Prague 2000: My experience
Sylvia Yolanda Mach
On the 26th September (2000) was the final showdown. Having hardly slept, in all the days leading up to it, I was near ready for collapse. My job was to drive the bus (my bus) behind the pink block of the demo so that when things got too wild, I could take the conveners and the southern speakers back to the flat "safely".
Sure, for me personally, it was quite a bore to drive the overheating, in-first-gear-fuming, van through a sunshine-filled, colorful parade, where I'd have much rather been on my feet, dancing and playing music with the Samba band...
But, being in Prague with the van meant basically being at everyone's disposal, being the escort and courier service for everything and everyone. This made me miss out on a lot of the action and art-making at the convergence center, but provided me with crazy adventures all over Prague. It also meant that I was under constant surveillance by ordinary and undercover police where the "undercover" was no less blatantly obvious. One particular car was almost always there, like a personal escort service, patiently waiting on me to then follow me around, day and night, no less than 30 meters behind me... They were so obvious that it made me wonder if their aim was actually to intimidate me, rather than spy on what I was doing.
Anyway on the 26th, when our crazy procession arrived at (or as close as it could get to) the congress center, I parked the van in what I hoped to be a safe place and could finally move about freely with the people. The demo was AMAZING !
With all its flashing color (besides pink and silver) and the great, great music, all the fantastic costumes, puppets, banners and artistic visuals, it was an ultimate spectacle of creativity and a wonderfully relaxed feeling of 'unity in diversity'... despite the underlying tension of the threatening build up of police lines all around. It was this tension, which also underlined the strong feeling of an unpredictably SPONTANEOUS UNITY IN CHAOS...
After a long while of partying, in preparation of some kind of strategy, depending on various scout reports and the amount of people we could get together, our crazy procession finally advanced towards the congress center. The mass of people diverged through some side streets, to try and find a place with less intense police presence. Eventually there was one 'access point' and almost instantly, it came to a very heavy clash.
The police moved as quickly as they could to enforce the lines, and they brought in the water cannons and tanks; very quickly there was explosions and teargas everywhere and it all became a total war zone.
A lot of people (black block, provocateurs, etc.) went into direct confrontation, attacking with rocks, molotovs and all kinds of burning stuff, battling the cops with sticks and metal pipes and whatever else, while some were building blockades and some were just dancing around in pink costumes still playing samba music...all of this creating a totally insane scenario. A perfect Inferno.
A lot of people, on the other hand, were getting as close as possible to FILM the spectacle, and I was one of them. Only I wasn't wearing one of those red press outfits nor did I look like I was from the press, which is maybe why I didn't last long at the demo, ... because I was filming the whole time...EVERYTHING.
This tape, which by miracle survived this whole following story, has the evidence that I wasn't violent myself (I filmed just about non-stop during the clashes which proves this) as well as the evidence that my arrest was totally unjustified and illegal,... since I filmed that too.
The situation in the street escalated and began to get very crazy. The police began to break out and chase after people. Water cannons were aimed at injured persons lying on the ground (as well as everyone else)...there was gas everywhere...the crowd split into three side streets...and everything got dispersed...very quickly.
It all became a bit frightening because it seemed like everything was climaxing to a point beyond any control. The police took charge of the street and I thought it was best to avoid the entire area and just find a place to be safe, at least until the madness, which seemed to be concentrated on this particular street, moved on to some other place, (because it prevented me from being able to get back to the van).
I squeezed underneath a fence, onto the grounds of a handicapped people's school, where everything seemed quiet and safe. I thought it best to wait for the storm to pass and then to try get back to the van and find the other people (PGA lot), since some of the conveners might want to be driven back to the flat, the way things were going around here, ...
And then came the big surprise: A big policeman in riot gear came running towards me, with stick in hand, as if he were serious about attacking me. I was so stunned about this, because I didn't see WHY he was attacking me, ... since I was alone (that's why), in a fenced in field of a private school playground, completely alone, very obviously not in the slightest way confrontational, not in the least violent or causing any kind of trouble... On the contrary, I was only avoiding trouble... and nowhere near the demonstration. Which is completely contradictory to the police description of my arrest (obviously, they didn't know that the videotape managed to survive), which said I was "arrested in a clash on the street, not complying with police instructions..."
At first I could not believe that this policeman was serious about wanting to arrest me. I didn't run away immediately (which I still regret, to the point of wanting to kick myself, but then again it wouldn't have been so easy since there was also a fence behind me). Instead, I raised both my arms - and eyebrows - in a questioning manner, to signal that I was completely harmless and by myself. For me it was so evident that I wasn't causing any trouble that I really thought he wasn't going to hurt me. Yes, you can call me stupid.
He immediately tried to grab me and hurt me for no reason and I said things like: "Hey, What are you doing? I'm alone, I'm peaceful ..Let me GO, etc". But he was a lot more interested in the video camera, shouting at me to give it to him, over and over again, which I obviously didn't. Then he proceeded to try to take it away from me by grabbing one arm and twisting it, while trying to get to the other arm, which was protecting the camera like a rugby ball. He began dragging me, beating me and everything possible, to get to the camera, but I squirmed around so much that it was impossible for him to get a proper grip on any part of me. This made him resort to hurting me even more, but I was NEVER going to give it to him, no matter what he did. (My camera is my most incredibly valuable possession). This scene was captured on video, to be the undeniable evidence that I was arrested (in total contradiction to the police's description), in a situation where I was obviously not doing anything unlawful or threatening and that the arrest was therefore completely inappropriate and illegal.
When I resisted his rough handling and refused to give him my camera, things very quickly became more and more brutal. As he was trying to drag me off the school property, he tripped and fell on top of me, smashing my head into the concrete beneath him (since I was making sure the camera wouldn't get damaged, I didn't have my hands free to protect it) and that already made me see a whole lot of purple spots and become very dizzy. At the same time, through all the purple spots, I saw lot more police now came running, and all of them began to assault me at once. I was very scared, because I was totally without witnesses, and here they were kicking and throwing me around and I didn't know how far they would go...
But even though there was so many of them now, I still protected the camera with my life... keeping it tucked away in a sort of embryo position with both arms, if one wasn't twisted behind my back. Again it was my head, which suffered most of the battle. They dragged me all the way to a police van - which was quite a long way, since I wasn't anywhere close to where the action was - and I still had the camera clutched tightly to me. When we arrived at the van the struggle started one more time as about seven policemen were throwing me around and I felt many hard blows on every part of my body. Sure, they may have been less brutal if I'd been totally co-operative, but I still refused to give them the camera, as well as the arms that were protecting it.
Being already quite numb with delirium ever since I saw the purple spots, I was luckily liberated from feeling too much of the pain, and even the immense fear became lost in a haze of escaping consciousness.
I do remember quite clearly that my head was being pressed into the (concrete) ground by somebody's knee, while my camera was being removed from my arms, which were painfully twisted behind my back... I was then picked up and thrown into the police van...hand-cuffed, backwards and head first...one more time on my head. This time, at least there were about eight witnesses, all of them arrested people in the van, who were appalled at the way I "entered". Besides the witnesses, I also had an open bruise on the back of my head as well as my shoulder, from crashing full force into the metal bench in the van.
After this, I remained lying there with my eyes closed to let my head spin out, and also because I couldn't move easily, since I was lying on my back and my hands were cable-strip tied beneath me. Also I was just so, so very exhausted, I really, at this moment, just wanted to stay lying still and sleep, sleep, sleep,...
The other people, who were only one meter away from me, wanted to do something but they couldn't, because they were sitting behind one more locked cage, and handcuffed also. I wanted to move, so as not to worry them or make them think that I was unconscious, but I was just so exhausted, I really couldn't move until the police picked me up and put me inside with the others... I sat there being very dizzy and tried to say something, but I don't remember what...
During the ride to the police station, I just became very apathetic almost, so tired and worn out and my head hurt. It was like I didn't even care about anything anymore, because all I wanted was to arrive somewhere where I could just lie down and close my eyes. The trouble was, however, that the cable strip was so incredibly tight that it hurt like HELL and even in my comfortably numb delirium, I could NOT ignore this horrible pain....(of pulsating, near exploding hands and burning wrists)
When we arrived at the police station and got put into (gender separated) cells, I had a massive headache and they STILL wouldn't open my cable strips. At least it was so painful that it distracted me a little from the headache. The other girls had either regular handcuffs or less tight cable strips. I guess it was because I was squirming and wriggling around so much when they tied me up, but I couldn't BEAR it and my hands were very blue already...And I NEED my hands (for drawing and everything)
Every time the door opened, I begged the police to open, or at least loosen them for me, and the Czech girls explained that they were too tight, that my hands were becoming purple balloons already, but the police just shouted back rude comments and slammed the door shut. Also the Czech girls' translation of the police expression for "women" seemed to be "bitches".
Finally, after what seemed like forever, one policeman who saw the state of my hands, condescended to open the strips (to exchange them with handcuffs). That was a GREAT relief, as at least my blood circulation was released to flow free. The rest of us remained properly confined. I would've liked to talk more with the other girls but I just felt so dull, like I was drunk and my head still hurt, so I only wanted to lie down, which I did. I passed the hand-cuffed hands beneath my butt (to get them from back to front and then curled up in a ball on the floor.
Sometime later the police came in, holding envelopes with people's names in our faces, asking, I guess, if we knew these people, which none of us did. They always placed these envelopes, with the name visible, near the window (which was between us and the police office), as if they wanted us to see them. Sometimes they went through their contents, which were obviously these people's personal belongings - always right in front of the window - and one time it seemed as though they even got a few objects mixed up and put back in a different envelope, but I could be wrong. I'm only mentioning this because it was a little strange and I was wondering where these people were and what was happening to them and why they wanted to know if we knew them.
After I don't know how long, I was taken out to be strip-searched by a policewoman, who took everything out of my pockets but let me keep my money in the cell, as well as shoelaces, etc...So I guess we were allowed to bribe people and hang ourselves. After being searched, I was returned to the cell without handcuffs and went back to lie on the floor for the next several hours. I tried to sleep, but it wasn't possible and my head hurt. The other girls were very nice but I was just not communicative.
(There was also one completely terrified Belgian radio reporter, who was SO terrified that she was crying, saying over and over that she had never seen anything like this "Prague-live" in her life, and that she would NEVER return to this country ever again. She said she couldn't believe how ignorant these police were to lock her up like this (I did mention to her that Belgian police weren't the friendliest either). Truly it was strange because she was a petite woman, conservative, elegantly dressed and fragile-looking. She looked like someone who could've just as well been inside the congress center, and definitely NOT like a protester. But she did get released after a few hours. The other girls had very interesting stories too, but I must try to keep this account a little bit shorter than the way it's going at the moment,....)
Me, I was merely lying there, waiting to get asked some questions by the police eventually. The first time I was taken out of the cell - after quite a few hours - I thought it would be for an interview, but I was taken to a wash room and given soap to wash my hands. Then I was taken to another room where they took photos of me (3 times) and a whole bunch of fingerprints, also hand prints. I was very dizzy and nauseous at this point (mainly from getting up so suddenly and walking, which was not altogether easy to do), otherwise I might've complained about what and why they were doing this, when I hadn't done anything illegal.
But I was not in a state to speak. In fact, I was even crying because I had such a headache. I think they took down some personal data and then I was taken back to the cell. I could hardly walk and had to steady myself on the wall. The police found this funny and asked if I had taken too many drugs, to which I didn't even bother to reply because all I wanted to do was to go back and lie down and not let myself get involved in their constant provocations.
After many, many hours - it was already dark outside - I started to wonder, because I STILL had not been asked ANY questions, or asked to make some kind of statement which I found strange. Eventually I even asked them if they'd forgotten about making a protocol, or if it was enough to get only pictures and fingerprints off people who were being detained for nothing and they said it was because there was no English translator. But when I finally did get taken upstairs to be interviewed, the translator was precisely the same woman who had been sitting in the office all the time already (and she did speak English...!)
Anyway, it was okay for me to give a statement, rather than choose not to speak, because I wanted to speak, I wanted to say that I had done absolutely NOTHING to give them a reason to keep me there.
They asked questions about what I knew about the demonstration and what I was doing there, etc. I told them the truth: that I was filming and not involved in any violence, that I was alone and peaceful, trying to avoid areas of conflict at the time of my arrest, etc...
When I mentioned that I had been filming, they wanted to know where the camera was. Although I believed that it had been put it into my bag after the arrest, I simply said that I didn't know where it was, which was also true since I couldn't be sure... I did have in mind at the time to try to somehow retrieve it if I had the chance before anyone could get to the film.
