scary times

When I was very young, in Franco’s time, I was terrified about the street violence. The police forces loyal to the dictatorship frequently made raids in the old quarter searching for sympathizers of the Basque terrorist group ETA and separatists. That was their job, but the problem was the system how they worked, pretty violent.

Everybody seem to be  a potential suspect if  young, long-haired, dressed in jeans and sneakers and frequented some bars in the old quarter.

Also there were frequently violent demonstrations against the dictatorship and in favor of the separatists and the terrorists. Those riots used to begin suddenly around 8 pm. The rioters used to torch trash containers and car tires to make barricades, launch rocks and molotov cocktails to the police and the agents answered with charges with their batons  and firing rubber bullets.

The problem was that, since I lived in a very conflicting area, I could easily get caught in the middle of one of this urban fights, against my will.

I remember one day, returning home from school, there was a violent demonstration  in my street  and the police began a charge against the rioters  who began to run in my direction. I couldn’t cross the street to enter my house, nor get back towards the  school.

I could see the people running fast and the police approaching with their batons hitting everywhere. I tried to enter into a clothing shop looking for safety, but the  attendants who were watching what was happening, had closed the door and didn’t let me in.

I had no place to hide, and the scary batons were closer and closer.

So I glued myself to the shop’s window and tried to blend my silhouette with the shadows of the mannequins, while in front of me, police and rioters fought, some of them to the point of being bludgeoned right there.

I don’t know how long it lasted. For me there were like hours. They told me everything happened in a few minutes. Nobody paid notice on me, the scared girl with her books by the shop’s window.

I hate violence

Author: Olga Brajnović

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