Special to the NNPA from GIN –
(GIN) – Videos of a police assault on a protest by African women and children have been widely circulating on the internet. The footage shows the officers trying to move African squatters from the north-east Parisian suburb of La Courneuve.
The group of about 60 women had been living in the street since being evicted from their tenement homes on July 8 to make way for a new housing project.
At one point, a woman is shown being pulled by her legs across the ground, her baby – which she had been carrying on her back – dragged along the concrete after her.
Most of the protesters were legal migrants from the Ivory Coast and had been in France for more than a decade, according to Michael Hoare, a spokesman for Droit au Logement (Right to Housing).
"Most of them have been in France for between 3 to 10 years. Some of them have papers, some of them don't. They have submitted demands to be legalized," Hoare told CNN.
The footage, shot on July 21, comes as President Nicolas Sarkozy targets gypsies and immigrants who he threatened to strip of their passports if they attack police.
Socialist Party member Benoit Hamon accused Mr Sarkozy of trying to ‘win over the far right vote’.
Police said there was no brutality and the operation was carried out ‘within the rules’.
The footage, captured on July 21 and viewed more than 500,000 times on the internet, has aroused strong condemnation by viewers and activists.
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