With My Own Eyes

It has been a little over a year since we launched the #bringwidlenehome campaign and over 9 years since we began the process to bring her to Canada. My live video updates on our journey have been extensive but I decided to release some written updates over the course of the next week to provide a more detailed rendition of some of the specific facets of this roller coaster ride.

This is Volume Three - With My Own Eyes

As the family began to scurry, everyone watching knew that this would not end well. The mother grabbed the two little boys while the dad tried to get the ten-year-old girl moving a little faster. It wasn’t fate and it wasn’t destiny; it just happened. The little girl tripped for a brief second and down she went. That act of tripping would be what changed this family forever.

It looked like the military had given up on the hope of catching this particular family. After all, these lazy excuses for soldiers were really not interested in breaking a sweat. They had built their entire career by hiding behind a firearm and telling the unarmed what to do, and there were no signs of an increase in their work ethic.

That little girl’s trip, however, was like the starting pistol of the 100 meter sprint.

As she stumbled to the ground in what looked like a slow motion replay, the soldiers saw their opportunity to strike with minimal effort. Four of them jumped from the back of the pickup truck, their heavy boots hitting the ground in near perfect unison. The father, knowing that his daughter was in trouble, lunged back toward her but could not have been ready for his reception.

To watch this scene unfold from the sidelines was like watching a video of a car crash. You could see the disaster coming but there was absolutely nothing that you could do about it. The mother heard her daughter scream as she tumbled to the ground defenselessly. She spun around with a toddler in each arm knowing that she could not go back. She watched in horror as her husband got in between the child and the soldiers knowing that there was absolutely nothing that she could do to help either of them.

The slender man bent over to assist his little girl while the first soldier, like the coward that he was, pulled out his assault rifle and connected the stalk with the back of the Haitian man’s head. Like dogs in a pack do, the other three soldiers experienced a supernatural explosion of confidence and began to deliver a beating to the defenseless father.

My gut instinct was to jump in but we had four Haitian street children hiding in the back of our cafe. To leave our business would be to leave them vulnerable. Every soldier combing the street knew that the kids were in our shop but they had been trained to only attack the defenseless and never tangle with those that might fight back. I received a few dirty looks and verbal threats but nothing more. I wish I could say the same for that poor dad that was desperately trying to protect his family.

No one watching really could have expected what happened next.

With a mother and three children watching, the badly beaten father was thrown into the back of the little pickup truck. Certainly, these cowards would deport the entire family considering the mother and children were ready to go without a fight at this point, wouldn’t they? If there is anything more cruel than violently deporting a young family from the only country that they have ever lived in, it may just be this. This mother and three small children were subjected to the horror of watching their husband and father mercilessly beaten, then taken away. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now they were left without the security of their protector and breadwinner. It was as if the military was less concerned about actual deportation than they were about inflicting pain on the innocent.

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