Seriously, this is horrifying. Sickening.
It’s video of French police breaking up a protest after evicting tenants from a tent city outside Paris. A pregnant woman lying immobile on the ground before being dragged away. Another woman being dragged on the ground, on her back, with a baby tied to her back. A toddler screaming in absolute terror, and being physically ripped from his mother’s arms as she’s being dragged away.
I’m adding a disclaimer here that I have not researched this particular incident very deeply, and I’m not familiar with the specifics of the issue these women were protesting. What I am familiar with is what is feels like to be a woman in a situation where you’re being beaten by the police.
As someone who’s experienced serious physical assault and injury by police, in a similar context of watching these scenes is a bit PTSD-ish for me. I know full well what it’s like to be attacked and injured by police–but I can only imagine the added horror of knowing that your child’s safety is in danger as well. And as a privileged white woman, my experience is likely only a fraction as horrific as the experiences of these houseless immigrant women, living in poverty in a strange land, being beaten by the government that’s taken them in.
Perhaps there were circumstances here that we can’t see in the short film clip, that justify the French police’s use of force and disrespect for pregnant women and infants. Like…maybe the women were hiding guns inside their baby slings…or maybe they ‘d been throwing dirty diapers and spit up rags at the police.
Or maybe, just maybe, the way this went down was entirely fucked up.