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“Engineer from Africa” ​​destroys tram in Warsaw? Where is this film from?

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In a video posted on social media, a dark-skinned man can be seen riding his bike down the middle of the tracks, and after being warned by the tram driver, he starts destroying the windshield wipers of the tram. According to Internet users, the video was supposedly made in Warsaw – but that's not true.

A video is being circulated on Polish social media, recorded from the cockpit of a tram driver. It shows a black man riding his bike in the middle of a tram track. When the driver rings his bell, he gets off his bike and walks towards the approaching tram, shouting and waving his hand. At one point, he grabs the vehicle's windshield wipers and bends them – then gets on his bike and rides away. The video is being shared with anti-immigrant comments, many of which suggest that it was recorded in Poland, specifically in the Mokotów district of Warsaw.

“A sub-Saharan track specialist, while inspecting the technical condition of the track infrastructure in Warsaw's Mokotów district” – one anonymous user of the X service described the recording; the entry was viewed by over half a million users (original spelling of all posts). “Warsaw is already enriched” – commented another user who shared the entry. Still another described the recording: “An engineer from Africa inspects trams in Warsaw”. The film, with the caption about the “sub-Saharan track specialist”, was also published on Facebook.

A post with a false description of the recordingx.com

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Many comments under the recording are racist in nature. “Deport the nygus”; “They are already introducing their rules in Poland”, “We have to deport him” – wrote Internet users. However, many commentators suggested that the recording does not come from Poland at all and is not current. “If you are going to write and stir up moods, don't lie. Because it is an old recording and not from Poland”; “Sorry, but this is not Mokotów, I do not remember the place in Warsaw where this is supposed to be”; “And what was this manipulation supposed to achieve? It is neither Mokotów nor Poland” – they wrote.

Some comments suggested the country the video was supposed to come from. Internet users wrote about Germany, Austria and France, among others. “The tram's dashboard seems to indicate Germany”; “Old from France. Why are you lying?”; “Film from 6 years ago, location Cologne Germany”; “This is Austria, 2018”; “This is an old video from Germany. I saw it a few years ago” – they suggested.

We confirm: the film is not current and does not come from Poland.

Not Poland, but France

In response to a question from Konkret24, the spokesman for Tramwaje Warszawskie, Maciej Dutkiewicz, denied that the film was recorded in Warsaw. He said:

The recording is not from Warsaw. It was made in Villeneuve-la-Garenne near Paris in the Ile-de-France region.

It’s true: entering a still from the video into Google Images finds French-language articles from September 2019 that describe the recorded event. For example on the Actu.fr portal It was reported that on September 14, 2019, a man damaged a T1 tram running parallel to Verdun Street in Villeneuve-la-Garenne on the outskirts of Paris. The exact location where the video was taken can be located on Google Maps Street View, as the video shows a traction pole and a signpost.

The same elements in the video and in Street View in the city of Villeneuve-la-Garennex.com/Google Street View

A man was not allowed to board a tram with his bicycle.

In none of the articles on the French portals we found (Actu.fr, Leparisien.fr, Cnews.fr and Francetvinfo.fr) is there any information about the man's identity, whether he is a migrant, or whether he was in France legally or illegally. Portal Francetvinfo.fr he informed however, that the film was already “used by some of the far right in Europe as part of anti-immigrant propaganda” in 2019. This recording with comments attacking immigrants was published, among others, in Croatia, Spain and Italy – where it was shared by an MP from the right-wing League, Matteo Salvini.

Portal Leparisien.fr he explained more broad context of the recorded situation. The public transport operator in Paris, RATP, reported that shortly before the incident, the man was not allowed to board a tram with his bicycle. Representatives of the company reminded that this is prohibited in the entire Ile-de-France region. Due to the man's behavior, they filed a report with the police.

Main image source: Artur Węgrzynowicz / tvnwarszawa.pl

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