A mother named "Jill" has been filmed being dragged from a sit-in protest at Melbourne's Immigration Department offices while her child was still breastfeeding.
She was part of the Friends, Families and Feminists Against Detention group, which held a "Pram Jam" at the offices on Wednesday to highlight the plight of Somali refugee Abyan, who is in Australia to receive an abortion.
"I took my 22-month-old son Manny to a protest. ... I was breastfeeding him when the police came to remove us, and I continued while they carried me out," she told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
People have criticised "Jill" for apparently putting her son in danger. Melbourne shock jock Neil Mitchell said she should "be ashamed of herself" because "you don't take your kid to a protest".
She told BuzzFeed News it was nothing compared to the situation facing refugee children in immigration detention centres.
"[It] raises the question – why are my son's feelings so important, while the wellbeing of children in detention is a matter of indifference?" she asked.
The group's main objective was to speak out for Abyan, who was allegedly raped on Nauru and has come to Australia for an abortion. BuzzFeed News has learned that the Somali refugee is in an Australian hospital being provided with care.
"Jill" said Abyan's situation puts being carried out by police while breastfeeding into perspective.
"If that means breastfeeding while being carried out of a public service building by police, so be it!" she said.
"There are far worse things going on in detention camps!"
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Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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