I also said that I was a student of art and media, that my filming was a project for my university (all of which is also true) and very short for time right now because it was the beginning of the semester. I also said that I had been planning to pass by Prague on my way to Berlin, where I wanted to look into different schools for an optional exchange semester...all of which was true. I didn't deny that I was at the demonstration on purpose, but I explained clearly WHAT my purpose was. They asked me if I had been in Seattle and I said No.
But at the time of the interview, I was so dizzy and had such a headache and the light in the room was much too blinding and I felt so sick that I asked to please be allowed to lie back down, since I'd already told them everything which was true...just so I wouldn't have to answer the same questions again and again.
They asked if I wanted to see a doctor and I said yes, but that this depended on how long I was going to still be kept there because, although I was certainly going to see a doctor, I didn't want to delay my time in jail by asking for one now. I was told that in two, maybe three, hours I would be released. I said that in that case I would prefer to wait and see an independent doctor as soon as I got out. Then they let me wobble back to my cell, without ever telling me that I'd be there for the next 24 instead of only two hours...
The other girls were very supportive and all very nice. If it hadn't been for them, I would have gone crazy very quickly (I can't handle closed spaces). And even if the police didn't bother to see how we were feeling, these girls were witnesses of my condition in the first long hours. Luckily, I had nothing in my stomach to make me even more sick, since I hadn't eaten in a long time and they were not giving us any food here... except once salami in plastic packages, where all I could think to do was eat the plastic wrapper in front of them and leave the salami, just to show what I thought of it...
All the time we demanded to speak to our lawyers and to make telephone calls but they wouldn't even respond to us, insisting that "In Czech, you speak Czech" and they offered no translation... but I'm glad we couldn't/didn't have to understand all the macho insults they were making all the time...(according to the two Czech girls who had to listen to them).
After some many more hours (it was now the middle of the night of the 26th), they finally came and made us PAY...(!)500 kc for the "service", promising us that we would be released as soon as we paid. Of course we were skeptical about paying money for being detained without charge, but definitely 500kc seema like nothing if it can buy your freedom - even if you know you're entitled to it. We all wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, so we paid. The police told us that we would be released in one hour. (One other curious thing was that these police who asked us to pay, were suddenly extremely 'friendly' and joking with us, like everything would be okay and actually quite successful in making us believe that it would be...) Although we were told the same thing already 12 hours ago, this time it did seem real, because they made us "pay the bill". We actually had hope that we would finally get out...but we were naive...it was just another lie.
Some of us fell asleep eventually on the cold floor. I was already sick with that cough/cold/sinus virus which a lot of people had and, although I don't usually get ill, with all the stress I didn't seem to recover from it. Now it was starting to turn into something like fever (shivering), but they didn't give us blankets or anything. I tried to sleep, despite cold, headache and frustration.
Then one girl from Germany got very angry, because she could not understand how they could promise to let us go and then take our money and just continue to keep us there. So she started banging on all the walls and the floor and the metal bars. It woke the rest of us up, who had just managed sleep a little, but we could understand her desperation and anger only too well. We then joined her out of solidarity with ourselves, and very soon we had an absolutely RAVING percussion going. It sounded, to say the least, fantastic! And there were exceptionally good acoustics in the cell, even if everything else about it was SHIT.
Suddenly the door slammed open, the police burst in, grabbed the German girl and handcuffed her to the bench with both hands - we were all stunned! I applauded him for his courage and made a pantomime of showing off muscle, as a cynical gesture as to what I think of his mightiness...and the next thing I knew I got chained to the bench too.
After the door slammed shut, I got out of the handcuffs (it's usually easy) and we continued to make music, only this time it was more singing and animal sounds. Oh, it was just so great! It sounded like a jungle. Everyone joined in, we had all kinds of animals mixed with the wildest of opera (some of the Chinese national anthem), the metallic sound of handcuffs on steel benches, with my metal ring I made a machine gun like "ChrrrrING!" along the bars...only every now and again, to go with the base rhythm of the plastic bottle percussion on the floor...
The music made me feel so good that I suddenly felt strong again. Just before I'd been cold and miserable on the floor and suddenly I felt nearly euphoric, despite the threatening situation. I felt like they couldn't intimidate me with their power games, no matter what and I only wanted to sing and play music and go completely and wonderfully CRAZY! (I think we all felt it..)
But then the door burst open again. This time the police were very rough with us. I got chained to the bench one more time, this time twisted in a knot so that I couldn't move. When they left us there, they took out their gas spray gun which they all have on their belts and threatened to use the gas on us INSIDE the cell if we dared to make one more sound...
All of us were in total disbelief and AMAZEMENT at what was going on here in our most immediate and personal reality/ies...and I guess, only the fact that we were all experiencing this nightmare TOGETHER made it possible for us to be sure that it really WAS happening!
It's hard to describe this kind of violence they were using on us, because it's not enough to speak about the physical violence....When being caged up by these totally inhumane and so willfully hurtful and brutal characters, it's also a level of psychological violence which is more subtle and less obvious in any kind of "show and tell" explanation, but it is the FEELING,...
A very painful feeling this type of violence causes which cannot be brought down to simply fear and distaste (helplessness, hopelessness, exposure, panic, fury, despair etc.... ) but it is something that can actually inflict a lot more harm than any physical violence...because this type of psychological warfare is nothing but a directly agonizing exposure to the kind of machinery which 'ordinary' human beings are being molded into. It gives a horrifying image of the toxicity of the mental obscurations which people all over the world have mutated to oblige to. The complete lack of empathy, compassion and loss of Love, to give way to a closed, compartMENTALized mind, which has lost all means of sensual functioning, but can only receive orders of rigidity and dogma, and is itself, only driven by fear and insecurity...The Tumor of the human consciousness...once mutated it begins to attack all the remaining healthy cells in its absurd and diseased obsession for GROWTH rather than the freedom and DIGNITY FOR INDIVIDUALITY...
...THIS is what hurts, these mental bruises, which people are inflicting on people all over this world...in the historically ever present pecking order of hierarchical power and oppression, greed and self-important competition, a game where playing means losing, means giving up LIFE to be allowed to play, starving compassion to feed only ego, to become only a pawn, a puppet, a mindless servant (slave) to the rules of a game that is playing with YOU...
Okay, it seems like I've gotten somewhat on a tangent from the story, which is something I must try to reduce or I'll never get finished...but it's just that it is THIS, precisely this, the mental slavery which people around the world are subjected to...which in turn causes them to oppress and condemn fellow human beings and living creation in general.
It's so PAINFUL to witness this although it happens everywhere and all the time. There ARE ways to defy this "losing game" in your own life...by simply CREATING those open spaces of freedom...open and inviting everyone to join and contribute with love and respect the colorful diversity within this boundary-less spectrum of Uniqueness and Individuality...
Oh no, it seems like I must put some kind of boundaries on MYSELF right now, because I'm not able to stop getting side-tracked from this already over-dimensionally long account of what happened in this totally unbelievable experience of a scenario which is so blatantly, painfully COMMON in this World.... (Back to the story...) After having been threatened with the gas, we were somewhat reluctant to continue making any noise, but the position I was in, arms and legs tied in a knot and handcuffed to the bench, making it impossible to move became unbearable very quickly. But after some dislocation of wrist and shedding of some skin and with the help of the other girls to pull (despite their insisting it couldn't work), it was finally possible to get at least one hand out of the handcuffs, enabling to bring myself into a more "comfortable" position.
But immediately the police were back in the cell (there was a window through which we were being observed like in a zoo, so there was not much that one could do discreetly). This time they chained me to the wall, with arms outstretched and upward (making the blood flow own) and they closed the handcuffs very, tightly, VERY tightly...It was so painful I knew I could never stand it. But this time, there was no escape - no chance.
I don't know exactly how long I did stand it before I raised a total screaming HELL. I shouted VERY angrily in the face of the policemen (two now), that they'd "BETTER WATCH IT!" Because when what they were doing right now in this cell would revealed to the outside legal services, they could be prepared for "A LOT OF TROUBLE" and I repeated many, many times, SCREAMING, partly because of the pain, partly because of my incredible fury......... "YOU WILL BE IN A L O T OF TROUBLE!!!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME ?!? A LOT, A L O T OF TROUBLE FOR Y O U !!!!!!!!!!!!!" And then an amazing thing happened...He released me ! (from the wall). Maybe he understood the word "trouble". It was a little victory...
We remained the rest of the night in jail....I don't know, maybe I even slept for some moments, but I don't think so. Not only because the floor was hard and cold and I only had a T-shirt on, but also my mind couldn't rest, despite being very tired. In the morning, we realized that we would probably stay locked up here for all the 48 hours, before we finally were even brought to another cell at the immigration police. And then who knows what would happen there, maybe we would get deported straight to the border, who knows maybe we'd stay there for 180 days...?.
Despite the total lack of information, somehow, I don't know exactly how (I guess it was an info exchange from the boys cell), the rumor seeped into our cell that the immigration police were totally overburdened with 200 people and that was why we were still being kept here. And the explanation for the outrageous mistreatment in this police station was only because these cops were also already completely sick of our being there and would like to just get rid of us quickly.
Still, even if this were an excuse for us to be treated like shit, which it surely shouldn't be, then it still shouldn't prevent them from letting us make ONE phone call on behalf of All of us... Just to inform the legal services who and where we were... to at least spare these poor and overworked police our constant and SO tiresomely repetitive demands for our basic rights.
But they didn't even want to communicate with us at all; they only wanted to speak with force. Our faces were glued to window - through which WE could be observed, but through which we could also observe THEM - and watch everything that was going on in the office.
"Who is in the Zoo? You or me?" I held pieces of the Salami and bits of old bread which we had refused to eat to the steel barred window pane and pretended to offer to feed the exotic animals behind the bars...just for entertainment....They were NOT amused.
Anyway, this morning (27th Sept) at about 0800, I asked to be allowed to go to the toilet. One thing I forgot to mention all along is that, on the way out of the girls' cell, we always had to pass by the boys' cell, which had a quite different ambience from ours. First of all, they were always completely visible, with no privacy at all, since they were in a sort of open cage. Then they were also in a very much smaller space, although there were a lot more of them inside. But we could easily exchange info as we passed by and also they could follow vaguely the condition we had been in for the past long hours at this police station. Otherwise, it was definitely easier for the girls to keep an eye on the boys than for the boys to have any idea of what was happening in the girls' cell, which was completely closed off and around the next corner.
This morning they were all huddled and piled together, about 15-20 of them, lying mostly on top of each other, because there was much too little room for all of them in that small cell/cage. Well, at least they didn't seem cold (like we were) and this morning they all seemed to be sleeping. Probably because we had kept them awake all night with our surreal sound façade and jail house techno...and sure, they must've been able to follow vaguely that there was some crazy stuff going on in the girls' cell into the wee hours of the morning... And who knows what kind of a night they had.
Of course, I didn't allow them even an opportunity to sleep in this morning, because I had the outrageous demand, as I came back from the toilet, to request ONE MORE TIME my right to a phone call. When we passed the office where all the phones were, I made a move as if to go in, saying, "Excuse me but I REALLY need to use your phone..." but instantly the police were all over me.
They tried to manouever me back to 'my' cell, but I decided to really make a clear point about this, then and there, using the opportunity of being outside to let them know that I refused to spend any more time in their custody, as we had 'officially' paid and been told we would be released. I did not see why I, or anyone else, had to spend any more time locked up here..........
And if they did have any reason to further detain us, then I had the right to contact our legal service. I very simply WOULD NOT go back into this smelly stale-aired cell, until I was allowed to do so. I said all this but, of course, at the time it was futile to try to communicate sensibly with any of them. The two Czech girls who had been with us at the beginning were separated from us early on already. They told us that they would be released, having to pay a fine of 15,000 Ck (which they said they could never afford) but who knows where they were now.... Anyway, there was no one there to translate for us anymore. Also, the police were definitely not interested in dialogue because they were all only interested in ONE thing, which was to put me back into the cell - no compromise, no phone call.
And then came the infamous incident which, in police reports and press releases of the Ministry of the Interior, I was described as a completely wild and in-fury-raging-out-of-control alien.... (I was described as an "alien") who, judging from their version, proceeded to kick, smash and attack everything and everyone in sight.
My rather humble version might be less spectacular, but at least it is true...
First of all, I want to clarify one definite thing: it was the policemen who did all the kicking and the smashing and everything which could be described as an assault. All I did was, in defiance to all the above, which they were doing to make me move...All I did was: NOT MOVE.
Now, if this is what, by German definition, is called "Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt" (direct translation: "Resistance against State Violence" - then, okay, I must say that I WAS resisting their state-sponsored, mindless and definitely heartless violence. I was just someone (alien or not) who had been brought here and confined for the last day and night, to be under constant exposure to a seemingly never-ending stream of unnecessary brutality, whether it be physical or psychological, I had been severely mistreated (surely no more than others). I had been humiliated, dehumanized, insulted. I had been refused the most basic rights. I had been threatened and subjected with measures way beyond the basic rights of thfe police.
