Australian police have been caught on camera forcibly removing a baby boy from his mother while she was in the middle of breastfeeding him.
The 8-month-old “gumnut” baby was taken from his family, who are believed to live in a commune in bushland near Byron Bay in NSW, last week.
A “gumnut” is reference to a book by May Gibbs about babies who live in the bush.
The confronting footage taken last week shows the topless mother clutching her little boy to her chest as she pleads with police to leave her alone.
“This is not right, this is my baby. Please don’t take him,” she repeatedly says.
“This is against human rights. Don’t do this to him.
“I will not have you take my baby. I birthed this child. He will drink my milk,” the mother is heard saying.
At one point, a police officer tells the mother: “It’s not going to end any differently at the moment so the best thing for you is to listen.
“I’ve got concerns for the safety of your baby,” the police officer continues, to which the mother is heard saying, “no, no”.
During the video, the mother asks the police officer to let go of her baby, to which the officer refused.
Others can be heard accusing police of hurting the baby by squeezing him during the incident.
NSW Police officers, as well as Family and Community Services can be seen speaking to the mother telling her to hand her baby over before they forcibly remove him from her arms.
Family and friends claim that the mother had adopted an “outdoor lifestyle” and wanted to raise her child away from “harmful chemicals and toxins”.
While her lifestyle might be controversial to some, those who know the woman say she’s a “great mother doing what she thinks is best for her baby”.
Later in the video, the distressed mother is seen being held back by officers as her baby boy cries.
Authorities are then seen taking the baby away before the video ends.
NSW’s Family and Community Services cannot comment on individual matters, but a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the department “takes concerns about children’s safety and wellbeing extremely seriously”.
“At times, however, the public’s concern is at odds with our statutory requirement to protect privacy,” the statement said.
The couple do not support vaccinations and live an entirely “organic lifestyle” in a remote commune near Byron Bay, Daily Mail reported.
The baby’s father has since expressed concern for his son’s welfare while being cared for by authorities.
He said he was particulary worried about the chemicals in which his baby is being bathed in and the thought of him sleeping alone.
“He sleeps in between [his mother] and I … Never by himself. When he wakes up at night, mumma is right there with her breast,” Daily Mail reported the father as saying.
“He never cries, is always smiling and laughing. We don’t know when he will return but we hope to be reunited soon.”
A fundraising page has been set up to support the family.
On it, it says: “As Mothers, Fathers, Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents we can feel the trauma this separation is causing to our family,” a statement from the parents says on the fundraiser.
“We eat and live an organic lifestyle and love spending our time in nature, swimming and having fun.”
The baby’s parents tell of how they wash him with “fresh fluoride chlorine chemical-free water from the sky” and how those with him now are most likely “using artificial perfume and bathing him in chems”.
The parents, who cannot be identified, also accuse authorities of unlawful action and claim they have not been informed of the child’s whereabouts.
“The money raised from this fund will go towards rescuing our son and bringing him home in our arms, where he belongs,” the parents said.
The exact reasons why the baby was removed from the mother’s care are unclear.
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