The rioter

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

Being a reporter is not very safe. I have lots of stories of times when I felt in danger and I was afraid. Once, years ago, I got notice that a lawyer and politician was going to be detained accused of collaboration with terrorism. I went to the street to get the information and I found a violent demonstration with young guys with their faces covered throwing molotov cocktails and stones to the police and to the press, meaning me, among others.

Suddenly I found myself alone in the middle of the street under a balcony, from where two leaders of the radical political party were watching the riots. In front of me was a masked youngster with his molotov cocktail, screaming: “it’s for you!”, while the two leaders were yelling: “to her, to her!”. I was terrified, but I don’t know why, very calm. I didn’t move because I saw that the rioter was like frozen with his molotov cocktail in position to throw it, but not decided. I thought that if I made a fast movement like run to escape, he would react attacking me. So I waited looking directly at his eyes, the only part of his face uncovered. It surely lasted a few seconds but for me were like hours, until somebody approached me from my back and advanced till he was between the rioter and me. He was Xavier, my photographer. He told me: “Come with me, because we have heard them talk, and they are planing to hurt you today”. We began to walk away slowly. Xavier always between the rioter and me. The youngster desisted, threw the cocktail to the ground and escaped. The police was approaching. Xavier saved me that day.

Safety First

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