And yes, I RESISTED this unnecessary and unjustly violent behaviour, and the only way in which I resisted was that, when they tried to put me back in the cell, one more time illegally, I simply did NOT MOVE and I did not LET THEM MOVE ME.
This very quickly escalated into a most intense kind of "battle" between our two very different motivations. For them, it seemed extremely important that they put me back into this cell. Despite really hating to cause conflict or cause people to become aggressive, at this moment I was first of all not given a choice, because I DO NOT compromise my freedom nor my basic rights. And secondly, it seemed like I was only doing these ungentlemen a favor because they seemed to be immensely happy that I had given them an opportunity to do what they liked to do most...
I will try to describe the whole sequence as precisely as possible, with a reminder that my personal field of vision was a little limited when there were several big men grabbing a hold of me from all sides at once. Definitely it was not soft.
At first, they just tried to push me, pull me, whatever, but I didn't move. And this I could only achieve by holding on to various furniture, door frames, etc... And I was holding on A LOT and to remove me, they would've had to either rip my arms off, cut them off or beat them off and I'm glad that they only beat - or tried to - beat them off. I think they also tried removing each finger, one by one, but in this case, I would usually let go and grab something else very quickly. But, believe me, even in the stress of the situation, I would not have made the mistake to grab a policeman (although there wasn't much else around) simply because it would've been so obviously counterproductive to standing my ground.
And surely, according to the description of the police, where I was supposedly 'attacking' them, then ...I don't know, but they must've been doing a considerably terrible job (at their terrible job) to not be able to constrain - as many as they were - one young girl. And to then even allow her to proceed "kicking them several times" and "smashing their uniforms" and even "injuring them" as it states in some reports. (And what they accused me of originally, but I guess they decided to take that back when the case became such a hype, probably in fear of sounding too incredible)
Even if I didn't know from personal experience that this didn't happen, I wouldn't have believed that this could happen. Not even if it had been a fully trained and super-violent "alien", I would've quite thought this possible. And I do think that the police are used to constraining a lot more hard-core calibers, so it seems ridiculous that they suddenly wouldn't be able to prevent one girl from kicking and smashing everyone.
As goes for me personally, even if I do shamelessly admit how much I would have enjoyed to kick and smash these so unjust and deserving policemen,...it is just such a totally absurd accusation. Because no matter how agitated I was or however tempting the idea might have been ....come on, I might be a little crazy sometimes but I'd hope to say I'm not completely STUPID.
If I really wanted to kick a policeman, surely I wouldn't choose to do it in a police station. So, one more time: I did not attack or even touch any of them in any confrontational way - except for trying to remove their illegally covered ID# badges, which I really wanted to see for a good reason.
If there was any physical contact on my part, it was in self-defense. They were hurting me a lot, by beating or twisting all parts of my body which were 'stuck' from moving into the direction of 'my' cell. So it's possible that, if they twisted my leg in such a way that I couldn't bear the pain, I may have tried to shake off or remove my leg from the constraint, but I would hardly describe this as kicking someone. Besides, I was receiving enough painful treatment as it was and surely tried to avoid worse abuse and even in the state of adrenalin rush, I know very well that any physical conflict from my side would've probably been the ticket to get my head bashed in properly. So I can only confirm one more time: I'm not quite so crazy as to try and match a physical fight with several policemen.
But yes, I did try to rip off their ID # badge. And this was simply because, they were at this point handling me so rough, that the girls in my cell were screaming at them, demanding to know their numbers. These girls were also witnesses, at least from the part of the battle where I was already quite near the door of the cell (yeah, they did finally manage to move me..). And together we were all demanding, very loudly, to know the ID #'s of these much too violent police.
What was really, really irritating was that, on top of being illegally rough with me, illegally detaining me and illegally refusing my request for a phone call, they now also illegally covered their ID number badges with their hands. I was not really in any condition to memorize six-digit numbers while being contorted and thugged about. But sure, I tried to see and I would've tried to remember them, if I would've been allowed to see them, but every time I even looked at the badges, they quickly put their hands over them. This did make me angry, very angry, and I really had had enough of them at this point.
To lock people up who were unjustly accused of breaking unjust laws, like participating in a demonstration, is one thing...but to then just go ahead to willfully break their own laws...that's just the limit of all the hypo-crazy I could take. So, I had enough and I grabbed one badge and pulled it as hard as I could. But it was very frustrating; it just didn't want to come off, despite really pulling hard. And additionally to my pulling the badge, the police were pulling my arm to pull it off the badge and eventually succeeded. I didn't notice that this caused two fingers to be cut very deeply, until I suddenly saw so much blood everywhere and wondered where it came from....
At this point, it became almost surreal.. Despite my finger having a huge chunk of flesh dangling in a gushing flow of blood, I felt no pain. And at the time I didn't even have an idea how much of it had been cut, since this was the final stage of our struggle and - I don't know about them - but I was on a soaring rush of adrenalin. It was because of this, I had been able to hold the force of my static resistance and to receive all the beating without giving in. I was so pumped full of shock waves, that I could feel nothing except the rush of such a raging reality that I couldn't even believe it was really happening. It was more than surreal, it was SURE REAL. The fact that there was suddenly blood everywhere made the already raging moment into a total splatter scenario.
I realized that with one flash of the wrist, I could splash blood everywhere. And I admit it was somewhat satisfying to splash my blood on the cops, because even if I couldn't give them any other kind of trouble, at least I could make them nervous enough to get an HIV test. They did seem to panic a little about all the blood and that's when I got kicked through the door at last. I kept one leg outside so they couldn't close the door.
Sure, I knew it was a bit of a risk to keep my leg outside of the door because it they really wanted to, they could really hurt me by slamming the door closed - which they did - but again, I felt no pain, at first. But after they began to kick the "escaped" leg very hard, I eventually did go through quite some agony. At the end, it was only my foot left in the door, which they also kicked and stepped on with a lot of force and squashed it inside the door and I had to, at some point, scream in pain and save my foot from being too badly hurt. The steel door slammed shut.
The show was over and I was back in the cell, my heart racing and blood rushing through my ears and out of my cut fingers. It wasn't only dripping; it was almost a continuous flow of deep red blood, very thick and dark and within minutes, there were puddles of it, all over the floor.
My friends in the cell were very concerned and for the first time, I had a chance to look more closely at the injury. Beneath the pouring fountain of blood I saw that there was a huge, dangling chunk of flesh, which was only barely attached by a piece of skin. They offered me pieces of their clothes to soak up the blood but I was afraid to put something not clean on such a deep wound for risk of infection. Of course, the cops didn't bring me anything, not even toilet paper.
Still I felt no pain. I was numb with rage. The most lucky thing for me was the love and care from the friends in the cell. They were wonderful, not only in this moment, when they were so gentle and tried to help me relax and calm down after all the brutality...but during the whole time. It was them who even made it possible for me to not lose my mind - which is what happens very quickly when I get locked up like this.
Anyway, it was important to make the best of the situation right now and this was to use the blood to write down all the identification #s, which we could read. Through the window, we could try to make out the badges also, but it was hard, because they are printed in such a way that they're very difficult to read from further away. But we did manage to get some down on a piece of biscuit wrapper. With the rest of the blood, we painted messages on the 'zoo' window, like "telephone" (written in mirror image so they could read it) and we really wanted to write "Fuck the police" but decided against it since we didn't know what this could lead to. With the rest of all the blood, I began to paint pictures, just to relax a little. My injured left hand, I held up in the air to try to stop the bleeding but it wouldn't stop completely.
In the meantime, the cops were busily typing away on the typewriter. Obviously, they were making some kind of protocol about this whole event. I had, of course, no idea what this would mean for me and my future. I didn't worry about it at all in fact, because I knew I hadn't done anything punishable. Little did I know that they were writing a completely absurd account about me 'assaulting them, kicking and smashing' and everything one could expect from an "extraordinary event - alien attacks". Basically, what they wrote was completely true, with the only mistake being that they got ME mixed up with THEM.
I was, at the same time, quite "happily" painting away with the blood, surprised at how good a medium it was. The blobs of the deep, dark congealed blood, were so concentrated with "color", that they worked great for drawing long, continuous lines with your finger or the end of a shoestring (they let us keep shoestrings to hang ourselves). I painted a policeman, holding a placard (like in the police photos) saying "Public Enemy #1" and titled "I am the real criminal" and was just about to put it in the window for them to admire.... ..when the door slammed open and three cops with sticks in hand burst in and shouted "Sylvia MACH! You come with us." I really thought that now they were going to beat the shit out of me and I backed into the corner and protected my head under both my arms.
They dragged me out of the cell very brutally. It seemed like a reverse scenario because this time I was very afraid to leave the cell. I made a last panicking eye contact with my friends and whispered to one, "Camera," on my way out.
I guess here I have to explain one important thing I forgot to mention earlier: One time when I asked to get some medicine for my sore throat (which they believed since I was sick and coughing and could hardly speak), they actually let me go through my rucksack outside of the cell to get it. Of course, I wasn't really looking for any medicine, but I was trying to find a way to smuggle the camera out and take it back to the cell which was a kind of "mission impossible" - but it worked!
I rummaged through my bag, as if looking for a small object in the top pocket, while my other hand was inside holding the camera and the corner of my eye was watching the policeman watching me. In the first instant where I felt he wasn't paying full attention, the camera was under my shirt. Eventually, I said I didn't have any medicine after all and asked (croaked) something about some "hot tea", just to make distracting conversation about my sore throat, which of course, was either not understood or simply ignored. But anyway, I just made a hand gesture of "never mind" and quickly turned to go back to the cell, before he could see that I was suddenly pregnant with a camera.
The main reason why it was so important for me to get the camera was actually just because of the film inside. It was VERY IMPORTANT not to let them get the film. I didn't even know at the time HOW important!! I had no idea what an important piece of evidence this film was to become...
For me, it was just my personal responsibility and obligation as a "freelance video activists" to make SURE that none of my "subversive" video material would fall into the hands of the police or other abusive motivations. That's way I was so very relieved to find the videotape still inside and that I had succeeded to get it out before they searched my bag. I was very tempted to film inside the cell because I actually had the camera and everything.
But although I usually know no limits when it comes to filming, this time I actually didn't want to risk it - one extra evidence that I must have been under IMMENSE pressure, if I didn't even film. This was because we were constantly being observed through the glass window and I knew that if they caught me filming, they would surely confiscate both film and camera, never to be seen again. So I took the tape out and gave it to the most "innocent" least-blacklisted one of us, and told her to stick it in her underpants and just make sure that somehow this tape manages to get outside. When I was dragged out of the cell so suddenly, I whispered "camera" to let her know to do the same with it.
So, to continue where I left off...
They dragged me out of the cell and I was really scared now because they acted like they were going to either beat me up somewhere, or maybe just lock me away into isolation, which would definitely also be torture for me. Outside, they threw me against the wall and kicked my legs apart. When I tried to turn my head, they pressed it hard against the wall and then twisted my arms painfully upward to put on the handcuffs - this time very tight so I couldn't get out.
They dragged me away very roughly and I said something about my bag and my passport but they didn't answer, only made rough comments, without telling me what was actually happening. One more panicking eye contact as we passed the boys' cage, then they pushed me out of the police station, never releasing my twisted arms and threw me in the usual gentle manner into a police car. Three police got in and when all the doors were closed they finally let me know by yelling at me: "Doctor!" where we were actually going...
I was very relieved, because I had really started to worry about what they were planning to do with me and I must say they couldn't have surprised me with anything. Although it was a surprise that they were, in fact, taking me to a doctor.
We drove through the whole city...I don't think I have EVER been in a car with worse drivers (including myself) in my LIFE. When turning corners, they went over the curb (I was praying for a flat tire!), when the light was about to turn red, they sped up until they saw they couldn't make it, then stepped on the brakes, only to decide in the last minute that they WERE, in fact, the law so they just sped up again and went through the red light anyway. When people tried to cross the street, they were TOTALLY disrespectful, never giving the right of way to anyone, and there were several manouevers that, if they hadn't been in a police car, I'm SURE that they would've caused somebody to get out of their car to ask them what the F*** they thought they were doing.
During the whole ride, I looked out my side of the window, never wanting to face the policeman next to me. Sometimes, he checked my handcuffs to see if they were still on tight and every time I moved they seemed to tense up to see what I was doing.
Our final destination was the police hospital. I was hoping to find some other injured friends there but I didn't see anyone because the place was, in fact, no different than a jail. There was barbed wire everywhere and like in a regular jail, there was no way of knowing who was inside, behind closed doors and barred windows.
