studio. When he realised he was unlikely to get past the security guards there, he opted instead to enter the cafe, where he took 17 people, staff and customers, hostage.
Through the day small groups of hostages managed to escape as police stonewalled on his demands, and Monis grew desperate. When he executed one hostage as reprisal for another escape, police stormed the cafe. Monis was shot dead and one hostage was fatally wounded by a ricocheting bullet.
Survivors and community leaders will tonight attend a memorial service for Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson and lwyer and mother Katrina Dawson at the scene in Martin Place. , As the day went on Monis demanded his hostages to do abhorrent things or he would shoot them.
The Premier, Mike Baird, will attend. Announcing plans for the memorial he said “We never want to forget how we saw this city and this state come together so my hope is on that day we focus in on what brought us together rather than those forces that tried to drive us apart.” – Jesse Mullens
Photo of the floral tribute in Martin Place a year ago by Rebecca Hopper of The Newsroom.