Heated debate for nothing

When the democracy was too young in Spain, I was a too young reporter in a dangerous city because we had many separatists, supporters of a violent terrorist group, who were the second political force in the city hall.

One night I went to cover a meeting of the council. The separatists organized a riot at the doors of the city hall because they wanted to pressure against a measure they had to vote that particular day.

Inside, the debate began to reach high levels of confrontation — insults among the counsellers, the mayor unable to put order.

Outside, the police showed up. The demonstrators set fire to containers and threw stones against the agents. They fired rubber bullets.
I had to send my piece at ten o’clock. Still, I couldn’t leave the building, so I went to one office, and I had to dictate my report to a coworker who was in the newsroom while sitting on the floor under a table for fear of the rubber bullets that had entered thru the open window (It was summer)

The meeting had to finish legally at midnight. But the mayor terminated it a bit earlier when one separatist counseller insulted the king of Spain. (A legal offense)

We, the journalists, had to abandon the city hall with the help of the police. We were going towards the only car that was out of the barricades to go home. Suddenly, a youngster appeared in front of us and shouted: “assassins!” Then the police behind us began to shoot rubber bullets and the rioters to throw stones with us in the middle. We ran until we were safe.

The best part of the story is the subject of the debate that provoked such a violent night: the purchase of two typewriters.


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