When my side of the car was opened by the uniformed genlemen, there was a big puddle of blood on the seat. Then these very gentle men took me by each (handcuffed) arm and escorted me inside the ugly building. They pushed me up the stairs and through sterile white corridors, never letting me just walk by myself but always pushing or pulling me, just to remind me that I was not going anywhere on my own.
They finally sat me down on a bench at the dead end of one of those white corridors, surrounded by three walls and then I was closed in by about seven policemen, three of which had come with me, while the other 4-5 seemed to be working there. They all stood there, grinning macho grins at me like I was a very interesting exotic bird, while 'my' three cops filled them in on how they had managed to 'tame' and constrain this wild creature. They made a big show (off) and tell to the other ones about what a big fight I had been and they exhibited their stained uniforms and their incredibly powerful mightiness to break me. All of them were laughing ugly laughs and saying provocative things I couldn't (luckily didn't have to) understand.
I was just sitting there on the bench, blood dripping on the floor from my hands, which were still tied behind my back. In my mind, I was certainly wishing to pounce at them and their ugly faces, but otherwise I was totally ignoring their macho game of waving about their phallic symbols (rubber sticks) in my face, trying to intimidate me. One time, I dared to say something about whether they felt good about themselves being such cowards and the big boss suddenly wiped off his grin and gave me a look of deep disgust and said: "SHUT UP" and I said "Oh, you DO speak English!". Just because before when I asked them the same question, I only got the usual "In Czech, you speak Czech" as an answer.
Finally, after having put up with this infantile behaviour for nearly 45 minites, I was brought in to see a nurse. The policemen gave her some resume about me. She took a look at my hand and my general condition and asked me to explain what happened, which I did, including the many times I got hit on the head on the way to the jail. She said the fingers had to be sewn at the plastic surgery at a general hospital and for my head I was referred to the neurologist of the police. I attempted a small joke when she said 'neurologist' by pointing to myself and saying in amazed disbelief :"ME...? Not THEM ??" looking at the cops.
It was a halfway nice nurse who wasn't mean to me and she seemed okay with the joke although she didn't answer. When she noticed in the typing of my referral that my name was 'Mach', she asked if my ancestors were Czech and I said, "if it helps my situation then yes".
Then we went off to the neurologist. There my head was examined with the kind of exercises that cops use to find out if you're on drugs. Afterwards, I was given a written statement of my neurological status being "normal", which I swore myself to show to every cop who dared to say I wasn't.
One good thing about the neurologists' office was that I finally managed to steal a pen (I hope this statement won't give me trouble in court). With the pen, I could strategically write Sergio's telephone number on a piece of paper in order to find some opportunity to pass it to someone halfway trustworthy, if I could find anyone. I knew I had good chances at the general hospital where we had to go to the plastic surgery to sew up my fingers. It was my only hope of communication.
We left the police hospital (the puddle of blood had been cleaned off the seat when I returned, only to be dripped on again) and drove to the general one. There I couldn't believe the way the cops were so slimy with all the nurses and especially how slimy the nurses were with the cops. They were all acting like best friends and I got a lot of very nasty looks from those nurses as soon as the cops had told them whatever it was they told them.
While I was there in the waiting room, I saw one, only one, woman sitting nearby the toilets and I had made a few attempts at friendly eye contact with her, before asking my body guards to be allowed to go to the toilet. The cops, who were busy flirting with the nurses were not very eager to accommodate me and told me to wait. But I guess they decided it was a better idea to let me go to the toilet before I went into surgery, so they took me over there. As I passed the woman, I tossed her the little note, which I had been holding in one of my hands which were, as usual handcuffed behind my back. (I had luckily remembered to put it in my BACKpocket, knowing they never cuffed my hands up front. But what they didn't know, was that there is a lot more to hide, BEHIND.)
Eventually, I was brought into the surgery room. Despite it being a surgery room, full of sterile surgical equipment and masked surgeons, I can't describe the feeling of relief it was to be in a room where the cops had to wait outside. I was hoping for the operation to last as long as possible, though I knew it would be done in a matter of minutes.
I tried to use the time and bombarded the surgeon with a full on explanation of what was happening to me and the likes of me and about the abusive treatment in the jails. I begged him to use his phone but he didn't want to get involved. He said the city was a war zone right now and one couldn't expect to have human rights respected. I asked him to at least, please, note down the telephone number which I had written on my foot and to please call to just give a life sign of me and to tell people that I was in Praha 4. It didn't seem like he was very excited to help me, although I really couldn't imagine why. Did I seem so dangerous or something? Did he really not believe what I said? I was very confused.
After my fingers were all sewn up (nine stitches on one finger alone!), I had a few more minutes to try and persuade the doctors and nurses to PLEASE let me use the phone. It was incredible how they could refuse but they did. The nurses were especially unfriendly, accusing me of the damage done to Prague, etc...They even gave me away to the police, telling them that I had asked to use the phone (maybe even about the number on my foot, but this I cannot know).
Finally, what worked was when I said that it was VERY important I call, because there was a little cat in my car (the police were back in the room now, which is why I said car instead of van) which hadn't had any water for two days. One nurse exclaimed, "The poor cat!" in a voice that was accusing me of committing an immense atrocity of having a cat and then just going off and getting arrested. But at least they cared about my cat and let me use the phone. I was amazed that the police let this happen. I guess that they maybe wanted to seem humane in front of the nurses.
I called Sergio and I can't even describe how great it was to hear him ask: "WHERE are you?!" I said I was in the hospital at the moment and asked him about my cat and the van. He said that the cat was safe in the flat and the van was still there, with two slashed tires and a broken window, which he had had to break to get the cat out. I managed to ask why he didn't get the key from Gilles, but then the police said "ONLY the CAT" and all I could still add was "they're taking the phone awa..." before they snatched it out of my hand. Then we left the surgery and I hoped that Sergio had the number saved on his phone to terrorize the doctors for more information, after we were gone.
Outside, as we crossed the parking lot of the hospital, I had the great desire to break free. The handcuffs were loose enough to get out easily and the surroundings provided enough opportunity to disappear quickly...IF I could only outrun these three policemen. I knew this would be my ONLY chance to get away before going back to the jail, but I decided against it, simply because I figured they MUST release me within the next few hours. Otherwise I would be on the run without passport and car keys (I wasn't sure if there was another set, since Sergio said he had to break a window to get the cat). And anyway, if they caught me trying to escape, I could just make things a lot worse than they actually were and it could just be stupid to try to break out now.
So, I went totally against my instincts and greatest desire and got back into the much-hated police car. If I'd known what was ahead of me, I surely would have tried to escape right then...and if I'd known what was ahead of me,... I'd have had the energy to outrun anyone.
We drove back to the police station. As we arrived and I got pulled out of the backseat, I already had a very uncomfortable suspicion, that the others were no longer there...and that SOMETHING WAS VERY WRONG. I was suddenly so afraid of the sinister ambience about what to expect here.
My fear was confirmed as soon as we passed the boys cage and I saw it empty...they took me to the girls cell and sure enough, ... the others were gone! Of course, inside I panicked, because I knew that something was wrong and also that I couldn't stay inside this cell by myself. The only reason I'd survived the last two days were due to the pleasant company inside but I couldn't bear the thought of being put in there alone.
"Where are my friends? Why are you still keeping me? It's been 24 hours, the other people are also gone, so why are you still keeping me?"
They laughed (ugly laughs as usual) and said my friends were at the immigration police. "So let's go," I said and I was surprised when they grabbed me and pulled me out of the cell - a moment of relief - but we didn't go back to the car. Instead they pushed/dragged me up the stairs and said "Interrorgation! Protocol!" Again ? I couldn't believe it.
Upstairs, they pushed me into a room. Inside there were three men, one behind a typewriter, one big official-looking guy and one older man. What exactly happened then, is hard for me to explain, or maybe say translate, because they spoke in a language that I couldn't understand, not only Czech... The older man was a translator, and he mumbled on and on, with an occasional hiccup-like speech disorder, about 'my right to an opinion" and all this kind of strange palaver, which I recognized as the one when being seriously arrested with a charge. What was happening? This did not sound good at all.
In all their police jargon and paragraphs and all this stuff, this is what they said: "You're being accused of assaulting three police officers, injuring two of them." He read on the entire course of events during the 'assault', including every kick and every item of ripped clothing, and the three witnesses mentioned, seemed to be the very same people. The way they were describing me, you'd have thought they were talking about some exaggerated action movie.
Then they said I now have three options: either I answer their questions only in the presence of a lawyer, or I could answer for myself or I could refuse to answer altogether. First of all, I said, very clearly, that I had no idea what was going on here, that I was completely innocent of all their accusations and that I would say the same in front of a lawyer. Then I asked why I had not been allowed to call my lawyer for the last 24 hours and yes I would now please like to do so. They said they would call for me and that I had to give them the name and the number of the lawyer. I read them the number on the blue oph (legal observers) paper. They demanded to see the paper.
They said: "There is no name on this paper, these are not qualified lawyers, these are legal observers, they do not co-operate with the police."
"But they HAVE qualified lawyers there, if you just call them"
"But you don't know the name?"
"This legal service represents thousands of people, they have MANY lawyers,... if you just CALL them, you will KNOW a name."
"I'm afraid we cannot do that, you will need to know the name of your lawyer, before we can call....bla bla bla"
I said one more time that they could easily find out the name if they just made one phone call, but that obviously they simply didn't WANT to know a name and they simply didn't WANT me to have a lawyer, that was all. I couldn't believe the games they were playing.
They then asked me a lot of questions about my personal details For some strange reason, they assumed I live in 234 Irvine street, New Mexico in the US (I'm not sure how they knew I ever even lived there). When I offered to give them my address in Austria, they said that the Santa Fe one is enough, although I told them I'm not presently living there and I am in fact registered in Vienna. But I don't know, maybe they just thought that someone with an American passport must actually live in the united States... I really don't know, but I wasn't going to make a big issue about it, if they didn't want to believe me where I really live. I only wanted them to believe me that I was really innocent. They also asked, "Do you consider yourself a person of property or fixed income?" and I said "No", and everything I said was written down in their protocol. They asked about my parents' names, and again there was a mention about the name "Mach" and the question whether I have Czech ancestors and again I said that if this helps me in any way then why not. When they found out that my father is a retired army kernel (alias "colonel"), after serving the army his entire life, and that my mother was employed in several international organizations and presently working on a project for the World Bank. When they asked me what my parents had to say about my activities, I said that we "keep to dialogue rather than war". The interrorgation went on and on and I have difficulty recalling all the details, because they were speaking in endlessly boring streams of bureaucratic police jargon. Normally, it would've put me to sleep, had I not known that this jargon was my statement of arrest, my sentence of further police custody until further decision by some judge who'd never even met me, or had any idea of what really happened, to decide whether I'd be sent to prison. (Although it sounded suspiciously more like HOW LONG, rather than IF) According to the three witnesses, the same ones who accused me of attacking them, the judge would very likely decide that I was guilty of whatever charges were against me...It was my ticket to Hell. It was like some very nasty dream, getting more and more entangled in some kind of midnight express.
I insisted several more times to be allowed my phone call, but they refused. Instead, they gave me all kinds of papers written in Czech and told me to sign them. I said that I couldn't sign for something that I couldn't read, and certainly not for something that wasn't true. They put a lot of pressure on me, saying that if I refused to sign, "I was only delaying police procedures". I repeated again and again why I could not possibly sign their papers and that I was innocent of these accusations.
Eventually, they said that I only need to sign a paper, which stated that I was INFORMED of their accusations against me. I finally did sign this paper of which there were several copies, and I signed each one with my personal clear statement of: "I cannot read any of the above, but I have been informed of these FALSE accusations against me. I can only sign for my INNOCENCE" written across the bottom line of the text and my signature just beneath that.
They asked me if, since I wasn't allowed to call my own lawyer, if I would want a lawyer appointed to me, free of charge. I insisted, lawyer or no lawyer, I could only state my innocence. Also I made clear that, whether I spoke for myself or through a lawyer, I wanted to speak the truth and that I was speaking ONLY the truth and I expected the same of them. They asked what made me assume they weren't speaking the truth and I told them that they just now were accusing me of assaulting and injuring three police officers and that was certainly NOT the TRUTH. They said that was for the low court to find out. I asked them why they were giving me all this trouble, what I had ever done to them. They answered that I had been informed of the accusations against me. I said that their accusations were WRONG, that I had only defended myself against the attacks of the police - who had attacked ME - and I used this opportunity to list (on the fingers of both hands) all the illegal actions preformed by the police, to name only a few. I also said that I, unlike them, had witnesses in my cell, who were at least not directly involved in the so-called assault, and asked where were they, what had happened to them?
They refused to answer any of my questions, implying that THEY were the ones who were here to ask questions and that I was only required to answer them. Then they read me a lot more police jargon about the following procedures against me and it was all sounding so terrible that I couldn't listen to it any longer. Also, the speech disorder of the translator was somewhat psychologically aggravating. Instead, I focused on the open window behind the three prosecuting bodies in front of me and on the car keys and passport on the table.
On the table was everything that had been in my bag at the time of the arrest. Besides Passport and car keys, this was: a gas mask, an assortment of fire crackers, some bits of papers and a yo-yo. They asked me about my having a gas mask and I said that it was for my own protection against THEIR gas, and that I would gladly prefer not to need one too. But having been informed about nerve gas being used in Seattle, I chose to protect myself, while at the same time I made it clear that I wished that this kind of thing were not necessary and that the police would take more care not to seriously injure people.
They asked if I'd been in Seattle and I said "No". They asked about what I was planning to do with the fireworks and I had to laugh, because like the gas mask, it was not difficult to guess and I said that they were completely harmless firecrackers, sold to children and they served to make nothing but a banging noise. And I added that the reason why not a single package was in fact open, was because the police's 'firecrackers' were already making such a racket, that I didn't bother to use them. They justified their silly questions (I was waiting for them to ask who I was planning to strangle with the yo-yo ,... although people who know the way I play yo-yo, would in fact classify it as a weapon) by saying that this case was not about these items, but only about the event which took place in the police station. Well, thank you. At some point, I don't know exactly when, I asked to look through the bits of papers, to look if I had the name of my lawyer somewhere. While shuffling about in those papers with my left hand, my right hand sneaked over unnoticed to slip the car keys up my sleeve. Now all that was left was the passport and I was ready to get out of here. Somehow I still hoped they would just decide to let me go, or at least take me to the immigration police, where I thought the others probably were. I couldn't believe they were seriously wanting to imprison me for "assaulting an injuring three policemen". It was just so completely crazy. I explained to them that I was a very peaceful person and I looked the investigator in the eye with a look as though I were his own child and asked how could he be doing this to me?? Sure it was a total mystery to me how anybody could be so cruel. Or did they really just believe what these policemen said, without even considering the possibility of it not being true?
All the time, I was still hoping they would eventually soften up a little, when hearing me plead my innocence so sincerely, and I waited for them to say, "Okay, maybe we should just drop this for now, but we don't want to see you at another demonstration in Prague, or there will really be trouble..." But all they said was that "this was for the low court to find out".
"And how long will all this take? When can I finally go home?" I told them that I had to go back to Vienna to enroll at my University, that it was the beginning of the semester and that it was very important for me to arrive during the first weeks of October.
They said that they would detain/confine me for another 48 hours until they decided on my sentence (of course, I knew that these so-called 48 hours could be a lot LOT longer, before anything ever gets decided) and how much time I would have to go to prison for. This time, they made the big mistake of being very clear about the 'how long', instead of 'IF',... Which is what caused enough panic inside me to give me the final mental push I needed to go through with what I had in mind to do if all else failed... I had really maintained my HOPE all along, until just this point, but now I was starting to capitulate to complete and total despair - and the most immense fear that I had ever felt in maybe all my life. Because I knew that I simply CANNOT survive confinement in closed spaces, whether it be mental or physically closed spaces... I CANNOT LIVE IN THEM....And I knew that, even if I was force-fed and given all the 'substantial nourishment' to survive in a cell, I would very quickly loose all the necessary life force I derive from freedom and sunshine and open space and I would quickly wilt (like a flower I'd like to say but I know it sounds silly) and I'm convinced that within a matter of days I would just DIE of lifelessness. I just couldn't believe all this was really so serious. It seemed so completely unreal, ... like some excerpt out of my worst - and most lucid nightmare,...and worst of all there was no waking up. Then in came the big policewoman who had stripped and searched me, when I first arrived here. She pointed to my hair and said something in Czech, which was translated as: "You will now get all your personal belongings removed from you, including all the things in your hair and you will then be brought to your separation cell." It sounded like a death sentence.
I could not bear it. I just couldn't. Not again into a cell and PLEASE NOT ALONE. I was sure that I couldn't spend one sane moment in there by myself, without being able to even contact anyone, with the complete uncertainty if anyone would ever even find me, with the uncertainty of what they were going to do to me.... It was this crucial moment where I really freaked in my mind, but remained completely 'calm' on the outside, to prevent any immediate restrictive measures against me. I knew I HAD to escape. And I knew that this was my very last chance to do so. There would be no more opportunity for an open window with only three bureaucrat cops in front of it. I could see the top of a tree outside, but it was too far to jump on to break my fall and there was no way of knowing what was to be expected down beneath the window. It was a leap into uncertainty, ... that was for sure, just as my arrest was a confinement into uncertainty. But given the possibility of choice, the 'jump for freedom' into uncertainty, was a million times better than being locked up into it. Behind me, the woman was starting to tug at my arm to try and take me away...
It was now or never. I could feel nothing, hear nothing, see nothing...except the panic, the voice of my spirit begging to escape, the passport on the table and the open window. I was so focused, that everything else around me became lost in an oblivious fog...the woman tugging at my arm, the investigators' rambling on in Czech, the translator's speech-disordered mumble, the 'ching ching' of the typewriter,... it was all very distant to me and I went into something like a trance... I remember making some undefinable words come out of my mouth and putting something like a shield of protection around me, to prevent anyone from stopping me walk over to the table, as if pretending to look for something in the papers one more time. I had one second left... All I needed to do now was grab my passport, climb on the table and jump...
I did so very suddenly, nobody had the reaction to stop me...
and I leaped as far as I could out the window... As I jumped - I think I was still running in the air, passport in hand - I looked down, hoping to find something soft to land on. There were some meager looking bushes and I begged for them to catch my fall a little, but they were not thick enough to make any difference.
After a short but intense flight I crashed full force into the very very VERY hard, stony ground. That ground was the hardest thing I had ever felt in my life.
It was so hard that my landing foot crumbled immediately. It felt as though my legs were pushed up all the way into my chest, making me spit out my insides. I felt a paralyzing sharp snap. Pain soared instantly through my entire body and I knew that something had happened to my spine. I remember thinking whether I would ever be able to move again for the rest of my life. But for the moment, all I could do was scream scream SCREAM...and hide the passport inside my undershirt in the crucial seconds before the police would come running out of the building. The pain was so excruciating I was near to faint. I just SCREAMED screamed, trying to release as much of the pain as possible by just screaming it out of me. At this moment, I cared about nothing, I only tried as much as possible to leave the unbearable sensation of my body.
Very quickly, the police arrived and crowded around me, treading down the bushes to make themselves get access. (I was in a kind of a ditch, sloping downward toward the house. This was also why the impact had been intensified, because the ground was on a slant - in the wrong direction) They all looked completely stunned but seemed to be aware that I couldn't and shouldn't be moved. So they just stood around me and definitely none of them really knew what to do at all, but I assumed the ambulance was on its way...
I looked at them, especially the investigator, directly in the eyes (with surely very dilated pupils, as I was about to escape from my body) and said, in a tone of voice that surely couldn't be anything but the truth: "I am innocent, I am innocent, I am innocent. Please trust me, I am INNOCENT."
Some of the nervous cops, who were standing about, found this funny enough to laugh, but at least ONE policeman, condescended to kneel down and hold my hand. And though he attempted to stroke it as though it were a dead fish, it was a comforting feeling of soft and gentle touch... and I must say, it helped me a lot. Despite my awareness that he didn't feel too comfortable about it himself. Or who knows, maybe he really was sorry. And I can't be completely sure, but I really do think that it may in fact have been the same one who had been sitting next to me in the police car all the day. The one who had given me so much shit and here he was... holding my hand. And the amazing thing was that it was comforting. Because I needed it. I really needed it.
The ambulance came very quickly, it must've been within minutes. I still hadn't moved. I hadn't even been able to try, because my whole body was so tightly cramped with such unbelievable pain that I had kept the same - almost solidified - position, on my back, with both hands, one of which the policeman was holding, clenched spastically up in the air. I was immensely grateful that none of the other police, who were all just crowding around, mostly laughing nervously, had the crazy idea to even minimally touch my agonizingly destroyed leg.
When the first medical staff arrived from the ambulance, it was a great relief. Because even if they were stern and serious, they had the professional requirements to at least act humane. There was a hectic fuss of immediate diagnosis, giving me an injection and asking me where I felt pain. I didn't think it was even necessary to mention my foot since, judging by the way it felt, it was sure to look contorted enough to be obviously broken So, first of all, I used my energy only to point to my lower back and say that it hurt there. They checked me for pains in the chest area and one time the woman doctor put her hand exactly on the car keys, which were hidden away in my top, right alongside my passport. She looked surprised and I gave her a somewhat intense look, which explained to leave them there and not mention it to anyone. Later, I also gasped something like 'and my foot' only to get the very straightforward reply by the lady doctor: "Your foot is broken". And about my spine, she said, she was very worried, because "that could very well be broken too because the fall had been too high". She sounded almost empathetic when she said that, ... definitely she was very concerned about my not moving at all. So, then they came with a kind of plastic sheet, onto which everybody helped to lift me (finally the cops were good for something) to then transfer me onto a stretcher.
At the same time, the investigator was asking around almost hysterically for my passport, (they never even noticed the car keys being missing) which all the policemen were looking for in the bushes. I had it in my hand, clutched tightly to my chest, (very tightly since they had even strapped me to the stretcher) and I was NOT going to let them take it away from me, no matter what. I only hoped to get out and far away from this horrible place as soon possible before they would now decide to search my broken body for it. I managed to say (it was hard to speak) that I thought I saw it lying upstairs on the table. This rewarded me with the mild (inner smile provoking) entertainment of watching a group of police men run back upstairs to search it, and then look out the window, which I had just jumped out of, with puzzled faces and saying that they couldn't find it anywhere. I just closed my eyes and decided to escape from all this, waiting for them roll me into the ambulance. It wasn't until they finally closed the ambulance doors that I felt halfway safe from the police and extremely relieved not to have to see them anymore... ..Outside they continued to search the bushes for my passport.
As the ambulance took me away I let myself fall into the soft cushion of probably morphine and everything became very fuzzy. The pain was still there, and it was immense, but it was obscured by the opiate clouds and somehow became more distant. As I escaped my tormenting physical sensation, I began to fall into a deep delirium. I knew I was badly injured. I didn't know HOW badly injured. I didn't know how long I would need to recover, I didn't know IF I would ever fully recover. I didn't know anything really, ... except ONE thing: I was SO glad to be taken away from those completely insane police bastards. I actually thought, that in this condition, they were now going to leave me alone. I was so na?ve.
We arrived at the hospital. It's hard to remember ALL the details, because every second I nearly passed out with pain and pain relief medication. But I will never forget my despair, when the ambulance doors opened and I was greeted by a welcoming committee of police. I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe that I actually thought they would leave me alone, when.... ...They were there every moment, all around me all the time. Many of them were laughing about this so incredibly entertaining situation. And then began the torture....
Re-start here... They wheeled me into the ambulance room, where they took all the necessary X-rays. I was amazed how rough and unfriendly they all were with me, because I had thought that once I was in the hands of the hospital, I would be under the professional obligation to be medically cared for. And that meant also shock treatment, which usually provides a most basic requirement of psychologically stabilizing and humanitarian capacity. But I got no consoling or comforting words from anyone. There was no kindness and no care at ALL. They moved my leg about like it was a piece of butchers' slab... they hurt me a lot a lot a lot and I SCREAMED like I have never screamed in my life. Nobody showed the slightest empathy.
There was only one person who seemed human and that was the lady doctor of the ambulance. She spoke to me like I was a normal person and not a terrorist. Though she wasn't there for long, she was so very concerned about my spine and I think that she was even concerned about me. In my panic, I begged her to call the number written on my foot and I told her what had been going on at the police station and WHY it was that I jumped out of that window. I begged her to trust me that I was innocent of whatever the police may have told her about me (which I figured must've been something horrendous, from the way hospital staff was treating me). Her presence was short but maybe my lifeline. Because, there was SOMEBODY, who did in fact call Sergio to get the word out and it could have only been someone that I trusted to inform the number to. And whoever it was, .... THANK YOU !
The doctor came in and took my leg in both hands and twisted and stretched it, so that all the broken pieces inside scrunched and crushed about. I couldn't BELIEVE what he was doing. Over and over and over again I screamed to PLEASE give me some medicine against the pain. I must have repeated that sentence at least 300 times, but they gave me nothing. They did tell me to shut up, sometimes they held my mouth shut, so they wouldn't have to listen to me. They insulted me, saying things like why was I so stupid to jump out the window in the first place and that it was all my fault and therefore my problem, ...And anyway I'd come to Prague to destroy the city, so these were the consequences I'd have to face. I couldn't believe that the hospital staff was best friends with the police. Wasn't this nightmare ever going to end ???
(Now I'm having a very hard time recollecting the chronology ... but everything was AWFUL)
They put me in a room with some old people but the pain was so incredible and I couldn't stop screaming, so the nurses and the police shouted at me to shut up. They said these old people had pain too and needed to sleep. I tried to speak to the old people kindly, trying to apologize for my making too much noise, but the pain was so too much for me, I just couldn't stop screaming. Then the amazing thing was that suddenly the old women sat up in bed and started shouting, cursing and insulting me very angrily in czech. I guess they were told that I was a terrorist. I was beyond belief at this point. Wasn't there anyone normal anywhere? Again I tried to apologize for everything and speak gently to the people around me and in between fits of convulsive pain I begged for them to listen to me, pleading my innocence, and begging over and over and over again to make a telephone call...
I was only told to "Shut up, shut up!" But since I was screaming too much I was eventually put in a small supply room. My body guards from the police and the hospital made sure that everything was removed far away from the bed, so that I couldn't arm myself with anything that I could use to assault anyone...(!?!) Then they put bars up on my bed, I guess to prevent me from escaping, with broken spine, smashed leg and all. I persistently insisted on my right to make a telephone call, but they only laughed in a very ugly way. I promised that I would call only my parents ... (I actually promised the police NOT to call any legal aid). But not even that worked.
The most unforgettable event I think, was when that crazy bully of a nurse (the big one with the red hair), who kept telling me to shut up and violently moved my bed around to make the unbearable vibration cause me to scream even more,... one time even took my broken, shattered leg, lifted it by the foot and shook it around as PUNISHMENT for my screaming !! I was SO near to faint with the soaring pain shooting through my whole body, and I so much wished I had, only to let me escape from this never-ending horror. But I stayed fully conscious and terrified, and I also realized that I better not provoke these two totally crazy women, this nurse and the nasty policewoman, who had heartily laughed her nasty laugh with the enjoyment of watching me scream when the nurse shook my leg. But, I was too furious to constrain myself as the pain filled me with rage and screaming as loud as I had to, I swore at them calling them "fucking bitches". ...Despite knowing this surely wouldn't improve my situation but it didn't seem like it could get any worse at this point.
One time the doctor came in to speak to me. Like everyone, he was very angry with me. He introduced himself as my doctor, who was in charge of my leg and nothing else. He said he didn't care about all this sensational hype that was going on about me, or the "IMF". (The way he said "IMF" it sounded like and alien concept to him and it didn't seem like he could have had much of an idea what the protests were even about). But, whatever all this "IMF" may have meant to him, ... This was the first time I found out about any "sensational hype" about ME.
I begged to just let me make a phone call, I begged him to let someone come to see me for just a few minutes, I begged him to let me contact a lawyer,... He said I couldn't make any phone calls, because "This was a hospital and anyway, we have enough with all the press and the police everywhere, we really don't want your friends here. You are here because of you medical condition and that's what I'm here to take care of and NOTHING else." I asked him what was the trouble if a "friend" came here for just a few minutes just to help me get some legal service arranged, which was every persons basic right ... And he just interrupted me by shouting that my 'friends' have destroyed half the city of Prague "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR FRIENDS HAVE DONE TO THE CITY OF PRAGUE ?!!"
And I said "No, I don't. I've been only in jail. But please, I'm asking you personally as myself personally to please trust me. I am innocent. I didn't and I never intended to destroy anything On the contrary, I like many others, were here only to stop destruction. I don't know what the police told you, but honestly I haven't done anything to anyone and was charged with criminal offences which I didn't DO,... so PLEASE let me TELEPHONE!" (I began to feel like a broken record)
Because of the overall confusion and being constantly terrified, I cannot be sure about the chronological sequence, but I believe it was somewhere in the middle of all this that I WAS at some point, somewhat sedated. I remember being extremely surprised, but also surprisingly apathetic, or maybe just in a stupor of shock -since I was actually fully conscious- when watching the doctor inject local anasthaetic into both sides of my heel and then proceed to drill through my foot with a big hardware type drill. Through the hole they then put a steel bar, and I don't know exactly when, but either I simply passed out, or if they liberated me from consciousness,...I only I remember my coming to with a cast up to my hip which hadn't been there before. (But I don't remember WHEN all this happened. If it was before the judge was there or after)
It seemed so unbelievable to me HOW I could be denied such a simple basic right as a telephone call, in a supposedly humane infrastructure of a hospital, and on top of that, in a considerably injured condition. They told me that I could be paralyzed for life if I moved, but they didn't allow me to call even my parents, it just seemed so absurd. It also seemed so unbelievable that anyone, who I looked in the eyes and said so sincerely, directly and deeply that I was INNOCENT, that ANYONE could actually NOT believe me. This I found unbelievable.
Did I really seem like such a dangerous, violent and destructive person to them? Despite all the abuse, I spoke to everyone kindly (except for the one time they shook my foot and I had to use bad language, because it was just too much). Even to the nasty policewoman, who was there all the time to guard me, (as if I was in any condition to escape) I asked: "WHY do you hate me so much? You don't even know me. Whatever it is you were told about me,... do you just believe everything you're told ?" But she would just look at me blankly with a cold face. I guess that maybe she didn't understand enough English.
But finally, after I don't know how many times of insisting that I was a harmless person and begging for just one telephone call, the doctor eventually became a little nicer. He even admitted that there was, in fact, no need to phone anybody, because there were many, many people outside the hospital RIGHT NOW and that they were all here to see me and they had been there for a long time already. At this moment, I nearly DID faint -and not from pain but happiness! I freaked completely and nearly wanted to hug him for this news if I could have moved and said: "Can I see them? Can I see them? PLEASE can I see them !?" He told me I had to wait. "First there has to be a hearing by the judge' "When is that?" "Now."
Suddenly, there came in three people and with them they brought three chairs and a typewriter, which they barricaded around my bed in the small space of the supply room. "WHAT's happening ?" I asked from beneath my only protection of blankets. They introduced themselves as something like a prosecution judge, a lawyer -who said he was MY lawyer, a guy typing and the usual brigade of body guards, who made sure I didn't leap out of bed and assault anyone all of a sudden. I told the lawyer straight away that I didn't have ANY money at all to pay him, just to get that straight before anything happened, but he said that he was from oph and that it was all arranged. He asked me why I did such stupid things. "Like what ?" I said "Like jumping out windows."
Then I was supposed to speak to the judge. I told her EVERYTHING everything, and it was very easy for me because it needed to come out anyway. I told her about the conditions in the jails, about the inTERRORgation, I listed her all the illegal actions preformed by the police. I told her the reason for my coming to Prague and the reason for jumping out of the window. I told her about the inhumane treatment in the hospital, and about the violation of all my most basic rights, from the moment that I was illegally arrested up to the moment right now. ..and it was all very emotional because I was so upset. But it was so easy to tell her everything,...because it was all so painfully true. "And I'm INNOCENT!" I told her and looked her directly in the eyes.
They asked me several questions about all sorts of stuff, which I unfortunately cannot remember. But at least I was finally in the presence of my lawyer who can fill in the blanks and I could suddenly let 'my lawyer' take care of all this bizarre legal palaver and patiently listen to whatever they had to say to me in czech. Eventually, after a lot of back and forth and answering more questions, they all suddenly disappeared out of the room, only to return some minutes later with a decision made by the judge which then read out loud to me.
Of course, I can't remember the whole thing because it was all legal talk, but towards the end, the statement which I found most important was: "...and because of the circumstance of her injury, the judge has decided to liberate the accused person....something something...and the accused person is therefore free to go, until further legal action is taken...." "What?!" I said "It's finished everything? I'm free now? We can finally stop with all this stuff? Can I see my friends now, please can I see them now?"
The lawyer, (who was very nice, but I think he would have preferred for me to be less bouncy/jumpy in front of the judge) explained that I was still accused of the same charges and I still had to go to court. But, I was released for the moment, since I couldn't escape in my condition and apparently also because of his presence, and the presence of all the press and all the people outside, besieging the hospital. (...And because they were shitting themselves.) I was aware of this, that I was still accused and had to face court and everything. But I had only meant that I was free to go NOW, for the moment, because THIS very moment was ALL that counted for me, right now...
For some reason, I still had a ban on my seeing anyone. They said I should wait until the next morning. I decided to ask the lawyer to please take the carkeys, which I had hidden away in the bandage of my hand, out to someone who could make sure my van was safe. But I was still so under shock from the never ending abuse which I had gone through in the last days, that it seemed like I was now at a point where I was no longer able to TRUST anyone. The carkeys and my passport were both hidden away, like my biggest, most valuable treasure. Nobody had ever found them, even during my sedation and I was guarding them with my life. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but at this stage it was an immense step for me, to trust ANYone, even my lawyer, with my keys to give to Sergio. But it seemed like the nightmare was slowly starting to open its clutches, to make way for something that almost felt like HOPE.
Outside my window I could see a lot of police cars. Ironically, it was a good sign. A lot of police meant a lot of people who had come to help me. They were HERE! People knew where I was, .. it was such a relief. Surely they wouldn't leave me in this mess, surely they were doing everything to get me out of here. It was one of the happiest moments in my life!
I don't know why exactly I couldn't see anyone yet. And why nobody could see me. Also, my chronology is so confused, that I don't know if maybe this was because they wanted to do the thing with drilling through my foot now, or if that had already happened before.(I would have to ask the lawyer if he saw my foot pierced inside a metal contraption or not. One couldn't miss it). If it was now that they decided to drill through my foot, it obviously meant that they wanted to fix my leg properly, BEFORE anyone came to see it, but I just can't remember when it was that this happened.
I do know that the next morning suddenly everything was completely different. Nobody was abusive to me anymore. Even the policewoman, who was still my constant bodyguard, was halfway normal to me. One time she even condescended to take my bedpan out, something she would've never done before. Also I was finally taken out of the small supply room and put into a big regular hospital room with three beds and a view over pine trees...all to myself ! Everybody was so unrealistically kind to me, laughing with me, joking with me, ...despite my only looking at them all with a totally confused face. One doctor said with a big smile: "You're the star of the czech republic"
All morning I was waiting in my luxurious big room that my friends would finally come through the door, but it was always hospital staff and people who I don't know exactly what they were, coming to fuss about me, making sure everything was perfect. Also, with a big smile they said: "At 12 o'clock press conference!" as they walked out of the room, to leave me there thinking that now everyone had really gone crazy. They announced a press conference to me, without even asking me anything about it beforehand and still I was kept here in this room, without my friends being allowed in to see me and me being able to see them. God, how strange all this was. But, I figured if they were letting the press in, then surely my friends couldn't be turned away either. It could only be a matter of few hours now. One time I heard a lot of commotion outside the door and when it finally opened, there came in an absolutely huge number of doctors and they all crowded in to fill up the entire 3-bed room, to absolutely STARE at me in total amazement. They asked me a load of questions about my condition, my concussion, about how I was feeling and whether "I had been raped by the police". Of course I said: "No!" and I think I may have added: "I'd NEVER let them." They didn't stay long, but it was very intense because I just couldn't imagine where they all came from, since so far I had only gotten to see the same people all the time. And all of THEM were being extremely horrible to me and most certainly not too concerned about whether I was feeling all right...
And then I really have trouble with remembering what all still happened, ...it was just so much,... and surely my chronology may be somewhat twisted sometimes...., but anyway, there was eventually that most beautiful, long awaited moment that I had been waiting for all morning and of course, the past three horrible days...the door opened, ... and in came ...a FRIEND !!! It was SO incredible, just so so incredible, that there's unfortunately no words which could really describe this moment.........The first person I see to arrive is Wolfgang, and then, right after came in Sergio...so excited and wow....he was so extremely, intensely concerned about me..... There was an incredible hugging session, which was so beautiful it's way beyond anything words could ever express. I was so relieved like never before in my life, I really do think that I've never been so relieved in my entire life, except for maybe the few times that I just barely escaped death.
And then, I don't know,...everything was just too crazy for words and I just don't remember exactly what all happened because it just became SO wild. All this time I hadn't been able to see ANYONE, I'd been completely cut off from every and any kind of contact with the outside world and now, all of a sudden it was EVERYBODY there AT ONCE. And somehow this also seemed to prevent any sensible form of communication. The only thing I had really hoped for was to be able to be with my friends and try to finally find a possibility to relieve myself from the horrors of the past three days. I really needed some peace. But I wasn't going to get any of that now, that was for sure.....
(I wish my memory wouldn't be so blurry.... but luckily this complete sensory overload which caused me to fall into such a haze at this stage can be filled in by the other people who were now present in the room....)
I remember that there was an assault of press reporters, which Sergio and Wolfgang managed to drive out of the room. Also, what I found very disturbing, extremely irritating in fact, was that the hospital staff, in particular that red-haired nurse who had been SO awful to me, suddenly changed her face COMPLETELY in front of all the press and the people. Suddenly she slimed up to all the activists who came to see me and gave me big smiles all the time, as if she were my best friend... I really felt like smacking her for being so false and I'm glad I didn't have to see how people like her were talking to the media outside, because I would've surely thrown a fit.
When all excessive audience was driven out of the room I gave some interviews to only the small amount of people who could stay. There was a few video and photo cameras,... and I remember speaking speaking speaking,...like a waterfall,...like an explosion....but I don't remember it, as though I wasn't even there (anyway, it's on video). Basically I was just giving a full account of the entire nightmare in random bits and pieces. And I don't know whether it had anything to do with the medication that I had been given,...but... .............. I was just going on... and on... and on.............................
During the interview, when I seemed as high as a kite, I had nearly no pain, but slowly it started to come back. And very soon it was again so unbearable that I went into convulsive, near epileptic spasms of agony, until I was given a megadose of some kind of synthetic morphine, recommended by one of the friends who went to ask for it. And this time they finally couldn't deny me pain medication, like they had all along (except for local anathaesia for drilling). >From then on I disappeared into a cushion of clouds, to remain present, but floating...
Friends crowded in, but only in very small groups. It was wonderful to hug people. But everything was always very hectic, everyone seemed stressed and under a lot of tension. Outside in the corridor there seemed to be all kinds of crazy stuff going on. I wished everybody could just sit down and take it easy, but there was just so much happening, and... I guess the other people weren't on as much morphine as me.
At some point my mother arrived and of course she was totally freaked out. I didn't know how she knew, what she knew or who had informed her, but I felt immediately sorry for having caused her one more nervous breakdown, and her tension made me want to disappear under the blankets. All I wanted was for everyone to just relax a little bit. It was holiday for me now. I felt finally safe and sure that nothing bad could happen to me anymore. I was so relieved that I could for the first time even think about releasing my own extreme tension and anxiety that I had been in for the last three days, that I now couldn't quite put up with everyone else's. And my mother had a LOT of it, MUCH too much...
Together with my mother the consulate arrived, who was also totally on high speed. He made everyone leave the room, so that it was only my mother, Sergio and him. They spoke a lot. The consulate, like Sergio, was totally outraged at what was happening here. He said that he found out about an "Austrian jumping out of a police station window" from the newspaper -or TV, I don't remember- and that the Ministry of Interior informed NOTHING to him, which REALLY pissed him off.
Now he was here to "consulate" with the police to let me leave the country and to let me be brought to a hospital in Austria. I don't know exactly how all this went about, because this was happening outside in the corridor or somewhere. In the meantime Sergio and my mother had a very heated debate
It was so strange, but it seemed like as soon as I had finished with my machine-gun like interview, I fell into total exhaustion and delirium. I guess this was partially due to the strong pain medication. (Makes me still wonder what I was on during the interview, because I also had little pain, yet I was on such total high speed. Some people thought that I had been given something that would make me speak a lot to the press.) But also I think it may have been a psychological reaction to my mothers over-stressful and accusatory attitude towards all the people I loved.
I think the first thing she did was to literally attack Sergio, releasing most of her explosive stress immediately on him, as if he was responsible for my injury, hysterically telling him things like: "The next time YOU jump yourself, okay?" I groaned under my blanket. I knew this was going to be only the beginning, if she already started out like this. I made some attempts to stop her, but I was now in such a deep cloudy haze that I could hardly speak. I wish I'd have had the energy to say something more than just the few barely audible words.
Outside there was an incredible storm of reporters. Sergio (who was very "in-tense" instead of just tense) said to my mother that this "press conference" had been arranged by the hospital, which apparently was controlled by the Ministry of Interior since the moment I arrived and was also working hand in hand with the police. And THEY had arranged for this press conference to take place WITH the police and that the police ONLY was speaking to the press right now, outside in the corridor.
Personally, I didn't know why we didn't just tell the press the truth. I didn't really understand why we were letting them speak to only the police and not give them our version of what had really been happening in the last three days. I would've gladly told them everything,...but Sergio and my mother were very intent on getting them all out and away from the door...and anyway I was having a harder and harder time staying conscious. Everything around me was so hectic, it was all so blurry for me. I wanted everybody to just chill out. My body and my mind were so tired. My eyes kept closing and I could hardly speak, but I was listening.
Sergio did his very best to try and explain everything to my mother very rationally. I was glad he was doing this, because this way I could listen, as he went through the whole entire story of what had been going on outside and inside this crazy hospital in the most brisk and to the point detail. (As usual, but even more brisk and incredibly fast-paced than usual). He told her everything that people on the outside had been doing for the past days and from what he was telling, it must've been an absolutely manic time for everyone. He was more emotional and full-on than even I had ever seen him. He said many things, which sounded absolutely horrendous and many times I wanted to ask something, but it seemed like I was totally incapable of speaking. Still, I was listening to every word he said.
My mother was also horrified but instead of listening to what he was trying to tell her, she was getting very angry with him, and never stopped making him responsible for my injury. When I heard this, I strained myself to say something, loud enough to be heard, begging her to stop accusing HIM for something that I did, I mean...what did she think anyway? That I jumped out of the window because someone told me to? Maybe she was mistaking my life with hers, but I simply couldn't bear this attitude towards him, and it hurt me so much.
But clearly Sergio understood that she was simply panicking and continued trying to explain WHAT was really going on here. He told her everything that people had to do the past days to even be able to FIND me. There had been a total information embargo on me. The hospital, which had been under the control of the Ministry of Interior, had denied that there even was a person by my name here. He tried to make clear to her that the staff of the hospital COULD NOT be trusted and that there were in fact very dark and sinister forces involved in all of this, whose aim had been to sweep the whole story under the carpet. He said that very possibly my life had been in danger, had it not been for ONE phone call, one woman who, despite the embargo on me, seeped through the information about my jumping out of the window and being in a hospital. Otherwise, they would have tried to make me disappear, and it would've been actually quite easy, because NOBODY knew where I was.
He went on to say that, when people finally did find me, they were denied access to the hospital and even arrested in front of filming TV cameras, when they tried to advance to be able to see me. He told her about my having been arrested illegally and badly mistreated in the jail, to then be charged for crimes which I didn't commit, frightening me to the point of jumping out the window. He told her that this hospital I was brought to and under the control of the Ministry of the Interior, did not only put an information embargo on me, but also continued to abuse and even torture me.
But her only interpretation of everything he said was that all this was only "radical conspiracy theories, over-exaggeration, manipulation, and instrumentalization' and that it was all happening on my costs. She actually thought that I was being 'used' for the purpose of int'l campaigns and some kind of political leverage strategy. She started shouting at him that the next time he should put himself in my position, instead of using other people, although he had just told her earlier to what extreme measures he had gone, to be able to get access to me, including getting himself arrested. Not one time did she think to thank him, that it was actually due to him and the immense solidarity campaigns and worldwide anti-repression protests, as well as the hype created by the media, that it was even POSSIBLE to get me out of custody. Before all this pressure was made, I had been denied even the most basic of rights to be able to have a lawyer, never mind be liberated from custody, so that SHE too could see me now. But she seemed not to see it like that.
It was so too much for me, that despite my strong medication, the stress made the pain come back again. (I did notice that it got worse every time there was a heated conflict and settled down when there was only friends around me.) I tried to contain her anger one more time, but I wasn't even heard. I don't know, maybe it was just a whisper. But...didn't she realize -if she cared so much about my welfare- that this, what she was doing now, was killing me? That, in fact, this was coming close to just another form of torture in terms of psychological warfare, which I had just had to go through enough. Was it necessary to continue the nightmare...? When I FINALLY get to see the people that I love, that I then cannot even as much as speak to them, because they're too busy fighting with each other. It was just beyond belief, one more time...
Eventually the consulate returned, saying that there were some legal formalities and police procedures to undergo with the authorities which prohibited me from leaving the country. Surely they wanted me to come and take me to the police hospital, I thought, until I was ready for prison. I didn't even want to open my eyes. It was not something I could deal with now. I was so so exhausted and deeply sinking into my bed, I didn't want to listen to any more police procedures.
The police were being, as usual, completely irrational. They suddenly burst in, just when I was drifting through clouds of nothing, and like through a distant void I heard them say something about my having to sign some papers. I couldn't believe it when I recognized the speech disordered hiccup voice of the translator. I opened carefully one delirious eye to see what was going on. There he was, the translator, in company of some gorilla looking police official with a bunch of papers in hand for me to sign. Were they NEVER going to stop with this stuff ??
I mean seriously, it was like they were suffering no more than a tragic mental illness. Always running around self-importantly, with all their papers and strange rules and regulations, which everybody except they themselves had to keep to, molesting and harassing people who obviously were in no condition to deal with their unfortunate obsessive behaviour.
And that translator, who did he think he was to dare come here and look me in the face after what had happened. HOW could he come here, after what he and the likes of him did to me and have the nerve to continue to pester me with their ridiculous papers and procedures? Couldn't he see for himself that I was in no state to respond to anything right now. If I couldn't even bring up enough energy to speak to my mother and my friends, surely they didn't expect me to endure their never-ending nonsense.
But they were insisting that I needed to endure it and so I had to listen to the translators bizarre monotonous hiccup interrupted palaver, as he read to me a long paragraph concerning something about studying my files... Maybe I just thought this, but I do think that I also said, that I couldn't possibly sign something, when I forgot the beginning of the paragraph, by the time he reached the end and that I simply didn't have the concentration to listen to him right now.
I think what happened next was that they returned with a woman, who introduced herself as "Dr.Lipska, THE doctor in charge of me". Again I opened one delirious eye to see that I had NEVER seen her before. Somehow she reminded me immensely of the typical Russian spy lady from a James Bond movie, with blond prim hair and thin tightly pressed lips. Her purpose here was to give a hard and clear statement that I was under NO debilitating influence of medication and that I was FIT to SIGN. How somebody who I had never seen before, could know so well how I was feeling was remarkable.
So again I let myself be read the long paragraph about "studying my files". Because it still didn't make total sense to me what they were on about, I asked Sergio to explain in a language that I could understand what it was they were saying. He said that it meant I had to sign that I be present in some kind of legal procedure, where they were going to give me access to my files to study them, in order to get further insight into my case or something. It seemed absurd to me. I said I didn't need to study any files to know that I was innocent. I KNEW that I hadn't done anything,... why should I have to study any files? I already knew what really happened, I WAS THERE MYSELF, so WHY would I have to study any files?
But that didn't seem to satisfy them and they didn't seem to accept a reply that made any sense. All they wanted, was a signature, and they pestered and pestered. If it had been up to them, they would've taken me straight to the police hospital, and kept me there, until the day of my court case. They just wouldn't leave. Nobody else could continue the conversation they had been involved in because again the police had to have center stage and be most important. It made me angry that such ignorant people were given so much power.
Because they were irritating me so much, I finally told them to give me their papers so that I could sign them. I didn't actually intend to sign them at all, but only write clearly at the bottom of their incomprehendable paragraph: "I don't need to study any files to know that I am Innocent" and maybe also "PLEASE leave me alone". But I never got to do that because Sergio, who thought I was really going to sign, said: "No, no, no, don't do it, Chris!" I didn't want to go through a long explanation of what I was intending to do, so I just closed my eyes again, hoping they would eventually go away on their own if they were ignored long enough. In the meantime Sergio was on the mobile, (which had been ringing at two-minute intervals since he arrived) talking to the lawyer to ask whether he could represent me in this "studying the files procedure". The main problem, why it was so impossible for me to be present to study any files was simply that, if I was going to be transferred to a hospital in Austria, how could I be in Prague on the 3.Oct. (which was the date for this to happen). And how important was it really for me to be there. At least I think that's what all this was about. But of course I could be completely wrong, because everything was happening a little beyond my cognitive capacity...
I don't know what all exactly the police still wanted, but I know that they were endlessly persistent about this that and the other. I think it was also that they wanted to be sure I came back for my court case, whenever that was...and that I really know and didn't forget for one second that I was still charged with the original charges. The translators voice was mumble moaning and hiccuping on and on and on,... like it was never going to end. At one point my mother did a funny thing. She asked the two police officials if they had ever seen the film "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", which stopped them in their tracks and for a minute they actually stopped reciting their ceremony of paragraphs and endless police rap to look at my mother in total blankness and say "What??" Apparently the translator, who seemed just a little bit more intellectual than the gorilla, had in fact seen the film and then they actually started to talk about it and (in my mind) I actually had to congratulate my mother for completely changing the subject. Although, I knew that this had worked only because they had some sort of mindless respect for her. Probably because they had the impression as well as my information that she was a "professional within the system", and I guess that they were somewhat in awe of her because she comes across like one too. (I'm sure if I'd asked them during my interrorgation if they had seen "Midnight express", they would have ignored me.)
The translator then even said: "Your daughter said that you work for the World Bank" She denied this at first, saying that she worked for the UN and WHO, and that she had only been working on a project for the World Bank at the time of the protests. (Which didn't seem to make any difference to him, one thing we could finally agree on) He asked her how she was putting up with someone like me for a daughter and I unfortunately can't remember what exactly she replied, but surely it was something along the lines of what she had been saying all along. He informed her of what I had told them during the interrorgation, which was that: "We keep to Dialog rather than War"
After the issue was cleared up that my lawyer would study my files and that I wouldn't forget that I still had a court case to come to, I think that the police may have actually left. Then there was arrangements made to get me transferred to a hospital in Austria. The consulate was starting to talk about different possibilities of ambulances and helicopters that could come to get me. It sounded all so horrendously expensive that I had to revive myself out of my floatation-tank like bed to say, loud enough to be heard, that I had a kind of "touring club insurance" which would cover this kind of transport. (Living in a van, this insurance has every year been an average of 3000 times its costs' benefit, because I've always used it so much, that I think they must really hate me by now). This made everything very easy and the consulate had to make only a few phone calls to arrange everything.
I realized that everything was happening, once again, completely beyond my control and I didn't like that too much. Nobody even asked me if I wanted to leave so immediately to Vienna. All my friends were finally here now and I was already being taken away again, and being a total vegetable I could do nothing about it. When I asked why I couldn't stay just a little longer, the Consulates' position was simply to get me out of the country and out of this precarious situation as soon as possible, and basically I guess to him it also meant simply to "get the job done".
Another thing was that it was very important that I get operated as soon as possible. Basically what they were saying was, that with this kind of smashed bone constellation, under "normal conditions" they would've operated immediately,... but they didn't do that because "we just didn't know what was going to happen with her..." So now that everything was cleared up, and I wasn't going to be taken off to the police hospital, it was possible to proceed normally and do what was medically appropriate. That's why, if I was going to Austria, it would have to happen immediately, because it was very urgent to operate as soon as possible. Dr.Lipska was still around as well. As far as I could gather she was getting on very well with my mother. They were deeply involved in conversation. I heard later from a friend, that they spoke a lot about whether I had been on some kind of drugs when I jumped from the window. I'm glad I didn't have to listen to this kind of nonsense or would've totally flipped out.
I can't say exactly what kind of a person this Dr.Lipska was. Definitely she was very strict and sinister and extremely pessimistic about my condition (unless it had anything to do with being fit enough to sign police beaurocracy) and about my not moving at all, saying that I would be paralyzed forever if I moved just a tiny little bit. Also she said I would need to wear a brace for many months, IF my leg ever allowed me to walk, and in general her prognosis for my stay in a hospital was something like 8 months...When I heard this I couldn't believe it. "8 Months?!?!" it was the first thing I had exclaimed in a loud voice for hours. But I didn't believe it all the same. Sure I would be out and about very soon. Sure sure sure. These doctors probably have never even heard of spontaneous healing.
I don't know what else happened I'm afraid. But there finally was a time where I could see some more of my friends and it was so nice to see them and they were all great, only I was having a very hard time to communicate with anyone because I was so very tired. However, I was always trying to pull myself up on the handle over my bed, desperately trying to be able to speak to them a little more upright and not just be lying there like a vegetable. It didn't work, only I didn't stop. I pulled with one arm, then with the other arm ...I must've looked like a squirming worm ...until Dr.Lipska would stop telling me to move immediately.
Anyway, I didn't even have the energy to speak to the friends very long, and even less when I was not squirming about, because I would start drifting back into delirium as soon as my eyes closed. After all, I must've been awake nearly the entire week since it had been impossible to get any sleep during this entire nightmare, and I had already been exhausted before the demo even started. I think that I just went into a total catatonia at this point. Also I had been given immense amounts of pain medication, despite which I could still feel the pain.
I know there was one very interesting conversation (though I've forgotten what it was now) between Sergio and my mother, which I was following closely despite my tranquility, when suddenly doctors came in and interrupted the discussion by saying they now needed to prepare my leg for transport. They asked if people would prefer to leave because it wasn't going to be very nice to watch, but everyone wanted watch. Me, I didn't watch because my eyes, as well as my teeth, were tightly clenched in numbed agony. I only heard the power saw as they removed various parts of the construction, which they had drilled through my foot. When it was all over I was really a "free person". The metal bar going through my heel was no longer attached to anything. I was ready for transport.
Time was short now... The ambulance was already on its way, all the way from Vienna and I didn't want to go, I didn't want to leave my friends, so much wanted to stay with them, SO so so much. Finally they were here with me, finally I could see them and I had been either too surrounded by "procedures" or too catatonic on medication and exhaustion to communicate with them. All I needed was a proper nights sleep and I could have a great time with everyone. Then I could stop straining myself now, to stay conscious enough to speak to people and see everyone, but just tell them to come back again tomorrow and finally fall into the deep, deep sleep that I had been about to fall into for the whole day. I didn't want to leave everyone in this state. I couldn't even say good-bye to anyone.... I didn't even know who all was there, because my eyes were so heavy...
But I went along with the solution of going to Vienna, only because I was afraid that the police would try to capture me again and in this condition I would just make trouble for everyone else. I knew there was a lot of other people still in the jails of Prague, surely people were very busy to get them all out and wouldn't have time to make sure that I didn't disappear again. In Vienna at least I was halfway safe. I wanted to be safe. Normally this would not be a priority, but now.... I only wanted to be safe.
There was still some extremely heavy discussion going on between my mother and Sergio. Sergio wanted to get some other medical opinion, he didn't want me to be taken away, in fact he was intensely against it and tried to stop it from happening. Everything became very crazy. He was getting totally outraged, because he didn't trust the decision of my being brought to Vienna. I couldn't follow it exactly but I think he thought that my life was in danger. Maybe it was because my spine was broken and he didn't want me to go 500 km in a moving vehicle. Or maybe he thought I would disappear again, I really don't know, all I could gather was the intensity of the conflict.
But there was no way to change the plan now because the ambulance arrived. Everything became very, very crazy now. It was time to take me outside. As I got wheeled out into the parking lot of the ambulance, the vibration sent shooting pain through my whole body and made me scream, one more time. Everyone freaked out because I was leaving, my mother was getting more and more angry with anyone who tried to stop this. Sergio asked me if it was my will to leave and I said that of course it wasn't. But I didn't know how to express my decision to be willing to do this against my own will, something I don't usually do in my life.
This was an exception, because I felt that maybe it was the best if I was out of the country as long as I was in this condition and as long as I was harassed by these crazy police. I didn't want any more nightmare, I couldn't deal with any more and I needed to get as far away from this place as possible,...despite wanting to stay with my friends. But it was also because I knew the friends also had a lot to do, had a lot to take care of. All the other people who were still in jail needed help. If I stayed in Prague I would only be dependent on everyone to look after my safety, maybe not disappearing again or whatever and just cause even more trouble, because I was now a vegetable.. I want to be able to look after myself and obviously I was in no condition to do that now. Despite hating to say good bye so quickly, it was really the only option now. The ambulance was not going to wait, never mind go back to Vienna without me in it. It was final. I was off.
Inside the ambulance I was sorted out with an extra big portion of morphine, which sent me off into the clouds until we reached Vienna general hospital shock room -as I found out later- in a record time of three hours, with police escort and "laissez passer" at the border. Who would've thought, after the 24 hour border crossing ordeal to get INTO the country,... that I would be travelling in such style on my way back....
Of the shock room I remember nothing much, still being totally konked out. They did a lot of examining and I spent quite some hours there,... but I just can't remember much beyond a few blurry images. What I know is that they didn't operate after all, despite drawing a blue line across my ankle, where they were planning to make the first incision. (And removing every item out of my hair.) But in the end they changed their mind about operating my foot, for the reasons, which I was to find out only the next day...
It was too late. My leg didn't resemble in the slightest a leg anymore. It was blue and purple and swollen up to about five times it's normal size. The foot looked like a balloon, with flaming red skin, and a texture so tightly stretched that it also resembled the surface of a balloon. At the ankle the swelling caused the tissue to burst through the skin from the inside, making big black blistering bubbles appear on the surface which then burst to release liquid flesh, which then drooled down in congealed dark purple slime. Nobody wanted to open this slab of a leg.
They said that they could only operate when the leg had stopped exploding from the inside and that it was impossible to do anything at this so advanced stage of swelling. But, they said that as soon the swelling went down and the blisters dried up they would go ahead, and I just had to endure this condition for another week or so. Another news was that the joint in the ankle was irreparably destroyed, to remain at a 90 degree angle for the rest of my life.
But the swelling didn't go down and there came more blisters and more blisters, and the already exploded blisters wouldn't dry up, but continued to ooze more dark purple slime. Every time the doctors looked at my highly explosive leg they said that there was nothing one could do yet, there was nothing one could do yet....
After some weeks, the swelling did finally go down a little bit. It was still blue and purple but it was finally stopping to explode and even the blisters stopped bursting. Now I was told that, as soon as the open wounds dried up, and only as soon as they dried up, they could think about operating. Otherwise the danger of infection was too great.
But they wouldn't dry up. I found this very strange because normally when I have open wounds, they heal very quickly. My fingers for example, which had a big chunk cut out of them only a few days ago, were already nearly completely closed. All the stitches were just getting in the way of the natural healing process, so that I cut them myself, before the usual time of ten days. But, I couldn't understand why my leg was so slow and so lifeless. It was hard to even consider this monster of a leg as a part of me,...and that was a big part of it...it wasn't really there anymore.
The doctors didn't say this to me for the first weeks. This frustrated me at first, because I thought they were not being honest, but when they did tell me, it freaked me out enough to understand why they hadn't told me earlier. They were worried that I was going to loose my leg. They couldn't even think about operating anything. The tissue was so destroyed that it wouldn't be able to regenerate afterwards, therefore not be able to resist infection and this would mean instant amputation. Therefore the only option, despite the doctors being very sceptical about this, was to wait and let the bones, which were all smashed into many pieces, find their way back together on their own. This was gonna be a long, long process, with the metal contraption through my leg. And then, it was very likely that the foot would be somewhat deformed,... but at least I would have one.
It took some time for this to kick in, but when it did, it kicked me hard, because there was only one real explanation for this.... If the bastards hadn't been playing their games with me, I could have been out walking with a cast in merely three weeks. Now I had to stay in the hospital for up to three months, with only the hope that the many smashed bone pieces would find each other in such a way, that I could eventually walk again halfway normally....
Cheers to the bastards. Not only was I driven to the point of such fear and despair to make me jump out of a window and break various bones in my body....to then, despite my critical condition, still be denied my right to communicate with the outside world, and the outside world denied every information about me...and not only was I treated in most unthinkable and inhumane ways and hidden away in a storage room, ....but I was ALSO denied my right to normal and necessary medical procedures, causing devastating long term effects on my health, devastating long-term effects on my mobility and freedom....devastating effects on my life....
But, I just want to make clear, at the end of all this, that...no matter what happens, whether I have two feet or one, whether I'm a little crippled or club-footed or even if my spine would continue to hurt me as much as it does now..... I want everyone to know one thing: There will BE NO devastating effects on my life, nor my mobility and most definitely not in the least on my freedom!
I will now be a patient (who is not really at all "patient") in this sterile and far-from-life-removed hospital for a much too long time, and sure I will go a little crazy in here, BUT.... Not to worry, because I'm so happy to be alive and I'm so happy that I DIDN'T paralyze myself... and as soon as the last person has come out of the czech jails, I will even be able to sleep again !
And even though this condition in bed for months is totally unacceptable, I know that it's by far better than having let those police play their brutal games with me ANY MORE... Despite everything I have done to myself by jumping out of that window, it couldn't be worse than having allowed them to lock me up in those conditions,... and for who knows how long. Anyone who knows me a little, might understand how little I can accept confined spaces,... and anyone who knows me, knows how impossible it is to imagine me in a hospital bed for months....
But even though I have to give up my life of travelling and living out in nature for a little while (and it's hard!) I know, that just out of principle, it's better than letting those police keep me,... I'm keeping busy here, travelling with my mind, until I'm out and about again one fine day and whether I can walk or not....
...I WILL MOVE !!!
....See you all (at the WEF) in Davos!
I will need people to help pull me around on a snow bob...